Sometimes the soft and quiet can make an impression so powerful, you just can't quite believe it to be true. It all seems so simple: people making offerings of song and word in order to help others heal; people getting inspired to build something positive together.
The circle that gathered at the Mamaroneck Public Library on January 26, 2014, began with a lighting of a very small candle. We heard many original poems and songs, and some old favorites that forever guide our hearts (Imagine, by John Lennon and Making Peace by Denise Levertov are the two especially meaningful for me).
This Circle of Peace initially gathered in response to the tragic shootings in Newtown at Sandy Hook Elementary School and continues on in response to all the seemingly unending and senseless, needless violence so many humans deal with on a daily basis.
We heard a lot of female voices this day. Voices ranging in age from 8 to 90. There was talk of making a storytelling garden. Talk of hope for the future. Acknowledgment of past pain and recent successes of connection. We heard a lot of music and poetry created and shared.
We all got a chance to be part of something larger--something important. Something very quiet, yet never still.
In the words of a 3rd grader named Jaylen C.:
Listen: there was a poem that could
make soldiers drop their weapons.
It followed them, singing its song,
and the soldiers would get scared
and run away from the poem.
The poem would follow them
until they fell. When they got up,
they would run again, and the poem
would follow them again and again
and again. It was a brave poem.
Most were afraid. But one soldier
stopped to listen to the poem.
He thought that reading a poem
was like exploring a mountain.
He listened to the poem’s sad song
and climbed its powerful words
until he reached the top.
Poems Can Make Soldiers Drop Their Weapons
--reprinted in Teachers & Writers Magazine
--written by Jaylen C.
--read by our elder, Mary Louise Cox,
Poet Laureate of Mamaroneck
Thanks also:* to Leury Pereyra who sang, Imagine
* to Safrah who sang her original jazzy tune, That's Why I'm Single
* to Malena and Elena who are starting the Peace Garden
* to Dorothy Saraceno who read Making Peace by Denise Levertov *
* to Hilde Friderichs for bringing everyone together
* to all the many voices who shared and sang -- there are so many! You are all inspiring to me!
I played the frame drum in accompaniment and would like to write a special thanks remembering the late Layne Redmond who gave us such heartfelt instruction on the framedrum and the importance of bees and the Bee Goddess in our lives. May she rest in peace knowing that her work continues on...
http://youtu.be/DrtK7gkE2Zg (Layne Redmond, frame drum)
(Dorothy Reading Levertov; Monique on Percussion)