Monday, June 2, 2008

The Eve of Dona Nobis Pacem

Somewhere in the world BlogBlast For Peace is dawning. It wouldn't be the same without Annelisa's sunrise photography. Taken in East Sussex, I am proud to call her my friend from across the pond. She has a way of bringing peace through the lens of her magic camera. Though this is her neighborhood in the United Kingdom, it also reminds me a bit of Bloggingham Palace. Blanketed by a gloriously brilliant layer of sky, my world seems a bit closer to hers....and to yours. We live under the same sky. The same world. In fact, we've been sharing this blanket for some time now.

Peace bloggers know how to do that very well.

Dawning anew for me this year is the story of my Papa's marbles, seen here in a wooden bowl that still sits atop my piano. If you are a veteran peace blogger, you have read the story that unfolded, as written below, on the very first BlogBlast Eve in 2006.. It was four hours 'til midnight and I had no peace globe post. Until.........

.......I received a loving, gentle tap on the shoulder by someone I loved and lost. A simple bowl of rocks changed my mind forever about the absurdity of a notion called coincidence. I am still amazed at how the story of the Peace Globes really began. Many of you are posting a globe for the first time today and do not know this story. For you, I shall tell it again. And for those who began this journey with me in 2006, thank you for allowing me to re-introduce you to this honorable man. I am proud to know you. So is he.

The Silence of Peace
Papa's Marbles

They've been sitting on my piano for more years than I care to count, on the corner of the Kohler and Campbell my grandfather gave me when I was fourteen years old. After he died, I found them in a tattered and dirty bag at the bottom of a box full of his personal things. He wanted me to have them.

His marbles.

Handmade roughhewn marbles crafted from rock by my grandfather and his brothers. The year was 1920 and there was no money for toys.
I often wondered why he didn't leave them for a male member of the family. Honestly, folks. It wasn't until just tonight - the eve of
Dona Nobis Pacem in the blogosphere
- that I discovered the answer.
I know stranger things have happened.

I just can't recall when.

I knew this post would not be written until the last moment. I made lots of notes but I just couldn't quite make it happen. It is still a little while before midnight in my part of the United States and I'm supposed to be spinning out a masterpiece of goodwill and peace prose - maybe a stunning poem like those we've already seen. A song, a lyric, a new tune.

Instead, Mimi Pencil Skirt wants to talk about rocks.

So I went into my study and began to polish them. One by one. The bowl, the piano, the granite. How many times have I sat at that very bench and casually glanced into that bowl? Thousands of times. Song after song.

Tune after tune. Lesson after lesson. Year after year.

He didn't have a lot of money it seems to me now, my grandfather. At the time though, he was the richest man I knew. And he has been on my mind this week more often than not. Well over six-feet tall and always impeccably dressed, my Papa was the most humble man I've ever met.
When he passed away I met scores of people who told me what he'd meant to them. "He helped me when I needed money"......He gave me his shoes." and on and on.
His kindness was not news to me. The fact that a large portion of the town showed up at his wake was, however, a stunning surprise. I didn't know I'd been sharing him all those years.

He made me feel as if I were the only one in the world.

Strange, those marbles. All different shapes and sizes. Colors, too. Yet they've co-Existed for years right there atop the long-lovingly-played strings inside my piano - the one Papa used his savings account to buy for me while he worked two jobs at the factory and made time up on Saturdays when he missed work hours to drive me to my lessons.
I was a bit different. Artistic. Content with solitude. Always writing in endless journals and playing broody piano music. Papa understood me but he didn't pamper me - even though that's a disputed fact to this day in my family.

What he did was more earth-shattering.

The one on top. That one.Different... that one. I know that's the very one he made.I'm sure of it.
When I think about peace and what it means to me, I always wander back to a time when I first felt it. Because I know on an unconscious level that world peace cannot - will not - be achieved without inner peace. Adversaries on both sides of the conflict have to have it. You can't weave magical tranquility out of thin air and conferences. Peace is a state of being.
It has a life of its own.

Real lasting peace is born of creative jumble and hard work. Victories are never won by the one who has the most power - wars, yes - but not a state of peace.
It never lasts and there's always a price.Papa's Marbles. Not a pretty one in the bunch.
Every one brown or taupe. Almost every one.
I started thinking this week about those times in my life
when I first felt real peace.
For me, it came in the presence of God at an early age. Not because I am privileged or special. But simply because I was loved. Unconditionally.
Sometimes it takes just one person to unlock magic in someone else.
I watched that kind of magic flow through my grandfather's life. He was in tune with who he was. He knew the simple meaning of love.
He knew how to pray.

I often wondered how other people sensed that about him - without the benefit of those life-giving hugs he saved just for me.

He chose the color himself. Papa.....he must have spent hours honing that rock.I often went with him to backwoods church services. Informal revivals, formal services, anywhere there was special music and a spirit of God - he was there. I can't explain it really. We would visit churches and the minister would ask him to lead the invocation or say the benediction - even though they'd never met. How did they know he could pray? I knew he could pray......but how did they know?

Taking his hat off and bowing his head, he would very quietly hold audience with his Maker. It didn't matter how many people were listening. His prayers always began the same way......"Dear Gracious Heavenly Father......"
No matter where. Or with whom. Or in front of whom.

Hat in hand. Head bowed. He knew how to reach God.
And people sensed that when they met him.

If peace can be worn like a garment then he was always finely clothed, my Papa.

One night he took me by the hand and led me to the altar with him. He knelt down on one knee, elbow resting on the other and silently voiced his heart. I was right there! I heard the whole thing and he never said a word.He made them with his own hands. He molded them into shape.
Created them and lovingly took care of them. He chose the color.
Not a sonata or a novel. Certainly nothing brilliant or fancy.
Just ordinary marbles.

Tonight I'm sitting at my table writing stories on an electronic device that sends messages to people halfway around the world about globe graphics and insomnia, making pots of endless coffee to stay awake, answering emails from Germany, London, China, New York, Oman and beyond.

Could Papa have ever imagined such a thing?

Did he?

What was he praying about all that time anyway?
Papa's marbles.....There's something odd about them.

Oh forget about it. They're just a bunch of rocks. You've got a story to write. Can't you think of something brilliant? It's past midnight and everyone has their peace globe up but you.

I struggled. There's something missing here, I thought.
It's about Papa. I can't stop thinking about him.

What would he say to me tonight? How would
he pray?The marbles.
Look closer.

When it hit me, I was way past the point of arguing with myself about miracles and such. I've seen too many come through my mailbox today to argue with God about that.
Do you see it?The blue one on top.

It looks like a globe.

Dona Nobis Pacem did not start with Mimi. It started in 1920 when a little boy in the rural southeastern United States decided to shape a small blue marble -
for his granddaughter.

And that's how it started.
With a visit from my grandfather and a bowl of handmade marbles. Now it's time for you to continue the story and spread the message of a peaceful world from your own places of rest, in your own voice. Tonight, from every corner of the globe I see little blue marbles....I mean globes.......and they are a beautiful, beautiful sight.

This is Mimi Pencil Skirt reporting live from the lovely land of the Peace Globes.
See you tomorrow.
Dona nobis pacem
Grant us peace

 © Mimi Lenox All rights reserved.


Travis said...

Thank you for re-posting this story. It's one of my all time favorites.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - I wasn't sure. I asked Bud and he said YES, repost it. I really can't imagine a BlogBlast without it. Thank you for affirming that.

Chrysalis Angel said...

That's beautiful Mimi. I'm glad that you posted it again for those of us that weren't familiar with it. What a beautiful tribute.

Carver said...

Mimi, I'm also glad you re-posted that story. I could read it again and again. Very powerful. I also love all of the photographs and starting with the sunrise from Annelisa is stunning.

Bond said...

This is the story that introduced me to a half-faced lady named Mimi and began a wonderful friendship.

Ivanhoe said...

It is a really good story. I e-mailed you my globe about a month ago, but it's not posted yet. No biggy, it will be "flying high" on my site tomorrow. Have a great day!

Sarge Charlie said...

very nice mimi, i did another promo

Odat said...

Hi there! Just dropped by to say thank you!!!!!! I love this story too! And I know how hard you've been working and I appreciate what you're doing to get peace going around the world. One small globe at a time! Hugssssss.

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Thank you for sharing, Mimi. Happy Blogblasteve.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I'll reread this beautiful story anytime. Excellent Mimi. Have a great day sweetie. Big hug and losta lovies. :)

Akelamalu said...

What else would you post this evening if not this? It will always be the greatest post in the Peace Globe Movement Mimi. My post and globe are ready to go. x

Akelamalu said...

PS I emailed you my globe a while ago I hope it arrived. :)

Stifler said...

If you don't meet me before, i'm Stifler, a hamster from Costa Rica :D but don't worry, my globe is in english. With pleasure i'll join this AWESOME blog blast for peace

I e-mail you the globe but then it says that it failed, so you can take it from here, don't worry:

-Stifler :)

the teach said...

Mimi, I'm glad to read the story again of how the Peace Globe came to be. I'm ready to post my globe at 12:AM tomorrow morning. :D

Patti said...

I sent you three peace globes and Ralph sent you one.
I have mine set to post at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday whilst I am sleeping..

I appreciate all the work you have been doing. One question your majesty:
How many cups of coffee have you had so far today?

Mimi Lenox said...

Chrysalis - You're welcome. It is the core of everything here really.

Carver - Annelisa's sunrise photos were, and are, an integral part of Dona Nobis Pacem.

Bond - I honor our friendship as well Vinny. Does it seem like almost two years to you?

Ivanhoe - I will check again but I am sure I got it. Just a bit behind on getting them on the site as you can imagine. I will surely read your post tomorrow!

Sarge - Thank you! You are so kind. I look forward to reading your post this time as well.

Odat Hugs back to you my friend.

Akelamalu - Very sweet. I do have your globe and will get it in the gallery as soon as I can. Gotta finish my post for midnight!

Autumn - Your comment yesterday meant a GREAT DEAL to me. Thank you. I love your visits.

Sandee - As I've said many times,you are one-of-a-kind. Hugs back to you and love.

Stifler - A hamster has posted a peace globe. I think I'm going to faint.

Mary - Your post will be lovely I'm sure. Brewing coffee.....getting ready to read as soon as I finish writing. There's nothing like the last minute to fuel inspiration ya know.

Patti - Yes, I did receive them. They're wonderful.

The answer to your question is.....not enough.

Gattina said...

What a beautiful tribute and entry !
In my part of the world it is June 4 early morning so I just published my entry for today's Blogblast for peace.
Peace and love ! That was the slogan of my generation already in the 60th !

Mimi Lenox said...

Gattina - Happy BlogBlast to you. Your support from Belgium is steadfast and appreciated. Blog your little heart out. Peace and love, Mimi

Carol said...

Hey Mimi,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. How lucky you are to have had such a wonderful, loving grandfather (the rest of the world is also lucky to have had such a man bringing - and passing on to his granddaughter - the peace and love we need so much).

I heard about your BlogBlast but I was traveling and didn't have the time to participate. Next year...

Thanks for all of the work that you did to make the BlogBlast happen!

Anonymous said...

Dr Taylor says: I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be.

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