Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Mimisms ~ An Attack of Ataraxia

(Late night update: Japan just checked in with a peace globe. We are now 42 countries strong..)

So I picked up my pencil skirt and took a walk.

Through the densely green forest hills of the Peruvian mountains I climbed, hiking with brown Armani boots and run-proof pantyhose. A smudge of lipstick on my face and a hint of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea spritz, wondering if today I might be kissed by someone sweet, maybe a passing tribesman. Or would I step on a python (that's why I wore the boots), dodge a spear, sink in a swamp?

Trust me, stranger things have happened in my pencil skirt world.

Just in case the boots weren't enough and I got lost in the thickness, I brought my trusty bleeper, a change of Queen's clothing and more lipstick.


Of course.

What did I - Mimi Pencil Skirt - know about jungles, or war, for that matter?
Have I ever been close to real violence? The sight of 9/11 in New York City - as horrific as that day became - was as close as I'd ever gotten. Even then, my skirt saw not even a dusting of the actual dust. In my tears I tasted the agony of what I saw... in my heart, in my spirit. But soil my skirt?
No.
Not even close.
Not until today.

Today my skirt got dirty.


It's easy for me to have composure as I sit typing on a tiny screen pontificating on the hell of war and spouting fluffy peace terms - I am not in the middle of the jungle eating yam roots today. My equilibrium is not off balance for lack of food or water. My children are not starving, the temperature is not 140 degrees and there are no bombs falling in Bloggingham's trees.
My serenity is easy.





Is it deserved? I believe it is.
As is yours. As is every human's birthright.


I read on.....through the dusty mountains of Iraq, drink from a gourd in a refugee camp in the Sudan, wander through a crowd of colorful peasants in the streets of Laos, high-stepping through the barb-wired sections of Ethiopia and stopping - finally - to pray in Myanmar. The monastery, this time, lay in ruins and the remnants of shredded saffron seemed fitting for the blood red floors of war torn Asia.


My boots, once fit for a Queen, sank deeper into the miry, disquiet and unholy shit of war. The war I read on my own blog. Why did I start this?
And I'm wondering how I ended up in this jungle without falling on my prissy behind and crying? And how I expected my readers to follow ....without falling on theirs?

Who ever heard of serenity in the midst of war?
Bah! Words.
Just words.

"Self-possession" someone whispered. Get a-hold of yourself, Mimi. For heaven's sakes you can't fall down now. Heels or no heels, you can't expect people to follow if you fall down.


But I'm wearing 3-inch heels, the pencil brain said.
I'm allowed.

Look at the pictures. Look at them again.


Voices....my mother's: "Eat your dinner, Mim. Think of all the starving children in Africa." Where is Africa? asked my little brother. "Where the starving children are," I said with a twelve-year-old smirk and a pile of uneaten broccoli on my plate. Just before my mother's famous glare quieted my smart aleck mouth with a mouthful of disapproval, he ended up with my dessert.

Voices......
they're no longer unheard and unseen at your far-away dinner table.

Look at them again.
You are a grown-up.

They are still there.

No. I don't want to. And besides, I hate broccoli. I still hate broccoli.

I want to worry about shoe sales and flowers for the dinner table tonight. And if the white goes with the chicken or the red with veal. I do not want to worry about stepping on land mines or greeting human shields as I walk through the marketplace.


That is not my world.


I just want to walk in my skirt. Pick a ripe tomato. Smile at my neighbor.
I do not wish to think about those who cannot do that one simple errand.


Baaahhh! Just pictures.

I don't want to look.


Do I have to?


It's amazing what truth does to your soul. Even when it's ugly.

And yet, today, I am peaceful. Ataraxic.

I have no idea why.

Sitting here beside children a half a world away who would love to eat my throw-away morsels
And I have the nerve to be peaceful?
I am not inherently entitled to my soft-shoe world. Nor are you.
But they are entitled to more than I throw away.


At the core, I am no different that this man or this child or this human being or that.... this guerrilla or this tribesman or this insurgent or this civil servant - nor all the other pictures we have seen in the Thirty Day series on the conflicts in our world I began last BlogBlast. I know what you're thinking.....She's lost her mind. Must she dwell on this suffering? Where is the pencil skirt? What has happened to her sense of humor?


There is nothing funny about war, they say.

I hear you.
And really. Who am I to make the bodacious assumption that our words can change a damn thing?
Who are YOU?

Voices.....Self-possession, girl, self-possession. It's not Queenly. Hmm....
Back to center.
(Did you hear that? Now she's hearing voices. And did you see that?
She DID fall down. I knew she couldn't walk in those boots. )
I hear you.

What is that mantra again O-Voice-Of-The-Uneaten-Vegetables?

Oh yes.
I remember.


If I believe that words are powerful,
then this matters.





Time to put down my panic.
They are entitled to more.


Will you also pick up your serenity, lay down your weary questions, and pull together some sort of leggy-strapped semblance of humanity and follow the trail of wordsmiths who want to have a voice on this jungle-laden planet we all live on? Whether you live in an ivory palace with a harmless make-believe dungeon or a plantation of leaves in the Peruvian mountains.......will you please.....no.


I won't ask.

I won't say it.
I won't.
It is not mine to say.
I am not a revolutionary!
There is not a violent bone in my body.

So how, Mimi Pencil Skirt - as one reader asked me this week - can you use the word revolution in the same sentence as peace?

"Because," I said with a mouth full of uneaten sarcasm, "because I am turning. Turning. Changing. As I read."

And walk through jungles

with starving children

with nothing to hide behind

but my words

Ah, Mimi. You do take yourself a bit seriously, now don't you?

Maybe
But I have been attacked
by the presence of peace
In the midst of a warring world I stumble through
with all of you

I don't know why my grandfather's loving eyes gave me gifts of handmade earth-shaped marbles in a bowl that grace my piano today and planned for me all those years ago to write about his prayers.
I don't know why.

But I do know how.


So I will write. On November 6th
With all of you.
No kiss for me today in the jungle.
But lots of love from YOU ...
in the form of little blue peace globes from all over the world.
Brava to the blogosphere.
Ataraxia, I hear, is deadly.
I sincerely hope it's contagious.









19 comments:

Jeannelle said...

"Attacked by the presence of peace".......wow, Mimi......that's a knockout phrase! If only it would truly happen to everyone everywhere!

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting that the refugees are far more colorfully clad than the soldiers.

Barbara said...

Hi Mimi,
I know that things are going to get pretty busy soon.
So, I'm just popping in to say Hi and I will be with you all for the Blog blast.

I was "sweating out" ( you know that me & Paint arent buddies ;) ) my last touches on a brand new Peace Globe ! Done entirely by moi.
I shall forward it soon to her Highness.

Take care and big hugs to you.
xxxxx

Lizza said...

If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.
-Ralph Ellison

Your powerful words do make a positive difference, Mims.

Akelamalu said...

Powerful post Mimi - You rock!

Lee said...

It is my fervent prayer that everyone who reads this post will be moved to become a part of the Blogblast for Peace. Never has the ideal of PEACE been more important than it is right now.

With the global economy moving into recession, desperate needs are going to become common place. Desperate people perform desperate acts. Exploited by those seeking to further their own agenda, the world becomes more dangerous each day.

Through our hope, perhaps we can change motivations and inclinations...even if it is a few people at a time.

Finding Pam... said...

Mimi, than you for being our ambassador for world peace. This was a beautifull and thought provoking piece. :)

Peace.

Finding Pam... said...

correction, "Thank" you. Sorry I did not edit. zzzzzzzz I have not had my coffee.

my3sons said...

"It's amazing what truth does to your soul. Even when it's ugly."


I couldn't agree more. Your words are so meaningful. Thank you.

Tammy said...

Wow, very powerful!

Mimi Lenox said...

Jeannelle - If only...

Charles - Hmmm....

Barbara - Can't wait to see it! I've missed you and your blog.

Lizza - Wonderful quote, Lizza. We all make a difference.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - YOU rock!

Lee - Hope is the word. Spot on.

Mimi Lenox said...

Pam - I hope people read every morsel of hope between the lines. Or am I asking too much?

my3sons - Welcome to the movement. Words are powerful, as I've said many times.

Tammy - You've been ready since day one of this peace campaign. Brava to you!

Travis said...

More inspiring words to get us thinking Peace. I'm putting the finishing touches on one brand new Globe and one refurbished Globe.

The post is beginning to take shape.

Mimi Lenox said...

Trav - I have no doubt it will be wonderful.

Ferd said...

Dreamy. Poetic. Emotional. Powerful. Inspiring. Motivating. Hopeful.

You Queen. I follow.

BillyWarhol said...

In the words of the Great Lenny Kravitz It is Time for a Love Revolution*

;)) Peace*

thx fer popping by yesterday Mimi U made my Day!! + I Love Broccoli + Asparagus with lots of Butter + Salt*

yeah I don't think most of us can even Fathom the Horrors of Darfur or living in a War Torn country like Iraq or Beirut Lebanon*

Mimi Lenox said...

Ferd - Your comments are wonderful. Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Billy - But it must stop. It really must stop. Why can't it stop?

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