Saturday, November 22, 2014

on thich nhat hanh and spreading peace

zen buddhist monk - thich nhat hanh

i wanted to share the news of thich nhat hanh's serious health crisis. like so many of you, i look to him as a guide on the path to peace and have learned so very much. he suffered a serious brain hemorrhage and is currently in the hospital. you can read more about it here

we all know that death is a reality, but that our time of death is unknown. it's not some dark trick, it's just the way of things. 

thay has given so much to the world - 

i wanted to give something back. 

for months i have had in my mind the creation of pieces that would work together to form a small sacred space. 

barry smith makes exquisite traveller's shrines

barry smith 2013 

mine are based upon my stitching and weaving, metal working and study of tibetan calligraphy. 

i had the mats and stones/shells firmed up. 

but not the metal. 

not until thay fell ill. 

and then i made an offering bowl. 

my offering to him for all he has done, 

to be used by others to make their own

ripples and ripples and ripples. 

mjd - 2014

mjd - 2014

may we all work towards peace
in our thoughts 
and actions. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

nobel peace prize awards made for 2014

malala yousfzai and kailash satyarthi

with the utmost gratitude i read of the honored recipients this morning.

ms. yousafzai from pakistan is the youngest recipient at age 17. she became known when she was shot by the taliban and heroically came back to take on the issue of girls education. 

mr. satyarthi from india was recognized for his work on child labor and children's rights. he has remained in the tradition of gandhi, using peaceful protests and demonstrations to make his point.

you can read more about them both here.

it should be noted that there has been fighting with deaths incurred in india and pakistan over their himalayan border - let us hope that this honor of their citizens may ease that dispute. 

peace can be quiet and peace can be active. i yearn to be able to spread it in all ways possible.

another young woman, this one a holocaust victim named etty hillesm wrote:

ultimately we have just one moral duty:
to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves,
more and more peace,
and to reflect it towards others,
and the more peace there is in us, 
the more peace there will be in our troubled world. 

in peace and love and gratitude to all who work each day to make the world a more peaceful place in any way they can. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

honoring the international day of peace

natural objects of peace and connection 2014

life has a way of asserting itself when you aren't paying attention.

key words - not paying attention.

we've had happy busy and stressful busy this past year, 

you know, we've been living at a heightened level.

i usually have grand plans of how i want to honor this day.

i would think about it and say to myself 'once x,y,z is done, i can get to work'- 

but how it turned out 

has more to do with what i have learned (or relearned) this summer. 

life is in the moments, 

the gestures - small and large

the words of kindness

the thoughts that create our reality.

let go - brass leaf 2014

it's about releasing what doesn't serve us

or others,

what holds us back from reaching our potential.

with gentleness 

we can act, speak and think - 

that is how we relate to the outside world.

but if we are plagued by fear, 

do we know inner peace?

when i stand before my jizo

or the ocean

or gaze at the night sky

i feel a profound sense of calm.

when i take 3 deep breaths at different times during the day

to bring myself back to center

the serenity returns.

my goal is to increase the practices

so that my moments come closer together

and my life is lived more intentionally.

our world desperately needs those who are willing to commit 

to principles of non-harming and harmony. 

so this year, 

my attention will be given to small objects - like rocks, sticks and shells -

that can be left on curbs, 




the hope being, 

that moment of stillness

will be noted and cherished

and, in the end, shared in some way. 

create your own butterfly effect.

you all have my deepest apologies for not being more present here this year. 

just because international peace is formally recognized today

does not mean that work in the name of peace is not important

every second 

of every minute

of every day.

so please come to share whatever you can. 

there are dark forces at work in the world - 

and your light is desperately needed.

mary jane

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Peace Prayer Wheel spins for peace

Though the Peace Prayer Wheel is not quite peace flags, one can think of the vanes as peace flags as each has a peace prayer on them.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Prayer Wheel - flags for peace
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Prayer Wheel - flags for peace
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Prayer Wheel - flags for peace
Wishing for a little more peace today and every day.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fiona's flags are underway...

I am well underway preparing for 21 September.

I have done some flags from old book pages which will hang on our verandah; I am continuing to make peace weathergrams that will hang on the tree at the top of the driveway and I have made two small indoor peace flags which will hang in the house or near the front door...

At the moment, my main peace flags are hanging in the shed-studio.

I feel as if I have made pebbles for peace here with my two small internal flags.

I am still writing weathergrams and will hang them in the tree closer to the day.

I would love to see what others are doing or thinking....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I have started...

Today I started making my peace 'flags' for 21 September. Well I won't really have peace flags. This year I hope to make a Peace 'prayer' wheel. Basically it will be a wheel with vanes that will catch the wind and turn the wheel; and send the  peace 'prayers' out to the universe as the wheel spins.

I have cut the vanes from an old silver-plated EPNS fruit bowl-basket. There are 8 vanes as that is how many segments the bowl had.

©2014 Barry Smith - Recycled metal for peace vanes
I have stamped 5 vanes with peace aspirations-prayers.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace prayers-aspirations
And the other 3 with the saying "imagine peace now".

©2014 Barry Smith - "Imagine peace now"
I hope to get time to finish the wheel etc this week so I can test it before putting it up for peace day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

6 months to the international day of peace


the six months between september and now have flown - filled with all kinds of life events and weather events to keep us busy. 

this is the 3rd year we announce our project here - 
and it means more each time.

in the beginning, i focused upon my project to honor the quest for world peace. 

but it quickly evolved into becoming a part of my daily routine. 

let's face it,
one cannot make work authentically in the name of peace
without doing the inside work of being in peace.

it takes diligence and practice. 

with great joy i look forward to sharing the upcoming months with you - hearing from you - being inspired by you. 

like anything worth achieving, it takes practice - 

but the community is in place
the safety net is present
you need only to reach out.

anyone may participate - just send us an email and you will be added as an author - we ask only that you be respectful of the intention of the blog & kind to those who share.

for more information we have links set up in the side bar and in that tabs at the top. 

i would like to open this up a bit - if you go back, you will see inspiring works by talented makers. all visual artists. if however, you are a poet or a songwriter - i want to include you as well. you could write your words on paper or fabric to hang in the sun and the wind. and share it with all living things. if you are a musician, maybe you could play your work outside and allow it to be carried away. 

remember, while the 21st is the official day of honoring peace, every day holds the opportunity to promote it.