Peace, as a culture-of-the-world will be difficult to believe in and act upon, but, my heart, my duplicitous Poet's heart, feels warmed and accepted and 'enabled' in its wish to see peace on Earth, because, in part, of the people I met through IFLAC in LA.
5th IFLAC PAVE PEACE Impressions, LA, 2005
My name is Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen. I live, with my husband and two daughters, in an isolated mining community in southeast Arizona, where mountains are torn down, crushed and leached for their copper content at North America’s largest open-pit copper mine. I am a Poet, and a recent member of IFLAC. I have no credentials, and attended the Conference as a layman interested in improving and using my poetic predilection to seek, compose, arrange, and create teaching-poetry with moral lessons, hopes and futures, to help light the path to peace for others with personal, social and peace poetry of learned awareness’, conceptual realities and spiritual growth.
For me, personally, participating in the Fifth IFLAC Pave Peace Convention in Los Angeles was both an honor and a right. It was my right to join other like-minded people to discuss our concerns for world instability and to try to figure out strategies, actions and plans for the implementation of peace, and to help, in the interim, to bring the hope of peace to this planet. And, it was my honor to meet, observe, listen to, delight in, absorb and become friends with a group of conscientious, compassionate, diverse human beings who are dedicated to reaching out to, educating and aiding individuals, cultures and nations to strive for peace.
My immediate sense of the start of the convention was a lovely, cohesive chaos of greetings, meetings and smiles of hope, eagerness and determination. We were all warmly welcomed by the infusive characters of Dr. Yvan Nguyen (Vietnam and LA), and Ada Aharoni, who is the founder and President of IFLAC, director of IFLAC programming and enigmatic powerhouse of presence, intelligence and energy. The Keynote Speakers, Panels, Roundtables and Workshops arranged themselves accordingly, prompted by Ada’s attention to detail, into what was to be the ‘Sum of the Whole’, in an important, timely collation of progression after the general greetings and salient global information pertinent to fresh, eager minds was offered, continuing on to the finer-tuned education and applications of aid and methodology and resources, and the spurring of minds, hearts and souls towards solutions and brain-storming.
Presentations involved, but were not limited to: A brief history of the successes and programs of IFLAC during its 5 years of existence by Ada, her reading of poems from her book, ‘You and I Can Change The World’, Community strengthening exercises by Frank Cardelle, a strong presentation and the means of resolution of bullying by Blythe Hinitz, the genius-inspired Green Circle program, and the Global Application for Self Reliance, or GCFP. There were reconceptions of the words ‘peace’ and ‘war’ and words of hope and encouragement, proffered by Jacqueline Haessly, Haim Aharoni, Mona Gamal El-Dine, Rebecca Tobias and others, the extraordinary ‘use’ of the feminine face of power-catalyzed synergy to rebalance the Earth’s masculine/feminine duality, and how ‘gathering the women’ could lead to new, viable answers to old habits, problems and thoughts. We learned of the world’s 3% population of cultural creativists, who believe everything is an aspect of the divine expanding, necessitating constant watchfulness and flexibility to be able to navigate through change and diversity of environments with respect and care. We were taught the Power of Leadership and the need of peaceful consciousness when taking on the responsibility of making a difference as a Leader.
There were low buzzings of conversation, laughing voices and mural-art dreamings mixed with love and humanistic concerns, weaving an incredible mélange of dynamism and collaboration of thoughts and efforts to give, and receive, knowledge, experience, ideas and blessings, not only to each other, but to the world as our community. Encircling all who shared their spirits were inspiring, soothing, or frenetic postulating of entertainment by singers, dancers and performers of conceptual merit and artistic purity. Candace Carnacelli, Dale Allen and Suzanne Kennedy led and maintained the ‘enveloping influence’ of the Continuous Circle with their enthusiastic passion and vivid portrayals of ‘Mankind’, using voice or moving form, meditation, twinkling eyes, a change of costume or a wink.
There were several people who stood out among us, to my mind. Each person who attended will have his or her own lists for various reasons. Prof. Ada Aharoni, who radiates calmly vigorous strength, tempered by life, will and wisdom grounded us and mothered us along the road to listening and learning. Prof. Ernesto Kahan’s steady, palpable appreciation of humanity and its follies soothed and fortified our hearts. Rose Lord with her old-world-charming, yet vibrant, loveliness has a core of purposeful steeliness and advocacy-intentioned caring embedded within which glints and gleams of faith. Dorin Popa’s magnetism broods weighty goals and methodology, a concentrator of intense focus with an eye for placement and an ear for the nuances and use of poetic tools in evaluating poetry. Nonie Darwish told her remarkable story of growing up in the Gaza Strip and Cairo, Egypt, shadowed by a Shahid father, with ardency and courage, and emotionally-felt-relief of us all for her release from perversities of genocidal indoctrination by her wisdom and hopes in immigrating to America. Her efforts, through writing and speaking engagements, to explain, to Arabs in particular but to all in general, the actuality of ‘certified actions’ of ‘Islam as a religion of peace’ are critical to change, and will show the true indication of words now spoken mainly by ‘rote-without-thought’, to help build trust, respect and peace between the Arab world and the West and Israel.
Dr. Cynthia King is a marvel of availability, her helpful, compassionate nature is expressed with such verve upon her caring face, she constantly caught our shifting emotions, showing us our reflective convictions of peace seekers who gain profound knowledge, painful or otherwise. Jane Roberts, who, with Lois Abraham, founded UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, provided us with statistics and facts of critical shortcomings in developing countries to protect and educate its women regarding safe motherhood, prevention of HIV/AIDS, family planning and the special needs of adolescents. Joanne Tawfilis and Deanna Kuhn, of whom I’ve gained the deepest esteem, gave me a greater confidence in my artistic nature and deeper appreciation of all forms of its birth through mediums besides words, paper and pencil. Their beautiful, conceptual use of murals painted by sharing souls have enfolded thousands of adults and children throughout the deepest reaches of the world. They have gifted rainbow-eyes to us through the presenting of the 5th CONFERENCE PAVE PEACE Tapestry and helping us create an IFLAC members tapestry to be included in the Mural Project. The world’s combined efforts and colors, through Joanne and Deanna’s vision, will wrap the bereaved families of suicide attacks, spirit-slaughtering and murdered innocence with the hopes and sympathies of the ART MILES MURAL PROJECT and its participants. And, will wrap the Pyramids of Egypt in September of 2010 to show the combining of cultures working together for peace.
Byron De Lear delivered his presentation the last day, upon the theme of the “Communications Revolution” and its effects on culture, with such masterful poetic glow, finesse and power, his message flowed warmly into my poet’s core and pooled with lustrous understanding. And this after he had been sitting for an hour or more with his entire panel in a tiny, hot dining area jammed with chairs after wedding receptions had usurped us from our conference room. Sharon Riegie Maynard, of ‘Sister Space’ online radio for women, a panelist, carries her vital productivity, astuteness and alert watchfulness in her very being, as a living example of sympathetic guardianship, right along with Sherry Beal and Ruth Broyde-Sharone, both excellent, forceful speakers and powerful presences, to me portraying all-people’s outrage and commiserative yearning to give dignity and life’s hope back to torn lands and torn people.
The height of atrocity, the epitome of humanity’s savageness and horror, the stab to the heart came with Producer/Director Karen Hayes’ TV documentary-in-progress of Archbishop Tutu’s tour of Rwanda’s blooded, bodied lands of heinous genocide, where he was overcome with grief and lost his composure, weeping for the magnitude of victims, and for the jailed perpetrators. His message of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation between bitter enemies could not have been an easy matter to balance even in his magnanimous heart and soul.
In a stroke of grace, Dr. Abuelgassim Gor from Sudan and Dr. Ram Mehta of India and Christophe Charles, arrived in the last hour or so on Saturday, the closing day for IFLAC’s conference. These men had such auric potency emanating from their presences, I felt a need to clasp their hands with mine in an attempt to fill myself with their quiet, yet intense, impetus and eminent aptitudes, all soft-spoken, but clarion clear in the purposeful intentions of their minds and use of their abilities for human betterment. Professor Mehta, in the last few moments, was kind enough to introduce me to Poet Bella Clara Ventura, who was attending the World Congress of Poets Convention, and who exuded a dancing vibrancy and the questing intellect of compassionate empathy.
Carried with me by the symbolism of a joined USA/Argentina-flags pin I wore each day, was the Director of IFLAC in Argentina, poet Maria Cristina Azcona, who could not attend the LA convention. She is one of the strongest, grace-filled women I’ve had the honor of meeting. Her intense moral convictions and boundless, energetic work towards crafting peace within our world, and her friendship towards me, are a source of cherished faith-reserve, not only at IFLAC, but also in my soul.
Last and first on my list is Rosetta Jane Sanz, ‘The General’, as she came to be known, a resolver of conflicts and confusions of conference details who was enlisted by Ada, and, who turned around and enlisted me, probably because I was close to hand and looking lost, as her assistant, and gave me a chance to contribute in small ways, mostly by keeping her company as she solved problems, in the successful progression of the IFLAC conference. Her joyful stoicism and calm panics, her ability to achieve results, her dry, humorous wit and unique personality were the superglue of any fragmented pieces behind the scenes when mundane-minded catastrophes could have broken the conference’s back, when glitches emerged and direction was needed. Such as driving ‘somewhere’ in LA and purchasing a large fan for the last day’s cramped, yet vital, sweat-room panel presentations, or rushing across life-threatening LA streets to have copies of everyone’s listed names and e-mails made up for members to take home. She is, I discovered, like the other participants I met, a true ‘soul-sister/brother’, a person whose soul can instantly link with others, to the improvement and enhancement of whomever or all involved. She provided me, by her example and my observations of her values, character and self-effervescent manner, with the verve to read a few pieces of my poetry to IFLAC members, my first public reading, which I was nervous about and reticent to perform, due to lack of opportunity or experience, or desire, really, to gather in group-type contact situations in the professional capacity of Poet.
With the wealth of careers, experiences, degrees and doctorates of most of the convention’s illustrious participants, I never once felt inferior or patronized. I believe respect, which is part of the core of peace, is the first 'paver' of tolerance and appreciation, of self-understanding, which leads to understanding others, of how to find the true path to peace and harmony. Thank you all for a rewarding, exhilarating experience and the friendship of your ‘selves’.
“There is no circular movement
of triangular navigation.
No geometric pattern
the sum of the equation
when formulating genesis.”
Excerpt from “There Are No Rounds”,
By Erin Elizabeth Kelly Moen
© Copyright 8/11/05
I’ve an idea for a better ‘distribution of facts/information’ about the entire Conference program’s pertinent aspects, such as the panels, speakers, web sites, e-mails and the personalities and their activities, and further resources. If an information sheet could be produced for each section of panel/roundtable’s attributes and presentations with moderators and speakers names, e-addys and site URL’s to hand out to participants, it would go a long way in saving time, clarifying actual panel-presenting attendees with program absentees, due to whatever reasons, and would give each individual member a solid data base of IFLAC affiliates and resources.
Respectfully, and with gratitude,
Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
September 8, 2005
Here is a partial list of IFLAC members and their websites and/or organizations or resources, which I compiled from my business cards, handouts and notes. There was a larger list being constructed on our last day, which may be available from another source.
Global Peace Solutions
Byron De Lear
Global Coalition for Peace
Rose Lord – Program Director
Cynthia King, PhD
Arabs for Israel
34 Million Friends of UNFPA
Jane Roberts, Co-founder
The College of New Jersey
Blythe Hinitz, EdD
Dept. of Elementary Education
and Early Childhood Education
The Cove/Rincon International
Marily A Reyes – Executive Director
Sister Space Online Radio for Women
Sharon Riegie Maynard – Space Holder
IFLAC PAVE PEACE
Ada Aharoni – President
Joanne Tawfilis – Co-founder, Executive Director
Deanne Kuhn – Co-founder
Ariella Film and Video
A Right To Know!
Sherry Beal – Host and Producer
Center for Advancement of Nonviolence
World Film and Television
Karen Hayes – Producer/Director
More resources for documentary filmmaking:
Documentary Films .Net
International Documentary Association
Third World Newsreel
Women Make Movies