Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Dona Nobis Pacem 2015 ~The Power of Love

When Mimi declared this year's blogblast theme of Peace and the Power of love... my mind went blank. So many famous people have written or spoken on this topic. was there really anything new I could say? I couldn't think of anything to write, but then someone sent me this quote:
“Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.”
Mesa was Bosnian-Serbian. His most famous book, Death and the Dervish, is based on his failed attempt to save his brother from execution during WWII. His book deals with the cruelty and injustice of war, which makes his quote on love all the more poignant.

Mesa was right - love never hurts or harms; only the lack of love can do that. And that includes self-love, because if you cannot love and respect yourself you will never be able to show it to others. Statistics show that humans are becoming less violent. 

But there's still a lot to be done. 

Statistics also show that children from peaceful loving homes are far less likely to become involved in violence. We teach our children by our actions, not by our words. 

To put it plain and simple:

We create our future society based on the way we raise our children.

And that means ALL children. 

This is the greatest challenge humanity faces, as our planet hurtles towards and unknown and seemingly unsettled future. We need to teach our world's children how to be peaceful; how to love themselves and others. 

Never be afraid to love. It is the greatest gift you have to share. It knows no boundaries of species, space or time.
When everything else fails... love remains.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Blog4Peace - Who is Your Person?

Warning: this post carries triggers for anyone with PTSD. 

Queen Mimi has asked a challenging question...

Within the span of one's life there are those who walk the path with us - guiding, teaching, holding our hands. They shape our destinies with unconditional love. My Papa was that person for me. Who is your person?
I don't think I could ever pick one single person as "the one" who shaped my life, I have been blessed with so many good people.

But I do know who I think of when I think of peace. I do know who made me choose pacifism. He's the person I want to talk about today, but this is not an easy story to write.

This is my great uncle Cecil.  

He was a good husband and dad. He was an RRAF pilot (Rhodesian Royal Air Force) during WWII. He was funny, kind, naughty and a great teacher. He taught me to play pool like a hustler. :D

This photo was taken when he and his wife stopped by to say hi on their way from Zimbabwe to Cape Town.

They fled Zimbabwe with that car and caravan. Everything they possessed was in that caravan. Uncle Cecil had built his home on land that became the centre of much of the Rhodesian Bush War action. His wife, Aunty Veronica, was taken hostage once by terrorists/guerrillas in her kitchen. She fed them breakfast, gave them the keys to Uncle Cecil's wine cellar (he made his own liqueurs) and then she managed to radio for help while they got drunk.

That caravan was full of holes from the bullets of the battle that took place in her back yard that day. Uncle Cecil and Aunty Veronica lost their home and furniture, but they never lost their sense of humour. They told their war stories in ways that made you laugh till you cried. Like how their double bed was confiscated off that car roof at the border by an over-zealous official who said it was "too new to leave the country."

They started over again in South Africa with nothing and did so with love and laughter. They took on jobs at an age when most folk are retiring, working at a home for the mentally disabled.    They became "mom and dad" there and loved their work. They finally managed to get a little home, thanks to the help of other family, and they could relax at last.  

Then one morning in the 1990s, Aunty Veronica was leaving early when a group of young men stopped her at the gate. They were looking for work. She told them there was no work, but if they went to the house her husband would make them all breakfast, because that was the kind of open loving people they were. 

She went off for the day... 
and returned home to find her husband dead in their bedroom.

The young men had tied him to a chair, tortured him using tools from his toolbox (a screwdriver and a hammer) then they'd killed him. All they took from the house was a charity tin full of coins.  

When family phoned and told my dad I remember just crouching down and HOWLING. I've had bad phone calls since then, but that is the only one that made me weep like that. 

I'm crying now. 

They did eventually catch the young men, but this was at a time when South Africa was offering amnesty to anyone arrested for crimes that might relate to apartheid or the fight for freedom. The young men were set free with the amnesty.

Were they political freedom fighters or cruel young thugs? Does it matter? No one deserves to die like that. No one. Especially not a sweet-naughty charming old man who was only inviting in some young men to offer them a home-cooked meal.

You pick up a weapon for any other reason than protection and you are as bad as your oppressor. Violence cannot be the answer to violence. And that includes revenge. It will always ripple out and do more harm. And so the child of an abuser becomes abusive and the generation born into war grow to think of that as normal and continue lifestyles of destruction and hate. Nothing changes unless we actively create change.

No matter what the personal cost someone has to say, "It stops here."

It stops here, with me.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Official Site of Blog4Peace: Announcing BlogBlast 4 Peace (aka Blog4Peace) Nov ...

It's time!! :D Marvelous Queen Mimi has announced the theme for Bog4Peace 2015...
The Official Site of Blog4Peace: Announcing BlogBlast 4 Peace (aka Blog4Peace)
Good afternoon, Peace Bloggers. 
It's that wonderful time of year again! Less than 60 days  ...

 This year's theme is..... Peace and The Power of Love.
This year's theme is..... Peace and The Power of Love.  - See more at:
This year's theme is..... Peace and The Power of Love.  - See more at:

We no longer have time to throw around useless mantras in the world. Our lives on this planet depend on the loving relationships we make with ourselves, our families, and our neighbors. Look at the world as it is today. Do we need a bigger and brighter idea?
We need love.

So, this year I ask that you examine the way you interact with the people around you. Is it loving? Is it peaceful? Is it quiet? Is it meaningful? Is it for their good and yours? Does it serve the world? Are you happy and fulfilled in the circle where you abide? If not, what can you do or say to make it better?

Love is a force field. It is all the weapon, all the power, and all the remedy we need.
Peace is a natural consequence of unconditional love. I crave it in my life. I feel the pull of humanity at this crucial time in history and know that you do too. Let's make a big ole' pile of peace and love. November 4th is the day.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A New View of Skye

Several years ago, we went to Skye for the day. I'd completely forgotten about it until recently. My friend, Amel, reminded me. She was talking about her trip to London. You should go look at her photos. they're great! She even took photos of some really fancy public toilets. That made me laugh, because I've been known to take photos of public toilets as well! :D

And that's when I remembered the toilet in Skye. This was at a little place, where you stopped before going across the bridge that links Skye to the mainland. It was completely decorated with posters, postcards, toys and ornaments. I've never seen anything like it!

Here's the photos... 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Been a While

It's been a while since I felt like blogging. I think everyone reaches that stage, where the ideas just dry up or you're too busy to remember to write. For me, it's been a bit of both. And then there's the sad fact that blogging seems to be a dying thing. More people are moving to the fast and snappy media, like Twitter. 

At first, I felt really sad about that, but then I thought about how each stage of my internet experiences have brought me new friends and knew chances to grow and learn. I "arrived" online at the moment when internet forums were the hottest new thing. I met and made wonderful friends that way and I was heart-broken when most of the forums I loved turned into ghost towns or were shut down. But then, at that time, I was just beginning to blog. And in blogging I met new wonderful people and madesome fantastic friendships.

So... as much as it will hurt my heart of blogging dies out completely, I know there will be new things to learn from and new people to meet. All part of life's journey. :-)

Friday, 1 May 2015

My First Selfie

I took my first selfie this week. Yeah, I know - I'm a late bloomer! 

I think many photographers fall into that trap of being more interested in what is around them. I love nature, I find human faces awesome (wish I was a portrait artist/photographer), but with all that looking outwards I tend to forget my eyes are in a face as well. LOL LOL 

Drum roll moment... here I am.  Taken on the spur of the moment, so excuse the crazy angle.