Arbutus Branch - Salt Spring Island
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011
In the course of the past week, I have been fortunate to cross paths with a number of exceptionally talented people, people who have dedicated their lives to performing great acts of love in the face of fear. They are all activists, people who bear witness to truth and, as writers, record truth, both their own and others. They facilitate a path of change to those willing to open their hearts, to face their fears and to fill the space once held captive by fear, with love.
When we think of issues such as climate change, war, violence, hate crimes, physical adversity and personal challenges, the solution to all of this is, quite simply, love and the willingness to live in our truth in the face of our fears.
Fear of difference, fear of the unknown, with a response of anger, hate and violence has never brought satisfactory resolution to any of the issues mentioned above.
Last weekend at WordsThaw writing symposium at the University of Victoria, I listened to Gary Geddes, a lifelong writer, activist and defender of love in the face of fear, speak of a woman in Africa he had spent a great deal of time interviewing. She had suffered at the hands of men who had cut off her ears, nose and lips. When Gary Geddes asked her what she would have done to the perpetrators of this crime against her, she replied with one of the greatest acts of love I have ever heard. She said she would have them returned to their families as they were only boys when they were taken and forced to be child soldiers. She believed they needed to go home, to be given an opportunity to heal from what they had done and the life into which they had been forced.
Andrew Weaver also spoke at the symposium I attended. Andrew lays truth, science, proven facts and evidence of climate change before industry, government and the world at large, and often receives a response of denial, ignorance and hate. His work and his words are all acts of love for the world as activism, through study, education, science and hard work. In the face of so much fear and hate, he continues to walk his path, his lantern held high for those who remain in darkness, regardless of whether or not the darkness is a result of ignorance, denial or attempts to extinguish the flame of truth.
Silken Laumann recently released her book, Unsinkable. I purchased it yesterday, delighted to have crossed paths with her in Russell Books in Victoria, BC. Our encounter, further proof that if we pay attention and live with intent, that which we need and desire may present itself to us in love and kindness. Our conversation centered around this concept of acts of love in the face of fear. Silken is a woman of great courage, strength and honesty who has chosen to share her memoir, an intensely personal and honest story of her life. It is a story of her path through fear and love, in the face of great physical and psychological adversity. She holds a lantern for us to see the path she has taken and continues to take and, in doing so, casts light upon our own.
How joyful and blessed I am to have spent time with these three people in the last week. There is inspiration and drive for me in knowing that my work is meaningful, that I have company on my journey and that I too facilitate a path of love in the face of fear.
May the ripples we make, as our hands join in the waters of life, reach everyone with love. May kindness become the way as we realize we are one energy, one light, one love, unabashed in the beauty of life itself.
Please read the works of these three amazing people:
Gary Geddes most recent work - What Does A House Want? by Red Hen Press
Andrew Weaver - Keeping Our Cool - Canada In a Warming World by Penguin Books
Silken Laumann - Unsinkable by Harper Collins Publishers Ltd
-Gillian Cornwall, c. March 2, 2014.
The Ironwood Path - Lana'i, Hawaii
Gillian Cornwall, c. December 2012.