This is a personal blogpost – grateful for the space we have co-created here for practitioners, sharing questions, experiences, insights.
I am writing on Saturday morning, November 14. Shabbat.
The morning after another night of horrifying attacks. This time in Paris. Before, in Beiroet, Ankara, Copenhagen, so many places.
And there are many, many other places where family members are grieving for their loved ones: so many died on their journey to safety, children and adults, drowned, sometimes very close to the shore.
All lives matter.
My prayers go to those who have lost a loved one. May they be blessed by a companion who is walking with them.
My prayers go to those who are right there, in the midst of the chaos and pain and grief and confusion and horror. In Paris, in Lesbos, along the refugee route. Volunteers. Medical professionals. Policemen. Those who survived. Those who witnessed others die. Those who have experienced the utter helplessness of not being able to save lives.
I remember: a week ago, during the Impact Café in the European Commission (hosted so beautifully by Dominika Nowak, Ursula Hillbrand and Frans Nijs), in our harvesting circle, I spoke the words “peace building”. This is for me an essential quality of World Café and other participatory practices. Sometimes, that peace is “just” between two people who were not able to listen to each other anymore – and who suddenly, in the middle of a Café round, find a new opening for a conversation… Sometimes, that peace becomes possible on a larger scale. Sometimes, it is just a tiny glimpse of a new life, safe from fear, safe from violence.
Richard Mollica, in his Manifesto on Healing a Violent World, writes about beauty as an essential element in healing: “EXCEPT IN BEAUTY there is no healing. Beauty is the salve and ointment that creates our healing space and healing relationships. Beauty is the pre‐eminent healing medium that allows all physical, social‐cultural, and spiritual forces to flow like the river Nile bringing all of the life‐giving elements to the people of Ancient Egypt.”
I know that many of us are working in many ways with what has been unfolding in Europe.
Steve Ryman wrote yesterday: “The real work, the true challenge – and just maybe our only hope – lies in touching and expressing that ocean of sadness. How can we create the containers for such deep soul work?”
Who would like to co-create a beautiful space for listening deeply to the question: “What can we, as a global community of practice, contribute, right now?”
Thank you for your presence.
I am grateful to sense into our global circle.