Sea of Change

The tide of my life is ebbing

exposing my true soul

that realism no longer overwhelming

but liberating, as any pretence is revealed

seeing the rocks, driftwood, plastic

the rubbish I have hidden

buried deep into the sand

realising that judgement

is only for God’s hands,

a stronger, compassionate, caring spirit

is resurrected for my fellow man

forgiveness for those that have wronged me,

so as I accept myself,

with all my peccadilloes

let me accept you also

So as the tide of love returns

washing away our guilt, our shame

enabling the bricks of truth and hope

to be cemented together

by God’s eternal grace…

 

M.C. Bolton, October 2017

 

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Photo & video by TC, France, October 2017

 

Women Wage Peace

When Men Can’t.

I found the volunteering of Israeli and Palestinian women to make a stance against war together, magnetic, ironic, inspiring and even prophetic. At the same time serving as a mercy to silly men in suits who make decisions, offering them a final chance to listen to the earth’s cries before it consumes us all. As men have continuously failed at this ego-free opportunity to relieve the planet, I wanted to talk with a more reasonable group. 

Yael Treidel is an active member of Women Wage Peace. W.W.P. are a collective of Israeli women who decided to unite in an effort to stop the warring in the wider region. On October the 4th 2016, WWP set off on a two-week march to Jerusalem. 
 It seems that Sunday, anywhere else in London, could be considered a day of rest but not in the  W11 area.  One phone call later, after struggling to get a peaceful place to converse in a busy venue in Notting Hill, I’ve finally managed to secure an empty office space with enough solitude to satisfy a sleepy baby. The famous Skype ring tone disturbs the rooms blissful peace and off we go.

imgres UDL: Hi Yael, is that any better for you (the connection)?

Yael: Yes, right now it sounds much better.

UDL: Good. Did you hear any of what I said before?

Yael: Yes I heard it, I just wanted to tell you that we are definitely not the first ones to do this. The women in Liberia were the main reason and maybe the only reason why the slaughter there stopped so they are a great inspiration for us. The peace in Northern Ireland, the women were very important there too. Also, even here there was a group in the 90’s called The Four Mothers and they actually were an important cause of why we pulled out of Lebanon. So women are doing it already and have been for a while.

 

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A statue erected for The Four Mothers in Petah-Tikva, Israel

 

UDL: This is a new realisation for me, I guess I’m quite naive in respect of that but I am 100% in support of it, and that’s why I want to do whatever I can to further this cause and spread it.
Who started W.W.P. and what inspired you? Continue reading

What happens when you say ‘Good Morning’ to 150 people?

Good Morning, Good Morning

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You can be skipping in Hyde Park, inspired by, and feeling like, Floyd Mayweather. But within a few short minutes, the mind can switch in a wonderful way.

Doing just this, the handle of my rope broke. I asked the lady at the nearby food stand if she had a screwdriver and she handed me a substitute knife with an apology. As I looked at the screw head and the wannabe screwdriver an older lady asked me how many I had done. I felt her warmth and willingness to engage. I answered her humbly with a number lower than I really had. Okay, I lied and I have no idea why. She then said something witty, I smiled and carried on. I fixed the rope and continued but that short experience had me thinking about the beautiful nature of people, especially early in the morning.

In my book, Read This On The Train, I encourage the reader to stay open to whoever might be sitting opposite them on public transport, to stay engaged with each other as human beings, not as separate units, competing against each other like boxers.

This lady, after the excess of the winter festivities, brought that principle back to me. I was inspired by her to nurture my true self, as I had been inspired by Mayweather to nurture my physical self.

I finished skipping and walked home via Queensway but I decided to see what would happen if I simply acknowledged my fellow human beings, each and every one, by saying ‘good morning’ all the way home, 1.1 miles.

Good Morning

At first I could see that because people didn’t expect it, they decided it had never happened and continued like I wasn’t there, although I could see their heads slightly turning with curiosity as I became history to them.

To turn around would probably present too much risk and possibility for them to deal with, in their otherwise autopilot morning rush hour routine. After about 20 people, I realised that it didn’t matter whether they were present enough to face the Good Morning Dandy and the possibility of it becoming a hostage / gunpoint situation with helicopters, swat teams and me ‘downed’. No, it wasn’t relevant at all. What mattered was that they heard me and came to grips with their own fears; l was just the messenger of a recognition of human dignity, from one soul to another.

After that realisation, I relaxed and my voice became more audible, confident yet not intrusive, for I am a man of sensitivity, and never aggressive. After 150 ‘Good Morning’s, and yes this is accurate, not like the white lie told to the kind lady in Hyde Park, I learned about the ego, stuff like: people feel more comfortable when they are not alone, so I received grateful replies from couples and, as I relaxed further, also from lone commuters, and I saw that this curious behaviour of saying ‘Good Morning’ to fellow earthlings has become alien to most people in the city. 

Those 150 people whose day might have been changed by my foreign language can thank the warm hearted lady in Hyde Park on that chilly morning, and they can thank this Floyd for bringing some May weather to the English January. 

Angel Lewis with Tom Charles

 

 

Breaking down our self-imposed barriers is the subject of my book Read This On The Train, buy it here, now. It’s not as cheap as a ‘Good Morning’, but it’s still a bargain.