Gem Fire Air Happy New Year 2007! Sentinel For Peace
January 1, 2007
Here in Santa Fe we are starting off the New Year with a 25-inch blanket of snow that, according to natives, is a record accumulation for the city. The Santa Fe and Albuquerque airports are closed all week-end until New Year’s Day and the city’s three road crews have worked round the clock to clear the roads and streets. So far our street has one swipe of a plow through it, and since the snow has now stopped, I’m hoping for another one soon.
Since Wednesday, we have been shoveling out the driveway and walkways three times a day as the snow continued to accumulate. By now there is a five-foot bank of snow against the driveway wall, which diminishes the drive from a two-car to a one-car width, and all the flowerbeds have six foot piles on them. Great for spring flowers and fruit trees!
As with storms like this, there is a mixture of experiences. Fortunately for us and unlike a few other places, we have had steady electric power. While the adults shoveled, the children played, and neighbors assured everyone has had enough food and supplies.
There are photos in the gallery and at my Flickr photo site, of children playing and snow scenes from the neighborhood. Later today and tomorrow, I will walk out to other parts of town to snap a few more scenes and continue to post them. As I am posting this, the Photo Gallery seems to have a temporary glitch, so to view GemFireAir’s Complete PhotoStream, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/gemfireair/
This storm is like a soothing balm to Santa Feans and New Mexicans in general. We have been living in a drought area for about seven years with severe restrictions on water usage. Not that these practices will end, however, there is a sigh of relief for the Earth and the elements in the area. The Earth’s thirst is being quenched, and the comfort of it can be felt as we go about our daily lives. A strain on the region has been lifted and we are very grateful.
So it is with a sense of renewal that we wish you all a New Year where it is possible to have hope for a future of Peace, where there is the opportunity for everyone to find housing that is comforting to live in, to be adequately supported financially, and for this curse of hunger thoughout the World to end.
Do you remember a time when something—a familiar subject or object that occupies a great deal of your time and is representative of your life—suddenly and without precognition, changes and shifts into something entirely different—so different that it also changes your life?
Such a thing happened to me when my son was ten years old and I will forever remember the moment that I suddenly saw the picture of myself smoking a cigarette, and being horrified by the image I presented. I was so thoroughly disgusted that I quit on the spot!
Another such peak moment happened about eight years ago on a return home after a three-month silent meditation retreat. In my attempt to walk right back into the routine I had left, I did all the usual things a person does to reacquaint myself to home, like stocking the refrigerator, adjusting the thermostats, and methodically going through each room to make sure everything was in good order.
And as I began making dinner, I also turned on the TV for the evening news that I had been away from for three months, and got the surprise of my life. I was accorded a view, similar to a life review as I listened to the news. I heard the same news I that I had heard before I left, the same stories told by the same people, like a stock script designed with fill-in names, time, dates and place changes.
The realization struck me hard—that a period of three months had passed, and we—as in humanity—had not progressed any differently from the existence of what we lived in before I had left. The human race was still killing each other and corrupted leaders were still feeding off the general population with their lying, stealing, cheating, and in general pulling the wool over the eyes of the country and the world.
That was not news to me, but the revelation I experienced is that, I was still listening as if it was news!
It was a dividing line for me, and from that moment, although I already monitored the types of TV programs I watched, I cut the news as a regular viewing program. If you are a regular reader of this site, you will know that I do pay attention to what goes on in the World. I just gather my news more critically from selected sources. This does not mean I shut myself off from what most people would call the “Real World.”
What I found is that there are also ‘other’ Real Worlds to participate with, such as the world of Subtle Energy that I wrote a bit about last month. There is no hard and fast, or a one and only Real World. Of course if I had never ventured out of the ‘one’ Real World, I would never have discovered this to be true!
For what it is worth, I am ever so grateful for discovering that there are parallel Real Worlds not only for us to experience, but to learn how to move back and forth and between as we choose. It is in the brittle belief of there being only one reality that presents a danger of a belief being shattered. On the other hand, a more flexible understanding that there are always alternatives to seek out, will carry a person into the future with less resistance and more ease.
And just so, during this past month, as 2006 has promised to close, I pondered both about myself and GFA, and how to carry on in such World circumstances that seem bleak and ever more violent. In so doing, I came to a flash of insight which showed me that the kind of reporting and commentary I have been engaged in will shift in 2007 toward a resolute stance for Peace.
This translates to actively promoting Peace in all forms. Although Peace is readily available, just like that understanding I had about the news being a stock script, I think that Peace is not something that happens to us, but rather something that needs our cooperation, our examination, and our participation.
Despite my predispositions about Peace, I set no distinct or measurable goals. I decide nothing in advance to indicate that I know what Peace is, how it sounds or looks, or even that it is preferable to what the Real World presently experiences.
Admittedly, I do have some opinions about it! I will endeavor to set these opinions aside.
I will not suggest that Peace is something definite to strive for or to think that we can even establish the existence of. Perhaps Peace is already established and it is simply we who have not found it!
So in effect, I am declaring the year 2007 to be an Exploration For Peace, a mission and quest to explore the worlds for evidence of Peace. I shall be looking in many areas to discover it in all its forms.
I will not do so in a sterile laboratory, but will seek it out in all places, from the lightest to the darkest corners of all forms of existence which I dare encounter.
It is with this in mind that I commit the work of GemFireAir and myself in the time and world of 2007. Since I consider this also a collective endeavor, if any of you would like to add your thoughts or findings on this subject, send me an e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
To begin this project, I am working to choose a simple act to do once a day that will stand as the Peace Pole in the featured photo “Sentinel For Peace" found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gemfireair/339361371/. When I used to visit the artist and owner in residence at this place, and as I passed by it, I was always reminded of the principle it stood for.
Around the world, there are many versions of the Universal Peace Pole. This one is located in the Baca of the San Luis Valley of Colorado, where the Spirit of Peace is embraced by an entire community.
It is customary to inscribe “May peace prevail on Earth” in many different languages onto the pole. Here the source of inspiration displays various colored enamels of the local artist to convey the message.
In the background are the 14,000-foot cloud-enshrouded peaks of the Sangre de Christo Mountains complemented by the glorious splendor of Nature the day after a winter storm.
At www.GemFireAir.com, we are committing the year 2007 to the Exploration of Peace.
“May Peace Prevail Within Each and Every One of Us”