to claim a space install a poem, invite participants, call it a picnic, and feast for your soul...
In a fragmenting community the Pathway to Peace was offered to hold the space at the 2010 Poets Picnic. Since then many participants have walked the Pathway for their own reasons and with their own outcomes.
"Poetry was never like this in school" local mother Angela L said as she remembered difficulties she experienced with friends. "This really touches the heart of what we went through. I can't wait to ring Sue and share this with her. When will you be doing this again?"
Many poets may not think much of the words in this simple poem. But its simplicity is what makes it so powerful as a tool for ordinary people. The details are the ones they carry within them. More than an artwork, this is an experience with multiple layers and uses.
"I always thought meditation was hard," said busy mother of five Amanda K. "With this I can place my children at different points along the line and allow them to live it in their own way. But I can easily see where they will go to next and not have to interfere but just watch. It is ingenious. So relaxing."
Although originally designed for a picnic setting with different people coming to experience it throughout the day, the Pathway to Peace can be used in individual counseling or to aid group discussion for conflict resolution. Facilitator training is also available.
Poem designer Patience Grace explains the evolution of this poem: "I can imagine schools installing the poem in their gardens so students who are given a time-out have somewhere to go and something to help them integrate their feelings. So few of us are taught how to be alone and comfortable with ourselves, but this is the ultimate aim of the Pathway to Peace. Only when we are strong within ourselves do we really participate effectively with others. I am as surprised as anyone about the responses this poem elicits, and the uses people can put it to. It has been a gift to me in my own relationships, and I hope it will help many others."
Leave a comment about your experience of the Pathway to Peace, or to ask about how you can share it in your community or school.