I had to fail a bunch today before stumbling on a piece of wood and hacking at it for a while. Peace is letting go of your expectations, narratives and resentments. Suffering is caused by holding on to attachments & aversions. If you have been holding on for a long time letting go can hurt. But you heal and you grow and you do the work. Great beauty can rise from some dark and ugly places. 48/317
47 days ago I thought it would be a good idea to make a peace sign every day. For a year. How hard could it be? Today I busted out the markers again and drew some peace shades. Peace can be a welcome sight or blinding. What does peace look like? Can you describe it? Do you know it when you see it? Or are you looking through it right now without even realizing it? 47/318
I made today’s peace from a piece of barn board. I thought it was oak at first but it seems more like chestnut now. It’s old and worn. The past informs everything we are. It’s our history, our glory and our shame. When things get hard it’s too easy to idealize the past and long for a time when things seemed simpler. Nothing is as simple as it seems and that idealized past is an illusion. Peace isn’t in the past or the future. It’s right now. 46/319
45 days of peace. Today I used some weights and boxing gloves to make a peace sign how do you react in high conflict situations? Do you turn the other cheek? Or do you retaliate? It isn’t always compassion that keeps you from hauling off and hitting someone. Sometimes it’s a healthy fear of getting punched in the face that prevents us from lashing out in violence and rage. Mutually assured destruction is not a self preservation strategy & is not compatible with peace as I understand it. 45/320
Today I played with pencil, marker & paper again. It’s important to be unapologeticly who you are. It’s also important to accept other people as they are where they are. Even when it’s uncomfortable. We can have sharp disagreements and fierce debates without losing compassion and the truth of our shared humanity. But when your identity depends on my erasure how can we peacefully coexist? 43/322
Today I drew a peace sign in pencil and then outlined it in marker. I used red blue and black to accent and highlight different lines. our differences can divide us but they can also unite us. Together we are stronger. When we contrast and compliment one another we can thrive. We can unite in our common humanity and celebrate our uniqueness. 42/323
Instead of making today’s peace in the workshop I made it above the workshop. Specifically on the roof. We had a foot of snow today. Anytime we get over 6 inches of snow we have to shovel the workshop roof. It’s got a very weak slope. Before I shoveled I walked a peace sign in the snow along the roof line. I had intended to shovel it away, erasing it. But I left it. The sun and wind will erode it. I wonder how long will it last? Will it be gone by morning? Will it fade into the next snowfall? Everything fades but there is peace in impermanence. 40 peaces done 325 to go.
Number 39 is made from walnut. I was thinking about violence and fear today. Fear is a funny thing. So is bravery. We all have fears. Little things that we brush up against and ignore. Big things that we smash into and ignore. Having too much fear is just as debilitating as not having enough. How often do we lash out in fear? Fear can connect us if we let it and it can tear us apart. Courage is more than conquering fear. It starts with acceptance. It’s being afraid and doing the right thing anyway. 39 down 326 to go.