Friday, July 10, 2009

Blogger Meet-up, Awards, Protest, Inspiration--this post has it all!

When I began blogging here at Border Explorer, I met so many wonderful people. I especially remember the moment I discovered Carol, of A Peace Carol (although at that time she was blogging on a different site). I identified with her immediately because of her activism. She'd participated in Camp Casey in Texas, Cindys Sheehan's attempt to engage George W Bush in dialogue on Iraq. She had stood with Women in Black locally for years.

We struck up a blogging friendship. With my stepson and 2 grandchildren living in the next town over from Carol, I harbored a secret hope that one day I'd be able to meet her. My opportunity arrived last month, when in a best-case scenario, I was able to meet her at the Women in Black gathering (!) and stand in solidarity with that committed band.

I stand for peace weekly in El Paso, but this was something different, and I felt it. The black. The silence. In my mind I was standing for all the women who mourn in this war-torn world. Mr. Carol for Peace stopped by to take some photos, and I can see now that my emotions were evident on my face:

Not the smiling, happy, joyful, peace-filled presence I try to embody in El Paso. The hour was profound for me: a somewhat grim hour of being present to those who mourn due to wars we cause in lands far away. But I'm sure it means something different to everyone who participates as well as to everyone who observes it.

We spent the rest of the afternoon together at the home of Carol and her husband. It was amazing. We chatted as though we had known each other all our lives with mutual interests galore. It happened to be our birthday weekend--for both of us!--and we each felt like our time together was a gift. Carol delivered me to the wedding I was in town to attend. I felt like a visiting dignitary, she and her husband were so good to me.

Our conversation turned to the spirituality of peacemaking. It was providential for me, who perhaps tends to move too quickly into action and neglect the meditative underpinnings that maintain a peaceful presence in the world. This was all so meaningful and has stayed with me in the ensuing weeks.

I want to pass to Carol this award I received from Utah Savage. It means a lot to me: a sisterhood award. The relationships we form here are so real. So authentic. We put our hearts and souls on our blogs. Some people denigrade "virtual relationships" as inauthentic. They are wrong. Pure and simple. I am so happy that my family has expanded through the relationships I've made here. Carol, you're my sister across the miles, and I love you. Give your sweetie my best regards and thanks, too.

We shared favorite movies, books and authors that afternoon. I want to close with the words of one we discussed:

The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.

Terry Tempest Williams
from Talking to God: Portrait of a World at Prayer (anthology)

The time I spent with you was unforgettably holy time. Thanks so much, Carol!


Jan said...


Maithri said...

You are the light my friend,

Thank you for all that you are and do for our world in need,

With love, M

Carol said...


You created a beautiful post of our time together, B.E.

Remembering the moments, remembering that beautiful quote - I've gotten all teary!

Thank you for the sweet award. I'm so glad that I got to spend some time with you, getting to know - in person - your strength, your presence, your peaceful ways, your essence.

Thank you for making the effort to come stand with me and spend time with me. When you are visiting your grandkids again, I would be happy to drive there to spend a few moments with you.


Libby said...

Wow, sounds like a moving experience. Thanks for sharing that!

okjimm said...

Awww, good stuff, kiddo!

I hope you guys had beer& cheese and not just that peace-nik tea& cookies stuff!

'n' a happy birthday to you both, too!

mmlindsey said...

Right on! This is one of the most encouraging posts, from any blog, that I have read in some time. Simply powerful. Deeply moving.

So looking forward to standing with you again on the border.

Fran said...

Sounds like a nice gathering - in solidarity. Loved the part about pouring our hearts & souls into blogs.
Sweet to actually meet folks in the real world (as opposed to the cyber world.

The internets are magical!!!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

It sounds as if you and Carol had a grand time together!

claire bangasser said...

Beautiful! Thank you, Billy.
I love your quote and will keep it.