Archive for March 18th, 2007

Several hundred people gathered in Columbia, Missouri this afternoon to demonstrate in favor of peace.   The weather could not have been better:  it was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low fifties (Fahrenheit), a light breeze added a little zing to the atmosphere.

It was a heartwarming sight to see the diversity in the group of people who are willing to make themselves heard on this most important subject.  The formal groups who actually registered with MidMissouri Peaceworks, the organization who sponsored this event, included Catholics, Baptists, Unitarians, Veterans, Moslems, Teachers, and Pagans.  Additionally, there were many people present who were not affiliated with any particular group.  I saw people of every color, people of every age from babes in arms to very elderly, I saw handicapped folks in wheel chairs as well as kids on skateboards.  A few very well behaved dogs attended also.

MidMissouri Peaceworks has been sponsoring peace demonstrations and marches for several years now, and for the first time this year they got large enough that we were allowed to walk on the actual streets of Columbia rather than just on the sidewalk.  The march was provided with a police escort, who were there to make sure that nobody got run over and that traffic flowed smoothly around the marchers.   Some of my friends who have been present at every event mentioned that this was the first year that there was no opposition present.  As I walked, many cars passed us honking, waving, making peace signs and giving us the thumbs up.  Unlike our experience in Camdenton yesterday, I did not see a single person who disagreed with us during our march.

I marched with my beautiful drum, and drummed enough today that my first two fingers on my right hand are slightly bruised.  No big deal.   Compared to my left leg, that is small potatoes.   All my friends think I should take a picture of the half healed bruise and abrasion it carries, but I don’t think I need to post any more trauma pictures.  It is healing nicely, although still quite sore. 

Ultimately, I did finally figure out what message to put on my sweatshirt.  On the front it read ‘”Blessed are the Peacemakers. . .” Jesus’.  On the back, I painted ‘”. . .For they shall be called the children of God.”  Matt 5:9’.  I got a lot of positive response to that message.  The irony of me, a free-thinking born-again pagan, wearing a Bible verse was not lost on me or my friends.   But the message is appropriate, and I was thinking more of my audience than anything else.  

It came to me as I was on my way home from purchasing the garment I intended to transform into a wearable sign.   I was reflecting on my “Cady Cheese Company” sweatshirt.  That made me flash on the scene in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” where he is giving the sermon on the Mount and the people in the back of the crowd are confused, hearing that section as,  “Blessed are the cheesemakers.”  I thought to myself, “another cheesemaker for peace,” and then I realized that that verse was the perfect message.  Being a peacemaker is so important and good we even award a Nobel Prize for it. 

It was a long drive, but Nancy and I had a good time, it was really great to have all that time to talk with her uninterrupted.   Just a little side benefit of all this peace marching ahs been the chance to connect and socialize with my friends.

When I got home, Jim told me he had bad news for me.   He announced that he has decided to quit smoking.   This is only “bad news” in terms of the next few days when he is going through the worst of the nicotine withdrawal.  I have my orders.  I am to act like nothing is happening.  He doesn’t want advice, sympathy, praise, encouragement, or any of that.  Just my tolerance of his moodiness.  Wish me luck, I know it will be a difficult few days, mostly because I will want to offer sympathy, praise and advice.  I love him, and I am very proud of him wanting to do this thing for his health and future.  so I would hate to murder him while he was in that transition.

May the Force be with you all!   Pray for peace, speak out for peace.  Enough people have died, already.


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