From the Desk Off…

GetAttachment.aspx“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. Do you have something you would like to share from your desk? Drop me a line!

Apologies to singer and songwriter Holly Near for excerpting/cannibalizing her beautiful but long prose-poem here. Please see Prayers for A Thousand Years edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon for the unedited version.


I am waiting for instructions…

From the girl child in the sweat shop whose little fingers bring in ten cents an hour, to the poet who shakes the world round when she speaks, “Good morning,” to the woman beaten beyond recognition by the man who says he loves her, to the activist who wraps herself around a tree as the blades drown out the sound of her beating heart, to the teenager holding the doll she never had after it comes through her body and will be with her for the rest of her life—to all these I cry out my womanness.

From the lovers hiding to the lovers who kiss in the moonlight as bombs fall just yards from their dreams, reminding me to feel joy when athlete and disabled dare to kiss, when Jew and Arab dare to kiss, when Irish and English dare to kiss, when man and man dare to kiss, when woman and woman dare to kiss, when black and white dare to kiss, reminding us all that for as long as loving evokes fear in our hearts, we have yet another mile to walk…

I have torn open my soul, worked to a sweat, wept with humiliation, struggled with confusion, battled with apathy and disillusion, confronted my beliefs again and again until I thought I would drown in sorrow; and yet, here I am on the dawn of a new millennium, profoundly informed by all life and love. I am ready to take the next step. Yet this time, I am filled with calm and grace, I feel less fear than ever before, I have learned compassioned in spite of myself, I do talk to the trees and listen to the wind, and I am waiting for instructions.



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