Monday, February 4, 2008

Poetry for Women, Peace for All

My brother often tells me that there can be no peace for any, until there is peace for all.

That is why he is a feminist, but calls himself a humanist. Why he loves Israelis, as well as Palestinians, and why he reaches out to Americans, and not just Arabs. It is why the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not more important to him than the genocide in Sudan or Uganda. And why he believes that his treatment of the lady in the supermarket is as significant as any anti-war protesting.

We are all connected.

I believe this too. But I find, in practice, it very hard to live.

In honor, however, of peace of all kinds, I would like to recommend that you visit Poems from a Small Place. Much of the author's poetry deals with gender, and the need to reconcile female identity with Christianity, culture, and all of life. The need to restore wholeness to the way we view food, image, and beauty. The need for peace amidst the clash of words like "important" and "insignificant." After all, who is to decide such labels? Who gets to assign such worth?

In the end, doesn't conflict come down to this? To the way we view each other. The way we determine value. The way we deny common humanity. It doesn't have to be overt to be real.

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