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Thursday, June 16, 2011

All We Are Saying...

I remember sitting cross legged on the Worcester Common, with my hair frizzed out like Janice Joplin’s, and my training bra tucked inside my back pocket, while joining a massive choir of Flower Children, singing; “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.” This was the 60’s mantra, and although I was too young to really grasp the importance of the message, I remember feeling incredibly peaceful at the time.

Perhaps we were naïve in thinking that we could change the world with a song, but being a part of something much larger than myself taught me that I wasn’t alone. It emboldened me in a way I had never experienced before, raising my cowering expectations to a heady high…at least for that moment.

After a lifetime of living in fast-paced society I can see what a rare commodity peace really is. Life sometimes seems like an omnipresent octopus with eight suction cupped arms reaching in eight different directions at once, bringing multi-tasking to a jaw clenching new level, and causing me to be at odds with…well, myself. My life has given birth to a life of its own, creating a second generation of things to do, and sometimes a third. So, I’m taking the simple advice from an old mantra, and giving peace a chance.

This means I will have to make room for peace by intentionally inviting it in…and doing peaceful things.

Things like: Going the long way home on purpose because it gives me time to finish listening to my favorite song.

Adding extra hot water to my bath because I’m in the middle of a chapter…and the world won’t stop if I take a little longer.

Leisurely browsing through the library, and randomly reading the first and last pages of a novel, because somebody poured their soul into writing it, and I know that I will never get to read all the amazing books that have been written.

Writing poetry, even though I’m not sure how, because I love the surprise of using words in new ways …and poetry reminds me of my mother.

Going clothes shopping and gathering armloads of eclectic items that I would normally be afraid to wear, and then trying them on, and discovering something fabulous in the pile.

Writing in my journal using cursive handwriting, with large flamboyant letters that flair and twirl like dancers, so that no matter how conflicted my words seem, they all look beautiful.

The other day I took a stroll out to my mailbox and I noticed the same two familiar doves that I’ve seen dozens of times before. They were sitting peacefully, side by side on a telephone wire, quietly watching the clatter of life below…and I wondered if they realized what a good example they were setting.


Chris said...

I always take the long way home so that I can finish my (new) fav song!

On a different note, though, I was browsing YouTube for Joan Baez clips the other day, and found a fairly recent one of her singing "We Shall Overcome". In a very uninspired, glass-half-empty, down moment, I thought to myself: this woman has been singing about peace since the 1950s, and it seems like nothing has changed. The world just keeps opening up new war, poverty, and hunger zones for her to visit...

The thing is, she is not giving up, and neither should we.

Leah Griffith said...

Good Morning Chris,
I used to want to be like Joan, strumming a tune on my guitar, feeling so passionate about everything. I’ll never give up on peace, and although I might not be able to change the world, at least I know I can change myself and my little corner of the world.
Have a fabulous weekend Chris!

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Leah, so sorry I am slow visiting this week. Can't seem to get my self in a rhythm this week.

I love the clip of Corinne Bailey Rae. Doesn't that look fun and carefree.

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Cheryl,
It's interesting that you use the word rhythm, Ive been trying to get back in sync with mine all week. Vacations have a way of throwing me off tempo with my real life;)
Corinne's song is very sweet and peaceful. It takes me back to the carefree days of my youth.
I hope you find your rhythm this weekend. Do something magical for yourself Ms. Cheryl.

Jayne said...

Ah, Leah, it's always like a breath of fresh air stopping by your place. I've been a bit under the weather these past few days, and your post has certainly brightened my day. I love the octopus simile, it's absolutely true how we are sucked into various concerns, some of which we really have no concern!
You've brought the concept of peace down to its most elemental level--slowing down, really thinking about what you're doing, what kind of vibes you want to throw out there into the greatness of the universe, being present, appreciating all the small wonders of the world, living in the moment with great awareness for self and others. If the entire world lived each day like this we'd never see another war.
Peace. :)

Leah Griffith said...

Jayne, I am amazed at how much you get me! Seriously, it gives me little goose bumps sometimes.
I run to your site because I always feel better after I’ve connected with your words. You usually say things that strike a harmonious chord for me, and I leave feeling more centered than when I arrived.
This piece was written as a teaching tool to me. I often trade my peace in for trivial things that are not worthy of my time. Things with big mouths, and endless appetites, that suck the life out of me and leave me emotionally and spiritually dehydrated.
This little ditty on peace is my way of reminding me to knock it off!
I hope you’re feeling better, and that whatever it was that was pulling you down, has let go its grip ;)
Enjoy your day Jayne!

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