Friday, August 20, 2010

Campfire Conversations – Day 1

In the heat of present controversy on all things Muslim.
From Anastasia who is, among other things, an American Jew.

If we are to seriously set our intentions on heading toward the peak of the Mountain Of Awe – metaphorically or in real time -- there are a few things I need from you – whoever you are. Without them I’m not going, at least not with you up close - and/or, perhaps, not without other parties - to help us through to the elegance.

I know it's there, the elegance, but maybe we cannot get beyond an introductory level; an arm’s length engagement, without a little help from our friends. I’ve grown weary of the effort of simply talking about building “zones of peace,” small or large. I want to live the peace and get on with the climb.

Personal integrity – accountability -- is the issue along with caring and compassion. Why would I bother to travel with you, or even talk with you – except at arm’s length, if I cannot trust these in you?

But I want to go. I want to go with you. I want to go with everyone. I know what it’s like to reach awe and achieve that with others.

Not I know about it. I know it! 

I know what it’s ike to build, live and thrive in a “zone of peace.” I grew up with it as a child. ("The Middle East Crisis In Our Backyard," Frederick News Post, June 14, 2008.) I co-created it in the New Horizons therapeutic community programs for a period of close to twenty-five years. I’ve experienced it elsewhere, albeit in ways that, ultimately, fell short.
Awe flows in naturally when you do the work of crossing any significant part of the great divide separating one human from another, even briefly. Then it falls away again, but we can get up and climb, heading once more for that same peak on the Mountain of Awe.

In the heat of today’s controversy over the Ground Zero mosque, will someone – anyone – please reassure me that you are intent on heading for the same peak as I am? And be sure to include your reassurance that, no matter what, you will not give up on conversation in the long haul, even if many breaks in dialogue occur on the way.

There is no other way if we are to survive than get beyond the conversation and move forward on the climb. Please assure me that you will “walk your talk,” as long as we do it fairly, person by person, one at a time, until the few are the many. If that doesn’t work, what then?

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