Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Peacemaking as liberation

After reflecting over yesterday's post and taking the advice of a good friend who commented, I checked out the Velveteen Rabbi's haggadah. While there are parts I would add, and parts that do not speak to me, this is a good one, one that tells the actual story we are supposed to be remembering, and gives context to the reminders that built up over the centuries, besides giving space for new ones and new ways of looking at the story.

The language is affirmative of the variety of human experience and the opportunities for sharing in the seder. It directly addresses the many ways we may feel ourselves to be in bondage and the ways we may be undertaking our own journeys of liberation. So I wrote a short note to the author to thank her.

In writing that note, I realized that one of the central things that spoke to me from her work was the idea of peacemaking as a journey of liberation. This year has been a year of taking those shaky, hopeful steps for me. And also a year of realizing that even small steps are indeed steps. As I recently wrote in a comment to a post over at Country Contemplative, I can't make the world a peaceful place, but I can make me a peaceful person.

And also, I've been facing down the shackles that kept me from really participating in music. Even if I don't produce beautiful music, singing makes me happy, so I'm singing if only to myself. And I'm learning to play the banjo, having won one in a radio contest. Each new accomplishment becomes a further platform for more to come. And again, whether or not anyone else particularly appreciates hearing me play, I'm happy knowing I can.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said friend... all of my life has been a kind of journey towards liberation. Not in the sense that the body is so much a shackle but we, as people, are all learning how to be a spirit living inside an organic container. (Francis Hole ) I love that image. And it's not a bad thing to be so defined. For example: Sometimes poetry needs a page, a defining element on which to be written, for it ever to take shape with words. (Uh,oh. I think I need to go back and add a paragraph to my post which is in the drafts folder...later girl.)

4/05/2007 10:40 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

I remember many years ago, my grandfather and my aunt passed away in the same summer. While his death had been long and drawn out, hers was a tragic accident that took her from us in an instant. I had no words to speak for a long time after her funeral, until one afternoon I was at a friend's house and she had those little magnetic words all over her fridge. Suddenly, as I looked at them, they became the tools I needed to express what was constricting my heart, and I covered much of the available space with careful arrangements of the words, pouring my heartache into them. (Luckily, I have very understanding friends.) And that freed me enough to begin writing again. But until my choice of words was drastically limited, there were too many trying to express themselves.

4/05/2007 10:51 AM  

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