Weekly Photo Challenge: Split Second Story of Craft, Sorrow, and Healing 1

A_Stitch_In_Time

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a tribute to lives loss during a troubling time in our nation’s response to a health crisis. It also is an amazing tribute to the craft of quilting.

A 2012 trip to Washington, D.C. coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the quilt and with the thirty years of life with AIDS. I had wanted to see the quilt since I first heard about it in the late 1980s.

No, I do not directly know anyone with AIDS, but I was still a hospital nurse when the crisis started in the early 1980s. I still remember the first young man who died from it on my floor. I remember the fear some health care workers had when they had to care for him.

I am sad to also report that I remember a comment made by a respiratory therapist that the disease was God’s punishment. I responded that I don’t believe anyone deserves to die that way. Anyone dying a horrible death deserves compassion and kindness; not judgment. And, back then it really was a horrible way to die and there was little that helped. The medications are better now, but there is still no cure.

Yet, despite the sad reason for its creation, the quilt is beautiful and a joy to behold. I hope it helps those who experienced loss due to this illness to heal. I’m glad I finally had a chance to see it.

This post is inspired by The Daily Post weekly Photo Challenge where Shane Francescut asked us to capture an image that tells a full story in a single frame. I can’t think of anything that tells a full story better than this quilt. Can you?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned 2

We all get caught up in our lives and forget there are so many who have worse problems than we do, so today I am grateful that I had parents who supported me, and I salute children in foster care who have so many obstacles to overcome. May the world become a kinder place for them and may their families heal from whatever destroyed them. Bless everyone who helps them with this goal.

This post is inspired by the WordPress weekly photo challenge:

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that shows us abandoned.

– Cheri

Dreaming Big for December Peace Challenge: Celebrating a World United By Love 8

After last month’s challenge of loving thy enemy, Kozo wants to give you a party.  

So this month’s challenge is to plan a party that will ripple peace to the world. Use everything in your imagination for this peace party. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can hold your party anywhere. Where would you host your peace party? How many people would be at the party?
  • You can invite any guest you want from the past, present, or future. Who will play music at the party? Who will contribute artwork for the party? Who will give speeches?
  • What food can you serve that would bring peace in its consumption?
  • What about a group activity at your party? Would you have everyone at the party participate in one action for peace?
  • Feel free to use images, videos, or music in your post to give others the idea of what your party would be like.
  • What combination of events, people, and place would bring about the most peace at your party? What if you had Bob Dylan perform a duet with Ysuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)? What if you had a panel on compassion featuring Jesus, the Buddha, Muhammad, and Mother Teresa? Let your imagination run wild for peace.
  • What would you have at your party that would bring more joy, smiles, love, and peace into the world?

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. — Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s life inspired many including me, so I dedicate this fictional post to his memory and the memory of everyone who has used peaceful means to change the world in a positive direction. I’m also taking creative liberties here and writing about a party after peace is a fact instead of a party to create peace. After all, if you’re going to dream, why not dream big?

Finally the world is at peace. Abusers and abused have all let go of their anger and replaced it with true forgiveness. All children now experience unconditional love and nurturing from the moment of conception allowing them to spread the love and nurturing to everyone they encounter. Religious, ethnic, and economic intolerance have vanished as people now see hearts and souls not just outer trimmings.

It’s time for a virtual world party. Everyone’s invited. Those who do not have Internet can go to public forums in their neighborhoods. Many are also holding mini-gatherings. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, and many other world leaders will address the world via a live broadcast. It’s a two-day holiday, a time for everyone to express their gratitude for a peaceful way of life.

We’re having close friends and family over, but we will also be connecting virtually with those who previously let us down and even with those who previously wounded us. It is time to celebrate change and the rebirth of kindness. We’ll be steaming the live performances of all of the wonderful parties that are taking place live in Sydney, Los Angeles, London, Kabul, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Beijing, Prague, Kuala Lumpur, etc.

Some famous musical artists are even performing new songs they wrote for the events. One of these is a song written and performed by Zhou Bichang of China, and Taylor Swift of America. Yo-Yo Ma will be performing with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in Pyongyang, North Korea. Five years ago who would have thought this was possible?

Every city is serving ethnic foods that represents other parts of the world and many are serving dishes that represent sticking together like Japanese mochi and Cantonese gau (aka nian gao). The world plans to stick together for good this time.

And when the celebrations end, world leaders will continue organizing their communities to address global environmental issues. Most of the huge power companies have already switched to cleaner energy sources. Humanity is finally working together to heal all aspects of the world.

Monthly Peace Challenge: I Have a Dream (I Really Do) 13

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and so do I.
The above is from a post I wrote in December of 2010.

The above is from a post I wrote in December of 2010.

Martin Luther King, Jr. MemorialAugust twenty-eighth was the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This speech is the inspiration for this month’s peace challenge by Kozo at Everyday Gurus. Here are his instructions:

It has been a little over 50 years since Martin Luther King gave his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. One of my favorite parts of this speech was when Dr. King visualized what his dreams for America would look like:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Let’s visualize what a peaceful world will look like. For this month’s peace challenge, I challenge you to publish what your dream of peace looks like.

If you need additional ideas to get you started please click on Kozo’s highlighted link above to go to his site for prompts.