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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sip and Sing-along at Gary's on December 19

My blogmaster, Jen B., is helping me to communicate the purpose of the peace quilt and its journey to a broader audience. Check out the newly featured gadget link to G-map on the left. Read the blurbs about the quilt's visits so far. I salute my sister science teacher this December for enabling me to share my retired teacher's promise.

Invitation to December Sing-along! View the displayed quilt at Gary's coffee shop wall on December 19 at 1:00 for 15-20 minutes. Sip a cup of java and sing peace songs with the newly formed Harmony quartet. Small environs. Informal. Wouldn't it be beautiful to have standing room only? (Also, if you can't come, enjoy "Last Friday Night Art Walk" on December 18 from 6-8 P.M. instead. The popular event lists Gary's as a stop where the butterfly peace quilt and Katie Stocks' red watercolors are displayed.)

In January the butterfly quilt flies down off the wall when I travel to Washington state for a couple of engagements on Nobel Peace Prize Winner MLK, JR. weekend. Justice and peace and tolerance...the theme. I'll continue to spread the word that middle schoolers may have the answer to inspiring peacemaking. (Check out Jack Johnson's tune "Together;" it pretty much says it. Go to Pandora, the streaming radio station, and listen to the lyrics. You'll be inspired. The kids were. They heard it every day as they entered the classroom.)

Shasta Middle Schoolers want you to claim your particular vision of peace. Name it, write it, and act on it. Simple. Not simplistic. And while you're at it, join others by sending a peace postcard containing your written vision to Oprah now. Make it a holiday card, if you feel like it. Join ONE MILLION other voices in their expressions of divergent visions of peace. Remember that it's not about agreeing on one way of viewing peace. It is about celebrating working together, yet separately/sometimes in opposition, to live helpful lives for the betterment of our world and ourselves. Scroll down for more info on making the postcards...easy, but not easy to implement.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quilt Displayed in December at Gary's

Future Site of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Park in Alton Baker

December brings such wonderful opportunities to educate about peace...especially about the Nobel Peace Laureate Project in the Eugene/Springfield area. Come and see the butterfly peace quilt at Gary's on High Street in Eugene. It will tell a story of one way to look at peace. Many ways.

The quilt's purpose for the December display is to promote community awareness of the developing Nobel Peace Park here in our midst. Peace visions from the U.S. Nobel Peace Prize winners are clipped to the quilt surface. They were made by Shasta Middle Schoolers who researched the lives of these heroes before illustrating postcards telling what may have motivated their historic actions.

After learning about the Nobel Peace Prize, the optimistic sixth graders wanted to DO more influencing peace in others. They designed their own postcard messages, sent them to Oprah Winfrey and taught hundreds of others to do the same thing. Inspiring visions on postcards spread much like fluttering butterflies landing in Oprah's P.O.Box. (See November 11th blog entry for the information on how to send your vision of peace postcard to Oprah Winfrey. Join 1,000,000 other peacemakers now!)

During this 11th month of miracles, the butterfly quilt messages may also inspire Eugene/Springfield folks to monetarily support the construction of the peace park that will be unlike any other in the world. The two-acre plot of land donated by the city is located in Alton Baker Park but will provide a peacemaking forum for education and contemplation for all people. To break ground, $250,000 is needed to jump start the neatly designed architectural plan. Every dollar counts. This holiday make a $24.00 gift donation (one dollar for each U.S. Peace Prize Winner) in the name of someone you know who cares about peace on earth. For more information, pick up a brochure in Gary's or check the website.

Since June the butterfly peace quilt has traveled to over 24 places, but this month it's finding temporary rest at this local haven for 30 days. Basically, the quilt is on loan. I already miss it, but I will invite friends for a quilt visitation on Saturday, December 19th to sing and sip and celebrate the holidays. Stay tuned.

I thank my three friends who helped in the hanging...not an easy task. As customers sipped their mochas, deep into their conversations, they hardly noticed-- even when they had to move out of the way. The official hanger-uppers stood on tables, drew blood from the hanging-wire cuts, muttered and moaned when the quilt fell a few times, and managed to establish calm by finally getting it safely installed.

Some have asked, "Aren't you afraid that someone might take the quilt? Aren't you worried that people will get the material dirty?" Carol, the birth mama of the quilt, chuckled! "That quilt is meant to be handled, sat on, rubbed, folded, displayed, bled on, held and wrapped around those who desire peace. " In the fabled "Velveteen Rabbit" by Marjorie Holmes' the stuffed rabbit wasn't really totally loved until most of its fur had been rubbed off and its limbs were wobbly and lame. Peacemaking is sometimes messy and takes awhile too.

Meanwhile, as the months of fulfilling my teacher's promise to take the peace quilt around the world roll by, I marvel at the hope I continue to encounter. So, Oprah, you will continue to receive more individual peace postcards inspired by the stories of the youth I have promised to tell. Ms Winfrey should come to dedicate the peace park in 2012. Novel Nobel idea.

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