Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What if May 13, 2007 was the "Sunday" chapter in "The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering"?

Sharon Mehdi's wonderful story "The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering" has seven chapters, one for each day of the week. The first chapter, "Sunday", is where the two women who take their stand in the park are noticed by the folks in the nearby cafe. This began the wonderful unfolding of events that culminated on Saturday, in the "Saturday" chapter, with the entire world standing.

On Sunday, May 13, 2007 thousands of women and men stood together throughout the world--some as individuals, some in small groups of a few to a few dozen, and others in groups of several hundred. No matter what the size of the gathering, the magic of collectively connecting occurred. I have posted at the end of this message a sample of the postings we have received. You can find additional postings at the website itself. Reading those will show the magic. Our wonderful sisters in the Czech Republic have posted a YouTube video of their standing. You can feel the magic as you watch it. You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGqt14fWBnM&mode=related&search=

In my park which is quite large, we had several groups that did not find each other by 1 p.m. and thus we had several standings. In my location, we had about 100 women and men, and a few more joined after we began. We ranged in age from a 7 month old baby to a woman of 100 years of age, with all ages in between represented. We stood in a circle holding hands as one, both with the others in our circle and with all who were standing with us at that time. We could feel that thousands of wonderful women and men were standing with us on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. It was deeply moving.

But, this was, after all, only "Sunday". We have six chapters left in the story. Many of you have sent messages asking that we continue with standings. Please check our website to find out how to connect with each other both for more standings and for joining together for collective action to begin to create the world of which we dream. Please join us as we continue to write the story that dear Sharon Mehdi envisioned in her "little story for her granddaughter." We hope that we will together write the stories for Monday through Saturday.

Various comments on this blog provide descriptions of standings. In addition, the following are a sampling of the standing descriptions we have received on the website:

Prague/Praha, Czech Republic

We met with about 50 or more women at the Wenceslass Square in the very centre of Prague. It was wonderful. We all brought little bells or keys and ended the five minutes by ringing the bells. The energy was flowing and the energy field was quite strong. Also, we felt great solidarity with other women (and men, there were men among us, standing too!). . . . You can see a video from this event at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGqt14fWBnM&mode=related&search=

Guelph, Mexico

More than two dozen women gathered in the gazebo in front of the church that is the soul of Vallarta. To one side of us the town hall, before us the great Pacific ocean. We held hands and others gathered around and behind us. I held a brief earth healing after the 5 minutes were up, bringing light from the Highest Source - whatever each person perceived that to be, taking it through the circle of peace we had created, to anchor it in the heart of Mother earth. We filled the earth with that light, then lifted it up to the center of our circle and radiated light into all the places on the planet we felt to do so. Thank you for this chance to bring women, and men, together in this beautiful way. There cannot be too many gatherings like this.

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Under budding trees in a very late and cold spring in our small town in Northern Canada 25 people gathered on City Hall lawn to stand in solidarity with grandmothers and people everywhere who know that what we are doing and what has been done in this world is not working, and that change has to come from a new direction: the wisdom of elders, the knowing of grandmothers, and the inclusion of women who make up 52% of the population of the world but are without equal status with men.

The standing left me feeling spiritually stronger, more determined and hopeful for change, and very grateful to be part of a gathering of people worldwide whose priority is human emotional and physical health and wellbeing.

The standing has left me with renewed certainty and determination to speak out about what I know to be wrong: ageism (in either direction) sexism, racism, and violence of any and all kinds especially verbal and emotional violence.

Ontario, Canada

First there were two, then four, than another three, then two more, then.... From down the hill, over the fence, up from the street, from across the stairs, they came to answer the call from StandingWomen.org. We intuitively formed a circle. Women and men and children and Coyote, the dog came together in the lush clover with the majestic Loretto Convent building boarded up and empty behind us. We casually introduced ourselves to one another as we rang our Tibetan bells and cow bells and school bells and silver bells to announce the location. And then at 1:00, we held the silence. Sometimes the noise from the busy street or voices from the top of the hill intruded, but this circle held the silence. In those five sacred minutes, our silent intentions joined the bustle and rode the gentle spring wind to join with others who were also standing. A few cars slowed down and drivers and passengers looked with curiosity up the hill. A chill snaked up my spine as I looked around and beheld the circle of strangers and friends and family standing

Mt. Vernon, Ohio, USA

On a bright, cool Mother’s Day afternoon, as the bells of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church tolled, more than 80 women, men and children joined hands on Public Square and stood for five minutes of silence in hope for peace. Even after the church bells stopped ringing, people continued to join the circle, including elderly men and women, some with canes, who slowly made their way across the square. The circle broke open and let them in. “It takes a community to vision the change that we all want to see,” said Erin Salva of Knox County Voices for Peace.

Sarasota, Florida, USA

What a feeling! There were more than one hundred of us gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church here. We rang our bells, then stood silently as cars drove past on the road in front of us. So many blew their horns and gave us a thumbs up or a peace sign! It was so heart-warming and it made me feel that there were so many more who, though they were not standing with us, felt as we did! It was a good day! Peace and love to all!

Paris, Kentucky, USA

Being a solitary, a poet, and a country woman, I decided that I would stand, not in a park or school yard, as those places are not natural to me, but on the front stoop of our house in rural Bourbon County, Kentucky. My husband stood by me, as he has done for 35 years now, and so did our son. It was on this stoop that we kept our candlelight vigil four years ago, on the eve of the War in Iraq. It seemed appropriate.

Ashland, Oregon, USA

Yesterday in Ashland's Lithia Park, 250 people gathered for the Mother's Day Stand to Save the World. We were a small band of people joining others up and down the West Coast, following in the footsteps of perhaps hundreds of thousands of others performing the same sacred act over and over through all the world's time zones. We instinctively formed a circle...the energy that emanated was astounding...and I realized this had been going on all day everywhere. And I knew the planet must be smiling.

Yesterday all of us around the world lifted up our mighty silence in blessing and hope...and in doing so, did as Buddha instructed: "Make of yourself a light." If all of us everywhere could have been seen from outer space we would have been a great light and one grand sight, indeed. Those of us in Ashland were so honored to stand with you together to change the world. This silence was golden indeed! When the bells rang out to end the silence, my soul sang.

Tacoma, Washington, USA

There were 170 of us standing in a circle in beautiful Wright Park near the Conservatory today. We held the intention of peace in sacred silence after we sang together accompanied by a beautiful flute. We then had a large gong calling us into silence. During this time. a beautiful gentle breeze came and gifted all of us. We extended our intention of peace to the world and to one another.

Portland, Maine

I stood by myself in my backyard by the pine trees. I love the idea that so many women are sending out their healing thoughts to the universe. It is powerful. Keep it up!

Lawrence, Kansas

I write this after the event to share how I felt. I arrived at the park early with my family. We were expecting a crowd. As the time approached they came from all directions. I think there were 60, maybe more. We stood near the peace pole. When the bell rand the silence was enveloping and multiplied by joined thoughts like group meditations. It was meaningful and a great beginning. Thank you.

Santa Barbara, California

A wonderful and large gathering at the Rose Garden at the old Santa Barbara Mission -- 250 people or more I am guessing. It was perfect.

Raleigh, North Carolina

A small group of us stood in a park beneath an oak tree across from our church at 1 pm on May 13. The breeze was blowing and even though cars were passing by on the busy streets and we could hear the sounds of a homeless rally in the distance, there was peace. The leaves of the oaks rustled above us and while my eyes were closed, I saw a flash of bright light out of the corner of my eye. It seemed as though the sun shone through the trees for an instant, but the flash was much brighter in my mind. Then I knew that peace was with us and dreams were coming true.

San Jose, California

We stood at the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment at our Peaceful Shrine, about 100 of us after hearing a sermon and reading the wonderful statement posted here that had been duplicated, some of us stood at the corner of Alameda and University. It was powerful to hold the intention and vision and know it was happening everywhere.


Mathil Kuiper said...

Geervliet (on the south holland islands ) in The Netherlands.

I stood in my front garden near the childrens playground of the village I live.And I had put earlier a poster on my frontdoor , where I explained about Standing Women and asked to join.

The 13th at 1pm I stood fysically alone in my frontgarden , though felt very connected with all the women , men , and children worldwide who were also standing at the same time. Also with my children , who couldnt arrive on time.

I felt connected with the ones of The Dances Of Universal Peace who were standing with others before the mainairport of the Netherlands, in Amsterdam and felt connectd with everyone elsewhere in Holland , and too very connected with the women of Lynn Andrews Sacred Forum, who were Standing in Europe and also with the Women World Wide.

I stood in my front garden near the childrens playground of the village I live.And had put earlier a poster on my frontdoor , where I explained about Standing Women and asked to join.

When I stood at my lokal 1pm :I saw a white butterfly in my frontgarden ,it kept on beeing there and flying around , I greeted her and it became all warm in me the thought of all those women , men , children connceting , just in Silence .

The wind breezed as a message from around the wolrd through the leaves of the Big Tree nearby as to say : we are Standing with you too.and ..so did the tree!
We are Standing Together.

I was standing and standing with the poster on the door where I had anoonounced about Standing Women at 1 pm,

people passing by , smiling and than....children passing by ... and they stopped , standed a while and asked :" what are you standing there?" and I showed them in Silence the poster on my door .

They looked at me , and at eachother and than " okee... you are standing , so... we , we can play ?"

I nodded my head ,and with a lot of laughter and joyfull cheers they went further to the playground.

beautyfull&symbolical isnt it?That they can play , learn , eat , drink in peace

It was a beautyfull experience , later A friend (living in uk) and me realised that there was an hour time different , so than she standing and I was aware and felt that she standed.

The whole day I felt it , till late when the people in America were Standing.

Anonymous said...

We had a tiny gathering in Olympia, Washington. About l5 women, men and children were there when I arrived, a little late. The site for the gathering had been chosen without reckoning on our town's huge, busy Wooden Boat Festival scheduled for the same weekend. That was in full deployment all around our chosen spot. We stood squeezed by a railing amid crowds of people moving from booth to booth. Some of them stopped, and some were able to figure out that they could take a little yellow quarter-sheet with the Standing Women's statement on it, held silently in my friend Lynn's hand. Some of them joined us. This little pond of quietness, slightly blocking all the wandering, was strange and concentrated.
A retired art teacher rang a little bell to end the silence. Everyone smiled and went off to their Mother's Day commitments. I went back to where my family was gathered. I'd been gone for 25 minutes. My time at the gathering was less important to me than letting them see that something besides our being together could require this little slice of time.
I don't think they understood that I did it for them.

Charmie Gholson said...

I say we have a Standing Women vigil every day at noon. It's easy, go out in your yard, on your lunch break.

Imagine the impact!

Anonymous said...

In Turin, Italy, I didn't hear about the Standing until after May 13, but then I sent the word to everyone I could. Now, reading these comments, tears are running down my face as I realize how many of us there must be, how connected we all are and how powerful is our standing together. I say 'we' although I didn't in fact stand on the day, because included in this we is everyone who is standing at this moment and at any moment, inside, outside, or in our hearts.zmjeeh

Gather the Women said...

Dear Anonymous from Turin, Italy. Thank you for your wonderful message. Please let us know how to contact you. If you send another comment to the blog with your contact information, we won't publish it but will contact you about future plans.

Deb from Standing Women