“From the Desk Of…” challenges the dominant narratives about international peace and security by sharing notable quotes, anecdotes, prose and poems about women, peace and security. These are tidbits that float across my desk from time to time. They are from encounters with artists, diplomats, and human rights defenders. My hope is that this space can be an invitation to tell a new story about who we are now and create a narrative about the more peaceful future we are trying to build. Do you have something you would like to share from your desk? Drop me a line!
Here’s a poem by Ursula K. Le Guin, from Prayers for a Thousand Years
Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
And the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved-one,
walk mindfully, well-loved one,
walk fearlessly, well-loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.