Monday, November 27, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


the counter glimmers and shines in the light of the new day;
waking not different day before
...all gone
air moist with breath ... eyes focus on the fabric
mind runs with speed and everything is clear... Attention and rise, know relax
... stretching body releasing days gone... wanting...
head spin...fear.........familiar....know relax

hear...wait, wait., wait..,wait...,wait.........................................................Yes
speed, lightning moves
up...down...the sky moves, its texture surrounds...then gone
.........wait., wait.., wait...,wait....kneel...extend...breath, breath
.........wait., wait.., wait...,

the counter glimmers and shines in the light of the new day, the glint of hope
__________________sits on the glimmer______________________

duty done....learn and reward...........................wait, wait., wait..,wait...,wait

"good dog"

glint of hope....rises off the glimmer....into the deep abyss.....gone........
no different...........

today is done...............tomorrow..........


Sunday, November 19, 2006


most of you know of my former travels in the middle east and its continued importance in my thoughts and such...therefore probably wouldn't be surprising that a few days ago I was interested to hear a story on democracy now about israeli soldiers who have now began to travel and speak candidly about the system of occupation the israeli army has applied...these soldiers have formed a group called "breaking the silence" who is giving speaches and posting writing and other information on their is quite powerful to hear their stories and perspectives from personal experience....

Friday, November 17, 2006


so i mentioned in one of the entries about eyes wide open (which you should really check out the video and things on the website...extremely powerful)...i am in the process of editing and producing a journal of sorts documenting stories, quotes, and experiences from the eyes wide open exhibit that went around pennsylvania in is one of the introductory paragraphs for the story collection and then one of the stories from Bloomsburg PA which struck me as poignent...

October turned out to be quite a sobering and challenging month to exhibit Eyes Wide Open around the state. Not only did we lose 104 US soldiers (the 4th highest monthly loss since the war began), 6 from Pennsylvania, but we were all aghast when the most recent British report was published citing the total number of Iraqi deaths to be as high as 600,000. It seemed that each time we changed location our trailer carrying the boots got a little more tightly packed.

My brother served in Vietnam. He saw so much killing and was forced to be apart of the atrocities. One day he was ordered by his commanding officer to kill a woman and her children. After the sixth or seventh order he turned to his commanding officer and handed him his gun and said “I can't do this anymore”. He returned home and was so broken up he was placed in a mental hospital where he is to this day. When he dies I will make damn sure he is buried with full military honors. I am so glad you are doing this, paying respect to the soldiers...because nobody did that for the soldiers who fought in Vietnam.

_of people_ ::visions of summer::

Thursday, November 16, 2006

what is the answer?

what is non-violence. as i had written before, this question is being debated in the peace movement here. is it consistent with non-violence to destroy property as long as no living things are injured in the process. i guess i have had mixed feelings when it comes to that particular question and every person i talk to has come out at a different spot. most of the "traditional" activists, who are also in general the older generations, all have pointed out that it isn't the property destruction but the fact that the action was not planned out and carefully targeted. citing instances like philip and daniel berrigan's destruction of 100's of draft records as a justifiable destruction of property. my own opinion is that this is just really a dodge of the real issue. i think that people want to glorify the activities that they deem acceptable...the berrigan's etc, but find a line and then draw it but that line is often fuzzy. for me i find that when looking at activism the use of these more "radical" tactics seem to be a hindrance to the overall cause. as a group begins to use those tactics they lose the ability to connect with a large majority of the people they are trying to reach and the other side is able to demonize them...thus taking the observers attention away from the actual goal and focusing it upon useless trivial acts. the problem becomes that the activist community seems to be at a point of self-examination. the more passive approaches seem to play right into the institutions hand and doesn't seem to be working. how as concerned citizens can we make a real difference and create major changes where they need to happen? how can we show people that a democratic political victory is actually not really a victory at all when we still have only two parties to vote for and neither represents our views? at this point i am content to continue to observe and soak up as much knowledge and understanding as i can and maybe someday i can better make statements to support or challenge the systems that control our lives.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

on non-violence and peace

today was another very full day filled with more editing at work, a fabulous dinner at khalil's II, a wonderfully authentic middle eastern restaurant where i could fill my stomach with humous, olives, feta cheese, rice, and of course lamb. After dinner the thomas merton center was screening a film entitled "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" which was extremely enlightening about the issues surrounding the privitization of war (not only logistics but everything up to fifty percent of the interrogators at abu ghraib were private) with companies like halliburton, titan, c.a.c.i, and many others. it stands to reason that with private companies the control of such sensitive subjects as intelligence and interrogation would be lost. as well it seems like a conflict of interest; in my opinion the close ties between the heads of these contracting companies and the supposed leaders of our country would cause a conflict of interest to doing what is best for our country and our soldiers and that is ending the war. instead the companies don't want to forfeit their multi-billion dollar contracts and of course our country doesn't want to upset corporate america.

another topic which has been of increasing interest involves the greater peace community in the city of pittsburgh. i am, first of all extremely impressed by how active and tightly knit their peace community is. i have already been involved in nearly a half dozen meetings, dinners, or other activities and it has only been a week here. but what has been making me think is an ongoing conversation which has arisen among the community concerning social change and the justified means to getting there, as well as what does it mean to be "non-violent". a few months ago at a protest, from what i understand, in the moment some activists threw a rock through a store window to send a message about the inclusion of corporate america into the protest. i guess not too much was said publicly at that time but i think that the discussion was started with personal conversation. this led a lady by the name of dei'anna colgiuri to write an article in the "New People" thomas merton activist publications september issue (if you access the link earlier in the sentence you can find her article in the september issue on page 22). her article supporting and defending the use of property damage sparked a rebuttal from four other peace movement individuals whose statements then caused another to again respond to their comments (october issue page 21 and 22 as well as november issue page 18 respectively). needless to say i have read the articles as well as other background information and i am intrigued. i am trying to start and hopefully soon finish some writing about my thoughts in connection to this will post expediently there after.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

_life of pitt_

trial by fire

the last week since i have moved to the city of pittsburgh to be in the PULSE program and life has been extremely busy but has offered a time of intense thought. i moved into a house of six others and began to live as an intentional community. sharing food, expenses, and ideas in an effort to ask questions about our lives as urban, national, and global citizens. i have already been challenged in many ways to question how i have previously lived my life and how i see my life for the future. specifically i have been greatly challenged by the job which i have undertaken. working for the afsc or american friends service committee organization which under the direction of ( has thrown me into the middle of an extremely active peace community as well as into the middle of a movement within the pittsburgh branch of the quakerscilla wahrhaftig is striving to make a difference in the local area, the state, and country. it is amazing the amount of different areas i have already gotten my hands into. as an organization i have been working with multiple projects including starting petitions to meet with senator elect casey to push the anti-war stance, promoting and recording the existing project "eyes wide open" which brings to light the incredible toll the war in iraq has taken on the lives of all involved. i will try to give more information on ways to get involved or on specific projects which the afsc and other organizations are starting, and if you have any questions on what i am doing please send an email ( the website for the pittsburgh branch of afsc where you can see specific projects i am working with is here... afsc pittburgh

in addition to the specific projects i have been working with scilla and afsc pittsburgh has vaulted me into the middle of the pittsburgh peace community. already the second night i was here i was able to attend a banquet hosted by the thomas merton center which brought together nearly 600 of the local peace movement activists to celebrate the giving of the annual thomas merton award. i was more than privelaged to be able to be present and listen to a spectacular speech by angela davis who is and was active in the field of social justice and equality and spoke with extreme vigor and conviction when critiquing not only the blatant forms of injustice but even more so critiquing the newer form of injustice that attempts to mask itself as equality. in addition to her speech she was eloquently introduced by mumia abu jamal speaking on recording from prison. the entire night was an incredible learning experience for me and a great start to my experience in the peace communities in pittsburgh.