Peace is a Leaf Sent round the World

Peace is muscular and requires postage. Without facts, messages of peace are gauzy and limp and when espoused without action, they might as well serve as tombs to defeat. But peace upheld by informed citizenry and expressed by those willing to place their hearts in the hands of the world, shines and leads. Sinewy and generous, that kind of peace has the capacity to inspire and uplift us, even now when so much else sends us in the other, darker direction.

Liz Ackert of Texas is teaching me these things. One time contributor to the Hearts for Charleston Quilt, creator of the Peace Pin Project and now, the conduit for Peace Objects Extraordinaire, her work to advance world-wide peace is robust and by the way, lovely. Both conduit and creator, she is keeping her friends around the world focused on “Yes” — no easy task.

This beautiful leaf was crafted in Australia by Barry Smith. You can read more about him and it on Liz’s blog, Mo’s blog and at the artist’s blog.

Liz sent one of these leaves to each of the Hearts for Charleston quilters, reconnecting us in a kind of devotional and aspirational network. It feels good to revive that group specifically. It feels good to be connected, generally. And, as with the Peace Pin project, it feels good to be warmed by Liz’s shining example of what I’ll call ‘aesthetic activism’.
When I think about Naomi Klein’s wise thesis that it is not enough to resist anymore, I’m often stymied. Saying NO takes so much energy! There seems to be more and more to say NO to! Where is the way out or forward and where’s the energy to go there? To define and uphold YES?

Liz reminds me that positivism can begin at home. She reminds me that it can be launched with a simple idea, a sheaf of stamps, and a gift-giving impulse. The way her gestures resonate literally around the globe is testament to the nature of love, to the artistry possible while envisioning a better future, and to the power of connection.

And of course, getting gifts in the mail is nice!

The leaf came wrapped in silk that Liz hand dyed with Brazilwood (true to form, I can’t locate it at this very second — it’s probably lounging & gossiping somewhere with the white silk sent to me by Mo).

A beautiful letterpress piece by Fiona Dempster of Australia was also enclosed. It speaks to the energetic nature of peace. Liz’s cover card, itself a work of art, offers inspiring words and a sense of occasion.

Liz is literally and figuratively ‘loosely binding us in silken ties of love’. How powerful a gift this is! Thank you, Liz — please continue!

One of these days, one of us will be the 100th monkey…


21 thoughts on “Peace is a Leaf Sent round the World

    1. deemallon

      Agreed. As I’ve said, these offering inspire both because of the beautiful thing itself and because of the intention, dedication and vision that goes with.

  1. Liz A

    Dee – My stitching activism began with your vision of the Hearts for Charleston. The images here are reflections of your example … thank you for all of it.

  2. ravenandsparrow

    Nice writing, Dee. You did kick us off with the Hearts for Charleston project and it does satisfy something inside to find these lovely things coming back to us on wings fashioned by our cooperative gift.

  3. Michelle in NYC

    What a GREAT post !!!
    Carefully wrought and beautifully photographed, reminding me not to stop at pleading “Give Peace a Chance”, but make it manifest in gestures, in objects, in the way one is in the world, the way one responds in times when the going gets tough…’cause it’s already those times.

    Just thoughts –The antidote to TOUGHNESS might be softening and just a few steps beyond RESISTANCE, there’s kindness.

    Marti sent me one too wrapped in cloth dyed with purple smoke bush I stared at Barry Smith’s site for quite a while. She sent one to Grace too.

    At Ten tonight my Blog Post about the Vigil for Peace and Ecology Sunday will come up. Takes me a good bit of time to download and notate photographs, then to research certain elements and finally to put it all together and I do it because, like the Bubble Man featured in it, I just gotta’ ’cause I love it. I’m grateful for the community I get to share it with too

    1. deemallon

      You DO make peace manifest by example and by the insight you offer others online. Insights like “the antidote to TOUGHNESS might be softening and just a few steps beyond RESISTANCE, there’s kindness.” Beautiful wisdom clacking out of your keyboard on a regular basis — thank you.

  4. snicklefritzin43

    Hearts for Charleston connected me with an amazing circle of makers in cloth..and that has spread to pins of peace, and leaves of peace and the wonderful “I dream of a world where love is the answer” piece being constructed in 44 locals around the globe…stitches connecting, threads flowing around the globe..peace begins with each of us and has been stirred mightily by these projects. Thanks for the wonderful settings pictured with the leaf for peace…a wonderful story from one image to the next….peace …thank you all.

  5. Anonymous

    This is such a powerful post – speaks so eloquently of global peace connections and interwoven efforts. Gives me such hope to be part of the connection and the effort to imagine and instil peace. B

  6. fiona

    Dee – finally a pause in time to read more and reflect. It is so lovely to see where hopes of peace have travelled, and been received…thank you for sharing your beautiful work and words. Barry’s leaves feel beautiful in the hand, and have such meditative quality to them in a way I always think. Meditating on peace…imagining peace…believing in peace…

    1. deemallon

      Hi Fiona. Nice to ‘meet’ you! I wandered over to your and Barry’s sites and will be back. Tried to leave a comment and failed, on Barry’s blog, I think — maybe it took. But it didn’t show up. The leaf is lovely to hold and lovely to behold. What beautiful traditions you’ve created.

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