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Zentangle Diva Challenge #275 – Give Peace a Chance

by Suzanne Fluhr on July 12, 2016 · 23 comments

Peace sign

At one time, I harbored the belief that I had a pure travel blog. On the other hand, the tag line for this Boomeresque blog is “Baby Boomer Travels for the Body and Mind”. Let’s just call this exposition, mind travel.

This week, the Zentangle Diva used a guest post by none other than—moi! The night of the ambush of police in Dallas, Texas by a murderous gunman armed with an assault rifle, I was so upset I stayed up all night longing for peace. In my despair, I did three Zentangle compositions on the theme of Peace despite the fact that I was supposed to be resting a strained tendon in my dominant (drawing-tangling) hand. You can see my guest post and the responses to it on Laura Harm’s blog.

I’m a little embarrassed that in one of my challenge tiles, I substituted the Mercedes Benz logo for the peace sign. (Doh. SMH) For the sake of my hand, I wanted to acknowledge my mistake and move on, but, my closet Type A personality would not let me rest, so here is a Zendala employing the correct symbol.

Peace sign

As I looked at the first responses to my challenge, I came across one by someone who I suspect might be the youngest Certified Zentangle Teacher, a high school student, Daniel Lemothe. Daniel included calligraphy of an Albert Einstein quote that I find so relevant, I have shamelessly appropriated it. I’m not sure of the occasion, but Dr. Einstein said,

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

I have memorialized this quote in this composition; and, I believe it.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein

We cannot continue to talk past each other in the United States. Even some very conservative commentators seem to understand that there are racial disparities in the United States’ criminal justice system, starting with law enforcement on the street, and that this results in a perception by minorities of color that the police are to be feared rather than embraced and supported. The Black Lives Matter movement is not meant as a denial that all lives matter, but grew out of and seeks to address this very specific and very longstanding problem that is felt by African Americans of all classes and professions.

The African American trauma surgeon, Dr. Brian H. Williams, who battled to save the lives of the mortally wounded police officers in Dallas and who is besides himself with emotional pain that he could not save them, explained that when he is not dressed in his white coat, he himself is fearful of police. Despite this, he goes out of his way to try to teach his young daughter that police officers should be thanked and appreciated for their service and he is committing himself to finding a way for African Americans and law enforcement to understand each other.

In his address at the memorial service for the slain officers in Dallas, President Obama acknowledged the validity of the issue expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement, but he also decried violence or calls for violence by those in the movement.

The successes of the non-violent, but persistent, civil rights movement led by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1950’s and 1960’s should stand as an example that this approach carries tremendous moral authority. Indeed, I believe it was the collective dignity of the loved ones and community of the victims of the Charleston church shooting by a white supremacist that finally achieved the long overdue removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol.

The 400 year history of race relations in the United States (and in the American colonies prior to 1776) is tortured and complex. My fervent hope is that all Americans, of all political persuasions, races, religions and ethnicities will invest the time and hard work of trying to understand each other.

Peace. Out.

Feel free to chime in, but let’s keep the conversation free of inflammatory invective.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti July 12, 2016 at 6:22 pm

I am a huge fan of President Obama. He isn’t perfect but I think he led ALL of us through the last 8 years. Listening to his address today at the memorial I did actually disagree with his statement about the country not being as divided as it seems. I wish I did believe it, but I don’t. We’ve driven across the country 4 times, each trip a different route. This country is so vast with so many unique state and region-wide cultures, it can’t be anything but divided. Someone living in Galena, Kansas – where the city is fighting to stay afloat – can’t begin to fathom life in Silicon Valley. I do believe people are inherently good, but I also believe what makes each of us tick, is what will continue to divide us as a nation. I won’t get into the presidential election campaign because you know who I support and it’s irrelevant anyway, but sadly, I don’t think either candidate has the power within to unify this country and one particular candidate will certainly ruin the cultural fabric of the US, in my opinion. That being said, there is a level of anger in this country that is currently being fueled by candidate rhetoric and the sensationalism of the mass media. Recently, I pulled into a gas station and alongside a pump. The woman who pulled in next to me spewed such filth at me because apparently I had taken “her” pump. We pulled away quickly but it took me days to get it out of my head (apparently, I haven’t yet succeeded) because I realized that not only had she been viciously angry, she could have easily been carrying a gun. I don’t know how we’ll get past this issue with what I deem to be out of control gun violence. Sadly, bigotry, fear and ignorance have reigned throughout our country’s history. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we lived to see acceptance, kindness and peace reign instead?


The Creative Miss L July 12, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Thanks for giving us (the world wide network of Tanglers) a means to express our feelings about the latest terrible news from the US. I hope you find some peace for yourself in the responses to this challenge. BTW – I like your second tile the best as it is lighter in tone and composition, perhaps reflecting some of the peace that the Zentangle method was able to bring you?


Melena July 12, 2016 at 9:57 pm

Suzanne, thank you so much for offering up the Challenge to the Diva this week. A job well done. I have loved to see what people have done for this challenge. It took some thinking on my part, and I did some research to see what kind of symbolism I could use on my tile. I finally came up with 5 good tangles and just got my tile up for the challenge. Sometimes it’s just best to be still within ourselves. Peace.


Dorita July 13, 2016 at 1:29 am

So many fabulous tiles. Now go rest that hand!


Annemarie July 13, 2016 at 1:50 am

Peace, a word so easily said but most of the time so far away in our lives, wherever we live.
Let’s start being peaceful (as much as we can) in our own little lives and spread it as far as we can. Let’s try to be followers of Martin Luther King and Mahadma Gandhi!!!
Thanks again for all your words this week Suzanne!!!!


Suzanne Fluhr July 13, 2016 at 5:22 am

If we all could decide to let peace begin with us, it could happen.


Maggibee July 13, 2016 at 2:26 am

Well, Suzanne, after our long conversation in Birmingham, I suspect you can guess what I’m going to say. My heart goes out to all right thinking, peace loving, deeply hurt Americans. America frightens me, with its gun laws and the apparent need to bear arms . And yet, on both my visits to the States, I met with nothing but warmth and courtesy. We were welcomed; people were unfailingly polite and helpful; in New York in Boston and in Miami we strolled at night and never felt threatened. Please, don’t lose sight of all those good, decent folk who are the heart of your country.


Suzanne Fluhr July 13, 2016 at 5:21 am

Thank you, Margaret. The United States, as you experienced, is full of people of good will. We just need to listen to each other and try to understand.


ria matheussen July 13, 2016 at 5:15 am

It feels good to see the response on your beautiful challenge and to read so many nice words, from you and also from the others…
Again, I see two nice tiles but my favorite is the second one with the wonderfull quote of A. Einstein surrounded by gorgeous tangles!!!


Jacqueline Gum July 13, 2016 at 6:15 am

Both tiles are powerful and I hope that hand is healing. It’s difficult not be immensely touched by the recent events here. Like you, I’ve suffered a loss of sleep and deep consternation. It is my sincerest hope that we can move forward in a positive way, but feel that each of us need to do our part. Community leaders, civic leaders, church leaders, parents, teachers rather than looking to a broader political process to bridge the gap. My feeling is that always looking back and evoking memories of a lurid and shameful past prevents us from moving forward. I point to my community here in Charleston and the Emmanuel AME shootings as a strong example of moving forward through forgiveness.


Suzanne Fluhr July 13, 2016 at 6:37 am

The way your hometown, Charleston, handled unspeakable tragedy should be a beacon. The dignity of the victims’ families brought about some long awaited, long overdue change by moral suasion and example. I just wish innocents didn’t have to die or be maimed to get us talking.


Alana July 13, 2016 at 6:37 am

Many of us fear for our country and if it will be torn apart, and it is a good thing to express those emotions through art. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, and the turbulent 60’s were when I was coming of age. We must study history and see where we as humans have gone wrong before, and where we have gone right.


Ilse Lukken July 13, 2016 at 9:37 am

I love both tiles, with and without correct peace symbol šŸ˜‰
Thanks for your challenge!


roz warren July 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

Boomeresque isn’t just a travel column anymore, if it ever was just a travel column. Now there’s politics. And Zentangle too. I always enjoy reading it.


Suzanne Fluhr July 14, 2016 at 1:06 am

Should I warn you when I’ll be writing about travel—-there’s one on Edinburgh, Scotland in the process of being born.


Barbara July 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Great post, Suzanne! Did you read Ducis Rogers post the other day? Telling about calling the police while visiting his mother’s house when they heard footsteps on the roof. She is a minority in her neighborhood and he made a point of telling the police, “So you know, I’m a black man wearing a sweatshirt here in the house.” He explained how he tells his kids how important it is to make sure you protect yourself. I thought that was so sad. We think we know but, we don’t really.


nan @ lbddiaries July 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Some of the information I’ve read in the news that doesn’t really come out is that so many times the police forces are reacting to a gun being pointed at them. They are trained but have to know it does not bode well if one of color is pointing a gun at one with less color (is that politically correct enough?). They react the same way when one of less color points a gun at them. I am pro-gun and am smart enough to know if you take guns away from law abiding people, criminals will still have them. It is the person behind that gun that chooses what they do – protect self/others or shoot out of anger and insanity. I also believe that the country is not as divided as the news media focuses us on. The media stirs up anger and fear. They rarely focus on the good being done by b & w working together. I just came out of a week-long faith-based convention of over 18,000 people (not including the thousands watching online) that was an even mixture of black, white, brown, grey, green – whatever – mixed – all focusing on worshiping God and loving one another. We never hear about that in the media.


Suzanne Fluhr July 14, 2016 at 1:32 am

Thanks for your comment. I think your experience at the convention was what President Obama was referring to when he said we’re not as divided as some people say. I don’t think anyone expects police officers not to defend themselves when confronted by someone threatening them with a lethal weapon. However, I also understand the concerns of African Americans which go beyond rogue police officers when it comes to law enforcement and the justice system. We need to truly listen to each other and to truly try to understand and to let our better angels override our prejudices.


Leslie in Oregon July 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Suzanne, I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote in this post and very much appreciate your writing and posting it. We all should be focused on and talking with each other about healing the race-based hatred and fear in our country and its consequences. As far as I’m concerned, it is a moral imperative to do all one can to stop hatred and fear based on any protected-class status (race, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability).


antonine July 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

Suzanne, thank you so much for your timely challenge and for this wonderfully wise post. Your insights have truly inspired the Zentangle community in this time of turmoil in the United States. Thank you for your beautiful entries, all done in spite of the injury to your hand. Your tangle, Aloha, could not be more appropriate, so thank you for including it in your entries. I love the circular composition of both your tiles. Something inspiring seems to happen to people when they come together in a circle. Maybe it is because they can all see each other. If people could all really see each other, there would be more understanding, compassion, cooperation and unity. We truly do need to give peace a chance.


Yorkshire Tortoise July 15, 2016 at 3:08 am

Thank you for suggesting this subject to The Diva and providing content for both blogs. It has been very interesting reading the blog and all the comments. I agree with Patti when she said that there is a level of anger being fuelled by the rhetoric coming out of political rallies. She was talking about America, but I am thinking of the U.K. and a lot of vile hatred that was stirred up by the Brexit campaign. The media is another culprit for stirring things up, particularly newspaper media. Never mind ban the bomb, we need to ban politics.

Anyway I have a very peaceful time tangling and I love your peace tiles, I had to laugh about the missing extra leg. We are not the only ones to miss it out either, I have seen several as I visited everyone’s blog šŸ˜€


Anja July 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Both tiles are so beautiful!
Thank you so much for this wonderful challenge!


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