Tag Archives: mother’s day

Happy Mother’s Day!

Julian Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclomation

Mother’s Day: Reclaiming and Standing With women Globally

Arise then…women of this day!  Arise, all women who have hearts!  Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!Say firmly:”We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,For caresses and applause.  Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn  All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.  We, the women of one country,Will be too tender of those of another country  To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” From the bosum of a devastated Earth a voice goes up withOur own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”Blood does not wipe our dishonor,Nor violence indicate possession.As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,Let women now leave all that may be left of homeFor a great and earnest day of counsel.Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the meansWhereby the great human family can live in peace…Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,But of God -In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly askThat a general congress of women without limit of nationality,  May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenientAnd the earliest period consistent with its objects,To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,  The amicable settlement of international questions,  The great and general interests of peace. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if on some distant Mother’s Day, the wishes of Julia Ward Howecould be fulfilled and the human race could celebrate a day when, all over the world, nomother would have to mourn the death of her child lost in war or terrorist attacks… To all of the mothers whose children are fighting in wars – and to mothers whosechildren are growing up with wars raging around them or with terrorism threatening theirsafety… Wishes of strength, peace and hope for this Mother’s Day…

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we are standing for the world's children and grandchildren, and for the seven generations beyond them. We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat. A world where they have access to a basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies. A world where they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home. A world where they don't live in fear of violence - in their home, in their neighbourhood, in their school or int heir world. This is the world of which we dream. This is the cause for which we stand.

Please stand with us for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time on May 11, 2008, in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signify your agreement with the statement below.  Please stand at a different hour with a different time zone if 1 p.m. is not your preferred time.We ask you to invite the men who you care about to join you.  We ask that you bring bells to ring at 1 p.m. to signify the beginning of the five minutes of silence and to ring again to signify the end of the period of silence.  During the silence, please think about what you individually and we collectively can do to attain this world.  If you need to sit rather than stand, please feel free to do so.  Afterwards, hopefully you and your loved ones can talk together about how we can bring about this world.

WILL YOU STAND WITH US?

Reunion with Western Shoshone Corbin Harney in Nevada

I was pleased to see a photo of mine published on the CENSORED website:

Reunion with Western Shoshone Corbin Harney in Nevada

(Corbin Harney at Nuclear Test Site 2006 Photo Deanna Taylor)

From Peace Camp, near the Nuclear Test Site:

May 9, 2007

Hello Everyone,

The Ceremony has already begun. We’re in it now.

Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts for the benefit of this Reunion with Corbin. He looks great. He sounds great. He’s strong & positive. Please continue to send him loving energy and prayers. He says that’s the only reason why he’s alive, and we all know the power of prayer! Also, please include in your prayers, his caretaker Patricia, Poo Ha Bah, Shundahi Network, Johnnie Bob’s Spirit Run and all the Elders & participants who are coming together this weekend to honor Corbin and protect all Life and Mother Earth.

Thank you for all the organizations, Spiritual People, activists and those who are contributing to the success of this event. Like Corbin always says, “We have to help each other and unite ourselves together. We have to work together and appreciate one another.”

Honoring Our Mother

I want my final post on Mothers Day to be a tribute to Our Mother Earth.  I took the below reflection from the Shundahai website.

Family spirit Walkers at Sunrise Ceremony

Reflections from the 800 mile Family Spirit Walk for Mother Earth
By Daniel Jameson & Craig Stehr

The night darkness is awakened by a pre-sunrise ceremonial fire circle. A circle of peace campers moves clockwise, as a Shoshone tribal elder beats a drum and sings to the Great Spirit in his native language. There is a tribal pole with colorful streamers, hoops made from willow branches, tobacco, sage, cedar, water, and a desert tortoise shell that I,Craig,found while following a hawk in the desert. Corbin Harney sings about Mother Earth, the necessity of humanity having drinkable water, the neutralization of the harmful effects of nuclear power, and the genocidal policies and systematic theft of tribal land by the United States Federal Government.

The night darkness is awakened by a pre-sunrise ceremonial fire circle.
A circle of peace campers moves clockwise, as a Shoshone tribal elder beats a drum and sings to the Great Spirit in his native language. There is a tribal pole with colorful streamers, hoops made from willow branches, tobacco, sage, cedar, water, and a desert tortoise shell that I,Craig,found while following a hawk in the desert. Corbin Harney sings about Mother Earth, the necessity of humanity having drinkable water, the neutralization of the harmful effects of nuclear power, and the genocidal policies and systematic theft of tribal land by the United States Federal Government.

There are people here from around the world, who have completed an 800 mile Family Spirit Walk for Mother Earth which began in Los Alamos, New Mexico August 9th. Seeds of Peace and East Bay Food Not Bombs are at Peace Camp providing meals; several other groups are manifesting music, legal help, puppet making, a massage tent, medical station, and much more. Shoshone elders hold evening sweat lodges. A sign reads, “these lodges are an expression of our religious freedom – they have been declared sacred by Shoshone elders – this is Shoshone land.”

There are two sweat lodges, one for men, one for women. In front is a ceremonial fire area with herbs. There is an impressive sunbleached buffalo skull. The spiritual power here is palpable. Across the road is the Department of Energy Nevada Test Site with the proposed Yucca Mountain national nuclear waste repository in the distance. The Shoshone’s sacred mountains ring the area.

Peaceworkers hike up to the peaks to pray and meditate. To the north there is the ka-boom of bombing practice, also parachuting practice. So on one side of the road is an ancient spirituality responding to the postmodern military-industrial materialistic madness. And on the other side is Nellis Air Force Base and the U.S. corporate-governmental development of bombs, bombs, and more bombs. The Great Spirit of the Shoshone spiritual way witnesses everything.

Civil disobedience has taken place. Demonstrators “technically trespass” at the Nevada Test Site’s main gate, are arrested, and are bussed off to the Beatty, NV jail. Shoshone tribal elders point out that whereas the land treaties are a sham, and whereas this is Shoshone ancestral land, the idea of trespassing is ridiculous. The peace camp legal advisors suggest that no resolution can take place anywhere but in Shoshone tribal court – and ultimately in international world court.

Free Radio 104.7 FM is broadcasting news reports and interviews from a portable station at the Peace Camp. Local media is covering the story and there are reports being published in the Las Vegas newspapers.

Up the road a piece the City of Las Vegas hosts visitors who come to the desert for big time gambling, entertainment, and to party every day of the year. The whole region is coated with radioactive contaminated dust particles borne on the wind. Sunrise ceremony on the last morning of the Peace Camp…I, Craig, ask Corbin Harney for a special prayer to publish along with this text…he says that there is no special prayer. He says that “we don’t want this to be special.” Rather, he asks that everyone understand that anybody can do what we are doing, and that is the beauty of it. Corbin says, “everyone is welcome to join the circle.”

Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico. Our spiritual family is on its road between Los Alamos and the Nevada Test Site. We are passing through four states to bring awareness of the nuclear tragedy from its beginnings in the uranium mines to its end at Mercury, Nevada, where it is exploded as plutonium.

This morning an eagle disappears over the canyon wall as Gilbert Sanchez, our Tewa spiritual guide, calls to her as a friend and fellow being…The Family Spirit Walk is in the heart of Pueblo sacred land after several weeks of hard foot travel. My name is Daniel Peacewalker. I am part of this spiritual family, continuing the dream journey that began long ago in childhood, when stories of sacred quests and pilgrimages devoured my waking hours; when in my soul was cultivated the deep desire to be free and unfettered on a quest, in the company of those who shared my dream and vision. This dream is alive and bearing fruit today as Gilbert calls to the eagle. Throughout the journey four red-tailed hawks will appear, at spiritually auspicious intervals, to bring us reassurance of our bond to the Creator and to one another…or perhaps it is the same hawk brother that I have yearned to meet since reading the poetry of Robinson Jeffers and travelling to his tower in Carmel, California…Jeffers wrote, “Give your heart to the hawks, and not to men.” Perhaps now, I feel that I will be able to give my heart to humanity as well, doing Jeffers honor by going beyond his vision.

These winged spiritual guides come from the natural world around us, but they are also expressive of the deep collective womb of our community psyche. They are manifestations of a deep collective hunger which our Creator and the ancestors of these lands recognize and honor in each of us. They provide for our hunger by sending spiritual guides who are here to inspire us to fulfill our mission of peace. The appearances of these creatures are made ever more poignant by their growing scarcity. We see little wildlife on the walk – bands of solitary crows, a few horned toad lizards – once a hummingbird followed us for miles. The rarity of these blessed ones throws their appearances into blazing relief. Could this scarcity be a portent of the suffering psyche of humanity, growing ever more parched and barren, kept alive by the visions of fewer and fewer people? The growing PeaceWalk movement seems to me to be a hopeful sign of the replenishment of humanity’s collective psychology. It is a sign that a quantum leap of spiritual evolution is trembling in the balance, ready to explode in a blaze of light! As we walk, it becomes clear to me that a great part of our mission is to share our collective pool of dream, to nourish this psyche of Turtle Island…in my belief the spiritual life of the world is imperiled but not terminally ill, only needing to be stimulated from its lethargy and awakened to the fact that it is under the influence of misdirected leaders. The world needs to be directed toward a healthy spiritual destiny, a common dream of “living in a good way”, as the tribal elders say.

As I write this, the Family Spirit Walk has come to a fine conclusion at the Nevada Test Site with sacred ceremony, nonviolent training, and courageous direct action. In retrospect, what we perceived on the Walk as “errors” were only human steps, made in earnest sincerity. All those many thousand spiritual steps! In my belief every single walker succeeded in their commitment to that Good Red Road. I was proud beyond measure to have been in the company of the Family Spirit Walk.

Happy Feminist Mothers Day!

Happy (Feminist) Mother’s Day!

by Ruth Conniff

A neighbor and I were sitting on a park bench, watching our children play, when we got talking about the perennial issue of housework: all that thankless toil that takes hours out of your life you might have spent writing a great novel, or at least reading one. “I used to feel resentful about it,” my neighbor said. “But then I thought about my mother. She had eight kids, and her house always looked great. That was her art. She had such a beautiful life.”

Spending a lot of time caring for your children hardly makes people into more narrow, self-interested citizens.

 

Before you start writing that outraged email, let me add: that neighbor is a part-time stay-at-home dad. His wife, a corporate lawyer, puts in long hours, and doesn’t have much time for cooking, cleaning, and daycare pick-up. He is a photographer whose flexible schedule allows him to be the on-the-scene parent weekdays. So not only does he proudly support his wife’s career, he genuinely admires his mom, and is following in her footsteps.

How’s that for a happy Mother’s Day sentiment?

I know a handful of other couples that have similar arrangements. When they had kids, the mother’s career took precedence, and the dad scaled back to spend more time at home. Their choices are both familiar to me and heartwarming. When I was a kid, it was my dad who worked from home, made breakfast and packed my lunch, drove me to basketball games, planted the garden, took care of the house and, periodically, lost it with me for not doing my share of cleaning up. This model has allowed me not to feel like a complete retrograde as I sit here at home, balancing my part-time hours with care for my three young children.

In the seemingly never-ending debate about women’s place in society, I am grateful to these male role models who value “women’s work” so much, they freely chose it for themselves.

Salary.com recently did an analysis of stay-at-home motherhood, and came up with a market salary figure of $138,095. A piece in the San Francisco Chronicle [1] that reported the figure included debate on the value of low-versus high-income stay at home moms and how dads stack up. It’s not such an enlightening discussion..

The problem is, in our society, where making money is so overvalued, writers on both the left and the right unthinkingly present it as the true measure of an individual’s worth.

In a recent op-ed in The New York Times [2], Linda Hirshman, author of “Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World,” lamented the recently released data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that mothers seem to be opting out of the workforce after all (there has been heated debate on whether the “opt-out revolution” is real or fake). According to the report, there are 4 percent fewer married mothers with preschool aged children–and 6 percent fewer with infants–in the workforce today than there were in 1997. And that decline is spread evenly across educational levels. “Should we care if women leave the work force?” Hirshman writes. “Yes, because participation in public life allows women to use their talents and to powerfully affect society.”

Leaving aside for a moment Hirshman’s other main point: that women take a major financial hit when they drop out or scale back their work to care for children, take another look at the assumption here.

Since when is paid work the same thing as “participation in public life”? When it comes to community activism, volunteerism, and just plain neighborliness, it is the stay-at-home parents in my neighborhood who are the backbone of our shared “public life.” And the values those parents have–I am thinking particularly of the vocal and organized PTA parents I know–are liberal, generous, pro-public-school, and generally community-minded. Of course, many working parents also contribute to important public causes. But spending a lot of time caring for your children hardly makes people into more narrow, self-interested citizens. In my own case I would say it’s just the opposite.

The other rather breathtaking aspect of Hirshman’s op-ed is that it doesn’t even touch on the issue of the availability of quality child care. Parents of infants and preschoolers are making tough decisions about how to find the best care for the people they love most in the world. Some of them are choosing (gasp!) to make less money.

Hirshman wants to push more married women to go to work by changing the tax code so they can keep more of their earnings. At least, unlike welfare reform, it’s not punitive. But I doubt it will make much difference.

More flexible hours, more family-friendly workplaces, more parental leave, and more high-quality child care would do a lot more to take the pressure off families and make child-rearing a public rather than an agonizingly private responsibility. Those are better answers.

For that to happen, as Americans, we need to think more about what it takes not just to feel successful as individuals, but to live what my neighbor describes as a “beautiful life”–one that places the well being of our children and families ahead of pushing everyone to spend as much time as possible at work.

Ruth Conniff covers national politics for The Progressive and is a voice of The Progressive on many TV and radio programs.

© 2007 The Progressive

Mother’s Day Proclomation

Mother’s Day Proclamation – 1870

by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe Julia Ward Howe,
about 1895

Portrait © 1999-2000
http://www.arttoday.com

Happy Mothers Day

I want to thank my friend John Kevin Fabiani over at Yes Justice, Yes Peace! for much of the mothers day material I have been posting.

Mother’s Day for Peace, Part 2

Mothers Day for Peace

Mothers Day for Peace Reflection

Over the next couple of days I will be posting pieces I find on Mothers Day.  Enjoy.

Reflections: Mother’s Day for Peace

On Mother’s Day each year, I light a candle during a special time in our church service. I light it in memory of my mother, Bernadette, and in honor of her mother, Lena, who died long before I was born. I also light a candle for Peace, in recognition of the fact that the first Mother’s Day celebrated in our country was a Mother’s Day for Peace begun by Julia Ward Howe in 1870, who was working with widows and orphans from the North and the South during and after the Civil War.

 

She appealed to war mothers with the proclamation, “Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?”

Howe’s proclamation included the phrase, “We the women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” What a different world it would be if mothers all over the world could have heeded these words. I think of that when I hear women today say they are “proud” that their sons were killed in Iraq protecting our country. Or when a Muslim woman says she is so glad that her suicide bomber son has become a martyr protecting his country. Why is it that glory comes only to the killers and not to the peacemakers?

Howe’s Mothers Day of Peace did not catch on and has mostly been forgotten. Taking its place is the Mother’s Day begun by Anna Jarvis to honor her mother and all mothers in the country. Jarvis used carnations at the first celebration in 1907 because they were her mother’s favorite flower. It didn’t take long for businesses to cash in on this holiday. The Floral Institute wrote in its industry publication, “This was a holiday that could be exploited.” Indeed, it did turn into one of the best sales days for florists. Gift buying, especially of jewelry, became the focus of the holiday — the peace theme not being a profitable one.

There are women today who are carrying on the peace tradition of that first Mother’s Day. Sally Goodrich, whose son died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, turned her mother’s grief into hope for the future of peace by raising money to build a school for girls in a town near Kabul. Grandmothers Against the War (I wish they could have called themselves Grandmothers for Peace) spent the last Mother’s Day in a demonstration in Washington, D.C. There are planned activities by hundreds of women’s groups for peace all over the country, but these will be ignored by the mainstream media who will dismiss them as the views of a few fanatics.

One woman wrote on a Mother’s Day for Peace blog: “It breaks my heart to think of all the mothers who have lost children because the world is an unpeaceful place.” I have messages from many pro-war people who tell me that war is inevitable — always has and always will be. And I have messages from mothers who have children in Iraq who have to believe that we must stay there “to finish the job” because so many have died already. That doesn’t make sense to me, but then, I do not have a child in harm’s way as they do.

As our country enters its fifth year of a war begun under false pretenses (pretty well documented by even some former war supporters) and as the death toll continues to mount, Howe’s words are as appropriate now as they were in 1870. “Arise women of this day. Arise all women who have hearts. Let women meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.” I light a candle and pray that some day this wish can be fulfilled.

Paula Garabedian Wall writes from her home in Fremont. E-mail her at pgwall@juno.com.

 
 

Mother’s Day 2006: A Call for Peace!

Mother’s Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Women around the country this Mothers Day weekend will hold activities to promote peace. Also, outside the White House, May 13-14, 3PM-3PM, will be a special all-night vigil. Come for the whole vigil or for a few hours! Sing, dance, drum, bond, laugh, cry, and hug. Write letters to Laura Bush to appeal to her own mother’s heart, and read them aloud. Discuss new ideas for ending the war and building peace. In the final two hours on Sunday, the vigil will be joined by some amazing celebrity actresses, singers, writers — and moms.

Read all about Mother’s Day Actions and Resources at: CodePink Women for Peace.