I definitely overdid it yesterday. Today, my intention is to be brief and then to attend to self-care. We'll see how that works out. 🙂
Part of yesterday's over-doing it was to participate in a Peacemaking Circle*. The circle was called to interrupt the normal punitive process for a youth who committed "Rob 1." Rob 1 is:
This youth, we'll call him John, is 14 years old. His deadly weapon of choice was a knife. His parents came here from Mexico while he stayed in Mexico with family for a while. They are hard-working (10-12 hours daily) parents. When they could afford it, they sent for John. John was smuggled into the country to be with his family.
What actually happened was, since it is so difficult to make-it in Seattle, both parents work all the time and John was mostly alone.
If we don't find an alternative to the normal punitive process, John will be convicted of Rob 1 (2.5 years in detention) and he will be deported. Nobody wants that.
We are doing this as the second case for a referral to the Peacemaking Circle team. This is a quiet revolution happening within juvenile detention.
Last night, we sat in circle. Members of the community, John, and John's parents. The important thing that happened is that we shared our stories with each other. That was the primary purpose. Share stories and establish trust and relationship. John felt secure enough to be able to tell us exactly what happened with regard to the Rob 1. That was an amazing step. He didn't blame others. He didn't side-step the facts. He just went for it. Bravo!
We will be having another Peacemaking Circle soon for the next step in the process. I can't wait to see how this will all turn out! Woohoo!
Right now, the things we need are:
- More support from the West Seattle community (community members willing to step into the process)
- Spanish speaking help
- Space (churches or community centers willing to give us their spaces)
- Connections to education
- Connections to jobs
- Connections to any other resource you can think of that would help a family!
- Support in the form of prayer, positive thoughts, energy - whatever you do, do it!
PS: I like to appreciate businesses that step up and help, so I'm adding a thank you today to Nordstrom's. They are donating much needed hangers to our Youth Clothing Bank. Woot! Send love to @nordstrom.
PS2: The Peacemaking Circle process comes to us as taught by Saroeum Phoung who was taught by the Tingum and Tlingit First Nation Peoples of the Yukon territories.
This week's practice brings a song from Soyinka Rahim that she used in detention when she visited us, a reading from Black Elk, wisdom from Albert Einstein, and a photo from me. Along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition. And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out). Our prayers for this week focus on Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia.
Reminder: the Synchroblog event, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, will be occurring on September 24 at The Bardo Group Beguines. Along with live events and a Peacemakers for Change event in Tukwila, WA. Put it on your calendars! The coordination & communication hub is on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/100TPCHub/.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--hum
I Decided by Soyinka Rahim
You have noticed that everything an Indian does in a circle,
and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles,
and everything tries to be round.
In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop
of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people
flourished. The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop,
and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace
and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain and the north
with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. This
knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.
Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle.
The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball
and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon
does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great
circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is
in everything where power moves. Our teepees were round like the
nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop,
a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.
Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux 1863-1950
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up.
Focus countries: Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for
- The wondrous diversity of creation and those who seek to be good stewards.
- Aboriginal and Maori cultures and those who try to preserve the best of them.
- Gum trees and kangaroos, wallabies and kiwi fruit, Aoraki/Mt Cook and Uluru/Ayers Rock.
- Coral reefs and the wonders of life they contain.
- Societies becoming multicultural and learning to be more open to those who are different.
- Lively debate and political wit.
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for
- The rights and lives of Aboriginal peoples, who have lived in Australia for thousands of years.
- The rights of Maori people, who were the original inhabitants of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
- An end to discrimination against refugees and migrants seeking a better, safer life.
- Those who oppose violence and war.
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.