February, 2003

Dear old and new friends,

Surely it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, to plant seeds of hope rather than of rage, to confound the nation's plans for war rather than to succumb to apathy.

Think of the impact large and small peace groups have already made in this nation as thoughtful citizens question the administration's rush to war.

Embroidery helps me hope as the needle goes in and out. You may need to be part of a prayer vigil, a Peace rally, writing letters to the editor or to the president. You may have the time and energy to do all of the above.

"Originally this letter referred to an anti-war campaign of sending rice to the White House. We have learned that U.S. postal workers have been instructed not to process any envelope that appears to contain anything other than paper, and that, in fact, with the memory of colleagues killed by exposure to anthrax still fresh, many of these workers are very wary of handling unusual items. We have been advised to send post cards instead."

This month's Calendar holds links to articles I believe are important to read and to remember. The bombing of Dresden on Ash Wednesday in 1945 reminds us that arrogance and arms can destroy cities, cultures, PEOPLE. Here is one view of that terrible event, "Bomber Command". I hope you will take time to read it, to remember or to discover for the first time what "the good guys" can and will do in time of war.

Angela Patton's poem War is All the Rage" is on the Tangible Hope menu page under Poetry. It needs to be read as a preface to the War Prayer Mark Twain wrote during the war in the Philippines. He would not allow it to be published until 50 years after his death. Surely we are brave enough to ponder his story. It concerns the other half of any prayer for victory.

As the administration rushes to defend its case for war against Iraq, I am again asking you to read my poem "20,000,000". On Pentecost in 1982 the NEW YORK TIMES reported that the Pentagon had determined that we could prevail as a nation even with a loss of 20,000,000 lives. What kind of a world would that be?

Under OPINIONS on the Tangible Hope menu, you will find an article by Suzanne Elston about Depleted Uranium lest we forget today's weapons. We know that some humans plan to go to Baghdad as human shields. We at home dare not steel our hearts to pain. We must do two things. We need to look with clear eyes at what has been done in the past. We need to look with clear eyes at what is being planned in the present, for our future.

THEN we need to embroider or weave, bake a a cake, welcome a baby's birth. We need to rejoice as spring blossoms wait to blossom, to remember Isaiah 45:18:

       This is Yahweh who speaks.
       I did not create the world
       to be a chaos, I created it
       to be lived in

with Love,


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