CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#020, August 2008
Bring Peace Home
On the 20th of this month, I will be performing my “spoken word” literary art (i.e., poe-a-tree) at an event hosted by the AirDance ArtSpace on Isleta Boulevard just north of Rio Bravo). I will be joined that night by a man named, David Rovics, who is currently performing his music on a nationwide tour. His tour recently got underway in the Pacific Northwest and will eventually take him to our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C., where he will conclude the tour just as our country elects a new leader. Our show together in Albuquerque is called, BRING PEACE HOME, a title I created and which I find to be important on a number of levels.
There are many people who would like to change the world: bring peace to the masses, feed the starving, end poverty, save the trees and planet, or, at the very least, once and for all, fix those nasty bumps on the northbound Rio Bravo entry to I-25. It is all well and good to strive to find your inner Mother Theresa. Equally as great is to seek the dreams of Martin Luther King. And bravo to those who strive to improve our many New Mexico-related problems like DWI, many levels of inequality, spousal and child abuse, educational dysfunction, lack of healthcare, and (whew) the list goes on down the bumpy roads. (However, truth be told, New Mexico was recently ranked #3 in the nation for “high quality” road care.) We are free in New Mexico and all of our United States to run for office, to create a blog, or to use whatever many means we choose (or not) to be heard, to contribute, to make a difference.
Bringing Peace Home can be as simple as relaxing, exhaling, and clearing your mind in your car before you arrive home. It can be simply buying a bag of cookies for your spouse and the kids or extra treats for the felines or canines. It can be a little bit like bringing home an adorable puppy that is ready to be loved with open arms. A peace puppy, if you will. Peace can be a very tangible thing, but it must begin truly with the individual. It must begin at your home, on your own block of the world, in your own backyard. It must begin in the South Valley or wherever you live before it can spread to wherever you do not live. Peace comes dropping into your life as you paint, write, pray, or take a walk. It can fly with the wildlife you see around you, if you take the time to feel it. Peace is a thing that is, for the most part, our natural way of being.
Stress and the urge for more, the need to buy more stuff, the desire to run around all day shopping or complaining or driving while angry -- all that is unnatural. But for many of us that unnatural place of tension is more normal than a relaxed, calm, and loving place of peace. You have to work on it a bit: ask for it and be open to it and then notice when you are at peace. Wherever you are when you notice peace happening around you, nurture it, and then BRING PEACE HOME. Hope to see you at our event on the 20th at the South Valley’s AirDance ArtSpace.
Jeff Hartzer © 2008