Peace on earth begins at home

I have a confession to make. I have become an Alice Walker junkie. Just can’t get enough of the lady and her words. At the moment I am devouring “Living By the Word” and in it I found a wonderful description of what is truly at the heart of what is necessary for there to be a peace that is sustainable and empowering for all. Walker writes,

“There is a slogan from a battered women’s shelter that I especially like: “Peace on earth begins at home.”

I join Walker in liking that slogan very much. Until we recognize that violence in the private setting is every bit as problematic as the violence of militarism, there will be no true peace. Not to mention that it’s probably a lot more economical than giving the Pentagon billions more for their misguided bombing for peace mantra!

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“The Dinner Party”: Homeless no more

2007 is shaping up to be a watershed year for feminist art. The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum will open this spring with Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” as its centerpiece. The Museum will also host a show called “Global Feminisms” which will run March 23 – July 1.

As if this weren’t amazing enough by itself, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles will have an exhiibit called “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” which will run March 4 – July 16. WACK! will then travel to the Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC and to P.S.1 in New York City.

As Chicago said in an interview with Ms. Magazine, “Women–and those men who are concerned about having a more equitable world–need to understand the ways in which women’s achievements and cultural production (are) marginalized, diminished and erased…” These 2 blockbuster exhibits should go a long way in reclaiming the history of women’s art.

Our Bodies Our Blog: Fabulous resource about women’s health

The wonderful women at Our Bodies Our Selves not only write excellent, comprehensive books about women’s health, they also have a terrific blog that has daily coverage of women’s health issues in the news. This is a fabulous resource, be sure to check it out!

Solstice Prayer by Janie Rezner

Warrior of LoveMany thanks to my dear friend Janie Rezner for allowing me to post her Solstice prayer. Janie is an extraordinary artist, poet and musician. She also has a radio program, Women’s Vocies on KZYX. Please visit her website to see more of her wonderful art and learn more about her work and life. .

This work is entitled Warrior of Love by Janie Rezner.

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Mother Earth

we call you into our consciousness tonight,
on this pivotal point on earth, between dark and light
never have we needed you more
may your energy infuse us

we know you are calling all cultures and all peoples
to come together in sacred ceremony
we have been too long from the ancient ways Continue reading

Shulamit Aloni on Israeli apartheid

I made my first trip to Israel 34 years ago. I was 16 years old (do the math yourselves), wearing rose colored glasses and knowing exactly what life was about. While there I learned much, quite a lot of it at odds with what I had learned in Sunday School. Among other things, I learned that there was an Israeli peace movement, and one of it’s most powerful voices was that of Shulamit Aloni. I have been a fan of Ms. Aloni’s ever since. She recently had a piece in the Israeli publication Ynet regarding apartheid in Israel. She writes,

“The US Jewish Establishment’s onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies.”

Continue reading

When I’m 103

On days when things seem particularly grim, I have been known to mutter that being an activist is aging me quickly. All those marches and rallies in all kinds of weather, burning the midnight oil too often, takes it’s toll on a girl. Of course it has always been in the back of my mind that at some point I would retire in glory and rest on my laurels. These hopes were completely dashed by an article about Irene Mensalves, an activist for 50 years who will turn 103 on January 17. And she is still going strong, albeit with a walker. A sign on her door reads, “War is not the answer” and last year she participated in a Raging Grannies action at a recruiting office. With pleasure I forgive Ms. Mensalves for dashing my retirement hopes and thank her for her inspiration.

In Memorium: Tillie Olsen

Feminist author Tillie Olsen has died at the age of 94. During the last several years, I have been reading everything I can about women writing about writing. Olsen’s “Silences” perhaps explains better than anything else I have ever read the immense odds that women writers have faced throughout history. Indeed, her own life and writing career exemplify the all too common scenario. As Margaret Atwood put it in her review of “Silences”,

“She did not write for a very simple reason: A day has 24 hours. For 20 years she had no time, no energy and none of the money that would have bought both.”

Despite that, Olsen’s work has been enormously influential. We owe her a great debt of gratitude. It is truly our loss that the circumstances of her life did not allow her more time for her work as a writer.