A late night passed quickly into an early morning. Bobo, Jen and I chatted late into the night and I fell asleep while finishing up a blog entry. My sleep was deep though, after a long haul down the coast to the Endless Summer Rally, followed by a long drive over to L.A. The bungalow in Pasadena was a fun, cozy spot though and it felt great to sleep on something other than a squeaky hostel bed.
Mike and I headed over to NOHO scooters were I met up with Tammy, my tour guide for the day. Scooting around a new city is the way to tour! Original plan had been to bypass L.A. and go to Long Beach. However, the route over to Joshua Tree would have me puttering through L.A. anyhow, so I accepted NOHO Scooter’s offer to host me. Ultimately, this was a sound decision! Mike, Jen, and Tammy were greats hosts. I’ll write a bit more about that later tonight. (I’m writing from the road) Tammy took me up to Hollywood Hills to snap that classic shot.
They have a mutual friend, also a scooterist, Linda, who is dubbed, “The Angry Hippie,”. She’s really not angry. She is more like a quirky hippie. Since the day that George W. Bush was inaugurated she has worn an item with a Peace sign on it-going on 8 years now! We spent some of the afternoon hanging out and exchanging ideas. I’m really glad we met!
L.A. is over the top but I enjoyed my brief time there. Two things came out of this trip. “Speak your Peace,” was coined. Linda asked me how many people I am trying to reach. That is a question I have wrestled with the whole trip. If you have read along the whole time, you might remember that back in Selma, AL I was reading a MLK book, “The Measure of Man.” Here is an excerpt from that journal entry:
“Some years ago a group of chemists who had a flair for statistics decided to work out the worth of man’s body in terms of the market values for that day. They got together and did a lot of work, and finally they came to this conclusion: The average man has enough fat in him to make about seven bars of soap, enough iron to make a medium-sized nail, enough sugar to fill a shaker, enough lime to whitewash a chicken coop, enough phosphorus for about 2, 220 match tips, and enough magnesium for a dose of magnesia. When all of this was added up in terms of the market values of that day it came to about ninety-eight cents. Now, I guess, since the standards of living are a little higher today, you could get about a dollar ninety-eight for the average man. (and now days that would be about 3.98)”
This is interesting. Think about it. Man’s bodily stuff is worth only 3.98. But can we explain the whole of man in terms of $3.98? Can we explain the artistic genius of Michelangelo or Alex Grey in terms of $3.98? Can we explain the spiritual genius of Martin Luther King, Jr. in $3.98? Can we explain the mystery of the human soul in terms of $3.98? There is something within man that cannot be explained in terms of dollars and cents.
Well, the same questioning is applicable to the mission of P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. How many people do I want to reach? How do I measure the “worth” of this trip? Do I hold the success against the money spent doing it? How do I even determine the catalytic scale of the trip? Do I ruin it by saying, “Oh, it’s successful if we pull out of Iraq?” or “If George W. Bush defines Peace, it’s is a success.” It’s an accomplishment just to ride 10,000 miles on a scooter-for that matter-8,300 miles. Is not the transformation of one person a “success,’?
But when Linda proposed the question-it all clicked. Remember, the impetus for this trip happened while I was at the John Lennon Instant Karma exhibit, and saw the quote, “If a billion people were thinking about Peace, there would be Peace.” And I thought-that seems easy; why aren’t people doing that; and maybe people don’t have a definition of Peace. Hmmm, I will travel and ask people to visualize and define Peace. Suddenly it was crystal clear, I realized- ONE BILLION definitions of Peace, on this website-that’s what I am seeking. So, game on-forget one million-that’s too trendy-let’s aim high world. Tell everyone you know-and take a moment to leave us your personal definition. What we are creating here is a forum that offers insight to one another’s perspective. We have a common ground-a place to celebrate diversity.
When I talk to people about this trip, I say: “America is great, right, look at all the different cultures and ideologies coursing through the country…but often we separate, create factions based on our differences-let’s step forward and generate dialog about our similarities.” Share your personal idea of Peace and your vision for the future-its a simple, civil way to bring different, new ideas into the light-and hopefully celebrate diversity. Diversity is a strength-not a weakness. Judgement is divisive, acceptance is unifying.
So there it is-Speak your Peace is born and will live past the finish line. I JUST did a google search, and it seems that Speak your Peace has been coined before. Crikey. Well, I’m gonna look into it, guess I should contact them. 😉
I’m headed to the Joshua Tree for all kinds of weird adventures. Tiffany, my hostess in Atlanta, GA is now at the Joshua Tree, so I have a place to stay. Apparently, strange things happen out in the desert-keep you posted!
A deep bow to the new Peace definitions over on the Wall of Beliefs! It’s very nice to meet people and then see their definitions posted. Many warm thanks and blessings to the people sending donations. Please, keep them coming-even $5 is a 225 miles or so of gas!
Photos will be posted soon, but the internet connection here is miserable!
A quote I keep seeing everywhere:
“When the POWER OF LOVE overcomes the LOVE OF POWER, the world will know PEACE.” Jimi Hendrix