From the Desk Of….

GetAttachment.aspxFrom 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!

What is peace?

It’s a question we don’t spend enough time thinking about. Here’s what the Dalai Lama says, “Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”

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.

 

 

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!

This short poem by sufi saint and poet Rabia of Basra (c.717-801) in translation from Daniel Ladinsky’s book Love Poems from God, offers a timely and wise voice for men and women today. Although Rabia was abused from an early age she still became one of the most influential women saints and poets. This poem is easy to understand but hard to do.

Our Beauty

Live with dignity, women, live with dignity, men.

Few things will more enhance our

beauty as

much.

 

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. 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.

 

 

Making A Ruckus

Making a Ruckus highlights the work of women artists and their commentary on matters of international peace and security.

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Drawing by Rajkamal Kahlon from her Blowback series

Rajkamal Kahlon is an American artist and educator. And she’s someone you should know.

Her two projects, Blowback and Did You Kiss the Dead Body? are intense examinations of US foreign policy and human rights.Kahlon’s drawings, paintings and performative installations use critical aesthetics and absurdist humor to challenge current policy and journalistic accounts of counter-terrorism and human rights. Her images are often found within already existing historical and contemporary colonial archives. As an Artist-in-Residence at the American Civil Liberties Union, Kahlon interviewed lawyers in the Human Rights and National Security Projects, for her project, Did You Kiss the Dead Body?, which centers on US military autopsy reports of Iraqi and Afghan men who have been killed in U.S. detention facilities since 9/11.

Her other, more recently exhibited work in New York (January 2014), is Blowback. Blowback is a CIA term for the unintended consequences of covert operations against foreign nations and governments. In Kahlon’s words, “The project borrows the term to explore the relationship between early anthropological portraiture and modern terrorism.  Through these works a relation of causality appears between Western representations of formerly colonized subjects and acts of political retaliation labeled as terrorism today.”

Check it out!