|October 1, 2002|
Dear old and new friends,
I write this letter on September 28 as we ponder a week's deadline for the decision on Iraq. Seven days would bring us to the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi.
On October 4, 2001 I was blessed to facilitate a workshop at David and Cindi Dennison-Jone's home with Grand Junction beloveds to process our feelings about 9/11. Then I left Colorado for Assisi, Rome, the Vatican and Guadalajara, Spain. This trip seems more remarkable from this distance than it did a year ago. To Assisi, the home of that saint who lived and taught Peace?
As I traveled between 1982 and 1985 to ask people to make Ribbons showing what they could not bear to think of as lost forever in a nuclear war, I would often be moved by some scene along my jorney. I would pray then, for example, "For the sake of one New York City, do not let the Earth be destroyed" as a taxi carried me one night across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan aglow ith its night lights. Surely with your compassionate imaginations you know I must have seen the World Trade Center Towers against that skyline.
This Thursday night I went with my daughter, Ann, to attend Opening Night of the Eugene Symphony, introducing its new conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, the new acoustical system and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Hult Center for Performing Arts.
It was a Glory.
I found myself with carefully concealed tears praying "for the sake of one opening night, do not let the Earth be destroyed" My prayer held all the backstage personel, electricians, carpenters, musicians, the soloist, the hours of rehersals, the precuos intruments, the magnificent Beethoven Fifth, remembering with pain that Beethoven could not HEAR it, but he continued writing his music.
Think of the opening nights in your life. The Middle School concerts, the high school musical, the university's preparations, the choir's Messiahs.
On Thursdau night I remembered a video I had seen two years ago in which the Bagdad Symphony orchestra played and one violinist said that strings for string insruments could not get past our embargo of Iraq.
Another sequence introduced us to a nurse in the pediatric oncology ward. The camera panned the children dying of leukemia as she told us the necessary chemo supplies were also subject to the embargo.
Ann sat next to me at the Symphony as Marcus, still getting his chemo on time, was perhaps practising his sax at home or studying his geometry as he is in remission from leukemia.
Some of you have been fasting for days, sending money for full-page ads, standing in vigils, visiting your members of Congress, writing letters, sending picture postcards and, instead of cursing the darkness, lighting candles against the night.
If you can pray for the view from your window - for the sake of this mountain, this elevated line, this village, this river, this ocean, you will, in your pain, be moving beyond despair to Hope as you cherish all of the humans on this vulnerable Earth.
I send a grateful THANK-YOU to the Sisters of Charity, BVM this month.
Dear ones, do not allow your tears to still your laughter.