November, 2002

Dear new and old friends,

The golds, scarlets, bronze, yellow leaves of Eugene, Oregon's trees amid the pines tell me of the season's change. Some foggy mornings my bones respond as well. With the promise of rain for four months, I nevertheless am delighted to say, "This is my home."

I have puzzled about this November Letter as we all wait to see what the president will do, what the jihad will do as victims of a nameless gas are grieved in Moscow and beyond.

Marlene De Filipis whom I visited in February in Lake Havasu, AZ, called this week to tell me about two Ribbon events there.

Jenny Anderson, a school teacher at the Daytona Middle School, each year prepares her students to create Ribbons to celebrate United Nations' Day, October 24. Marlene and Tom bring 80 others to be placed on bleachers for the program which features the school choirs and this year a sax and trumpet duet by two young men. After their duet they presented "a hilarious skit" about conflict resolution. In the background was a deep blue Ribbon with tiny writing from Italy whose message for Peace was simply "Conflict Resolution".

Marlene and Tom read the Pax Christi Prayer for Peace as the close of the UN day celebration.

On Saturday the City of Lake Havasu sponsors a Global Awareness Day. This year five vehicles with Ribbons attached crossed London Bridge as one of the 83 organizations participating.

In NYC at Saint Bartholomew's, at the UN, and again at the World Trade Center Site Ribbon participants held Ribbons from Lake Havasu. One of these was a piece created by a fire station, another from a police station where Lake Havasu firemen and police personnel made Ribbons to honor victims of 9/11. This year Michelle and friends stood with those two Ribbons (and others) in the silent mediations that brought tears to the eyes of observers.

Michelle Peppers of the NGO Ribbon International has summarized the September 11, 2002 event. Our lives are woven and stitched together in such remarkable ways.

Many of you are attending if not organizing Peace Vigils, Peace Rallies around the Earth. I walk with friend, with daughter, Ann and son-in-law, David to the Federal Building a few blocks away. I hope to be part of the Wednesday Vigils this month as well.

When people cry, "How can you be a pacifist?" citing the German Holocaust and World War II, I pause trying to sort out those terrible days. It seems to me from this distance that if "the good Germans" had worn Star of David armbands as Jews were required to do, the Nazi powers might have been confounded.

When I resigned from my teaching job in December of 1969 over issues of racism, I knew what "good Americans" were doing instead of attending rallies and vigils to protest the insidiousness of our government's policies. It was December. People were buying Christmas and Hanachuh cards, baking fruit cake, and, if they were school teachers, making lesson plans and grading papers for beloved students and denied, if they ever saw, the darkness encroaching.

Have we learned yet that Thanksgiving recipes and reunions, the holiday shopping lists can be temporarily placed on hold? Have we learned that gatherings of humans equally concerned about the fate of the Earth and all her peoples can show a government that we are thinking, caring groups who gather to say, "No preemptive strikes?"

If it rains too hard here in Portland I will not be able to keep the vigils. Will you be able to take my place?

I will be at home embroidering on my piece of Tangible Hope

There is so much pain and loss as part of our lives it is a wonder that anyone can find time to stand in opposition to such war plans. There are tasks that NEED to be done. Not all can come to rallies and vigils. MANY can.

Now I would like to explain why, if any of you has ever noticed, I do not place a period after the last sentence in each of these letters. Each last sentence runs into "with Love."

I close this letter with this sentence praying we find the courage, strength, wisdom and conviction to work for Peace.

with Love,


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