30 September 2011

Thimble 67 - The Soldier's Kiss


The Soldier's Kiss

by War Poet Henry Chappell (1874 -1937)

Only a dying horse! Pull off the gear,
And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws,
Drag it aside there, leave the roadway clear
The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.

Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies
With quivering limbs as fast the life tide fails,
Dark films are closing o'er the faithful eyes
That mutely plead for aid where none avails.

Onward the battery roll, but one there speeds
Heedless of comrade's voice or bursting shell,
Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds
Beside the stony highway where it fell.

Only a dying horse! He swiftly kneels,
Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh
Kisses his friend. While down his cheek there steals
Sweet pity's tear; ‘Goodbye Old Man, Goodbye'

No honours wait him, Medal, Badge or Star,
Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold;
He bears within his breast, more precious far
Beyond the gift of Kings, a heart of gold.


29 September 2011

Thimble 66 - Dove of Peace

The Dove of Peace is a Christian symbol, but the olive branch it carries belongs to the Greek /Roman goddess of Peace - Eirene. In earliest Christian art the dove was used to symbolise spiritual peace. It was only later, when the dove was depicted carrying an olive branch, that it became a symbol for Peace in a more literal sense of non-violence. as a symbol for a more literal kind of Peace.

28 September 2011

Thimble 65 - for Rosh Hashanah

Today is the Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah. It is as much a time to reflect as to celebrate. A personal time to look at your own Spiritual journey - where you have been and where you want to go in the New Year.

A tradition I really like the idea of is "Tashlich".
'On Rosh Hashanah, many Jews may follow a custom called tashlich ("casting off") in which they walk to a naturally flowing body of water such as a river or stream, recite several prayers, reflect upon their sins over the past year and symbolically cast them off by throwing their sins into the water (usually by throwing pieces of bread into the stream).'

Wouldn't it be nice to wash away all the world's anger and hate and start each new year completely fresh and clean?

Shalom! Peace!

27 September 2011

Thimble 64 - Pipes of Peace

Based on a true story, this song will always be one of my favourites.


26 September 2011

Thimble 63 - Peace and War

There is one Peace Symbol that has, most tragically, taken on a symbolism of an entirely different kind. In fact, it has even been banned in several countries around the world.

Originally it was a symbol for harmony, Peace and good luck. In China it was sometimes used as a symbol for the sun. The ancient Greeks used it to decorate their pottery and the Hindus linked it, in various forms, to their gods. It has been used in funeral rites as a blessing and as a good luck symbol all across Asia. This bottom photo shows it used on a Temple in South Korea.

The ancient Sansksrit name for this symbol, translating as "all is well" is... svastika.

all is well

How terribly tragic that such a beautiful blessing, worked into a pleasing geometric symbol, could now be something we draw back from in disgust when we see it in connection with Hitler and the Nazis. For millenia it wished us all well until one century of war and violence changed all that.

Maybe one day, when all is well, we'll set it free to be the simple symbol of Peace it was first created to be.

25 September 2011

Thimble 62 - be a Thimble of Good


Do your little bit of good where you are;
its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Desmond Tutu

24 September 2011

Thimble 61 - Let me sow Love


Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


st. Francis of Assisi, 13th century...


23 September 2011

Thimble 60 - for Mabon

.Mabon is the Wiccan festival of the Autumn equinox. I'm putting the Wiccan "Law of Three" for this Peace thimble.

Whatever you send out, in thought or deed,
comes back to you three times stronger...


send out Peace!


20 September 2011

Thimble 57 - The White Poppy

The White Poppy was first produced by the Co-operative Women's Guild in 1933, but the idea started brewing around 1926, when the "No More War Movement" suggested that the British Legion red poppies have the words "No more War" printed on their centre rather than "Haig Fund".

The Peace Pledge Union website says:

the Co-operative Women's Guild who in 1933 produced the first white poppies to be worn on Armistice Day (later called Remembrance Day). The Guild stressed that the white poppy was not intended as an insult to those who died in the First World War - a war in which many of the women lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers. The following year the newly founded Peace Pledge Union joined the CWG in the distribution of the poppies and later took over their annual promotion.

You can find buy your own white poppy, or postcards, or just download their free posters and wall charts HERE.

19 September 2011

Thimble 56 - Open our Hearts


Creator, open our hearts
to peace and healing between all people.

Creator, open our hearts
to provide and protect for all children of the earth.

Creator, open our hearts
to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.

Creator, open our hearts
to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.

Thank-you for the gifts of this day and every day.

Alycia Longriver
Native American - Micmac


18 September 2011

Thimble 55 - Peace in the Valley


A beautiful Peace Song by Elvis Presley

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be lit by a child
And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

17 September 2011

Thimble 54 - Lachto Drom


The girl in this photo was nine years old when she stared out at the world from a train. Two months later, in 1944, she would be gassed at Auschwitz. She's only one death in millions, a face without a name, but her haunting expression, caught on film, would become famous as an icon for all the Jewish children who died in the holocaust... except she wasn't Jewish. She was Romani - a Gypsy.

She would have to wait until 1994 for a Dutch Journalist, Aad Wagenaar, to identify her. A survivor from that terrible journey remembered her name; her mother had called her back from looking out the train. Her name was Settela Steinbach and she was born in the Netherlands.
'Latcho Drom is an ancient expression in the Gypsy language that means "Bon Voyage", "Safe Journey". It's been used in time immemorial as an expression of good wishes by this migrant people. When a Gypsy family would leave from one location, in route to another, in search of a better living, those staying behind would simply say Latcho Drom, "have a safe journey"
Quote From here
Lachta Drom... Safe Journey.

Settela's train trip was so completely the opposite of safe that it is mind-boggling. She was travelling on a journey most of us couldn't begin to, or want to, imagine. Many of the Romani children who went Auschwitz-Birkenau were used for the medical experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele. But why did it take so long for anyone to realise she was Roma and not Jewish?

'It was assumed she was Jewish, as for many years there was little attention paid to the genocide of the 400,000 Roma that were murdered by the Germans ...'


"Little attention paid to the genocide..."

Such a simple phrase for such an overwhelming and unbearable truth.

The Nazis' official title for it was, "Combating the Gypsy Nuisance" and it almost seems as if the world thought remembering those dead was a nuisance as well. It took decades of campaigning before an official day dedicated to those who died was declared in 2009. August 2 was chosen for International Roma Holocaust Day because it was on the night of August 2-3 that 2,897 Sinti and Romani men, women, and children were killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau when the camp was liquidated. No more Lachto Drom, no more safe journeys...

O the black bird went into my heart and stole it.
Here I live in auschtwitz
here in auschtwitz I'm hungry,
there isn't a piece of bread to eat.
there isn't nothing to eat here
its all my bad luck.
at one time I had my home.
I'm so hungry I could kill.
oh oh Jesus oh oh

Sung by Romani holocaust survivor Margita Makulov√°.

Movie clip from the docu-movie Lachto Drom

How do you travel on from such appalling memories? It is not enough to move forward from guilt. It is not enough to move forward in anger. We need to move forward because we have learnt from the past, recognising the flaws of humanity, and are ready to create a better future. Guilt is as poisonous as anger, they may spur you into starting a journey, but to travel with them for a lifetime destroys all joy and pleasure.

Embrace the horror and anger, bitterness and grief. Don't turn away from accepting your part in any tragedy, no matter how bad guilt may make you feel. Accept your part in the world's past, but don't stay there - you have to travel on! There's no point in learning lessons if you don't use them. Wish each other Lachto Drom, good luck, safe journeys, and then make that your intention - safety and goodness for everyone.

* With many thanks to Morgan,
who blogs with an amazing passion on
Lolo Diklo,
for helping me with links and photo.


16 September 2011

Thimble 53 - The Red Poppy

In Ancient times the poppy was the symbol of the Greek god, Morpheus - the god of dreams, probably because opiate drugs are derived from some species of poppy. It's also a flower seen in late summer and Autumn, which leads it to being linked with the year ending and harvest.

With the dawn of Christianity the poppy moved from being a symbol of dreams and slumber to being a symbol of resting peacefully in death. Poppies grow best in soil that has been dug up and turned over, as in harvest...

...or in war or around graves.

In 1915 a young Canadian doctor, named John McCrae, was stationed in France during the war. He saw the poppies growing on battlefields of Flanders and was moved to write the beautiful poem "In Flanders Fields" ...but it was actually an American woman, named Moira Michael, who made the first pledge to wear a red poppy in honour of those who had died in the war. Her pledge is in her poem "We Shall Keep the Faith", written in 1918.

Today the red poppy is worn (usually on Nov 11 - Remembrance Day/Armistice Day) to commemorate all servicemen and women who have been killed in wars since 1914....

"Only Remembered" (Bonar/Sankey/Tams Voice Publishing) is used by permission and is taken from the album "Private Peaceful The Concert" (No Masters NMCD24, http://www.nomasters.co.uk ) by Coope Boyes & Simpson (http://www.coopeboyesandsimpson.co.uk )..

15 September 2011

Thimble 52 - Blessed


Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.

Matthew 5:3-10

14 September 2011

Thimble 51 - Eirene and the Olive Branch

The olive branch as a peace symbol dates back to ancient Rome and Greece. The Olive tree was the favourite of Eirene (Irene) - the Greek goddess of Peace. She was depicted holding an olive branch.

"How far peace outweighs war in benefits to man;
Eirene , the chief friend and cherisher of the Mousai (Muses);
Eirene, the enemy of revenge, lover of families and children, patroness of wealth.
Yet these blessings we viciously neglect, embrace wars;
man with man, city with city fights, the strong enslaves the weak."

5th BC

13 September 2011

Thimble 50 - From a Distance


From a distance the world looks blue and green,

and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
it's the voice of every man.

From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.

From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They're the songs of every man.

God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

From a distance you look like my friend,
even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
what all this fighting is for.

From a distance there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,
it's the heart of every man.

It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves.
This is the song of every man.

And God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance.
Oh, God is watching us, God is watching.
God is watching us from a distance.

12 September 2011

Thimble 49 - Peaceful Societies


People living in peaceful societies try as much as possible to live in harmony and avoid violence: they shun aggressive behavior and refuse to fight in wars.

In fact, avoiding violence—and perhaps just as critically, thinking and feeling that they must avoid it—is not only essential to many of these peoples, it is defining for them.

Several of these societies see themselves as peaceful, and they clearly take pride in that peacefulness. For some of these peoples, their attitude is a striking contrast, in their minds, to other, manifestly less peaceful, societies with which they come in contact.

For these nonviolent peoples, their very sense of defining themselves as peaceful is the foundation of their worldviews. Building interpersonal harmony and avoiding violence is essential to their ways of life.
from peacefulsocieties.org

Living in Peace... It can be done. Many small cultural groups have lived that way for centuries and still do. Here's a list of some of those peaceful people:

Encyclopedia of Selected Peaceful Societies

Rural Thai
Tristan Islanders
Zapotec of La Paz


11 September 2011

Thimble 48 - Dona Nobis Pacem for 9/11

For Today, Mimi has made a very special Blogblast for Peace Globe.
In memory and love...


Send Thy peace O Lord, which is
perfect and everlasting,
that our souls may radiate peace.

Send Thy peace O Lord, that amidst
our worldly strife, we may enjoy Thy bliss.

Send Thy peace O Lord, that we
may endure all, tolerate all, in the thought of
Thy grace and mercy.

Send Thy peace O Lord, that our lives
may become a Divine vision and in Thy light,
all darkness may vanish.

Send Thy peace O Lord, our Father and Mother,
that we Thy children on Earth may all
unite in one family.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.


10 September 2011

Thimble 47 - Wilde War

As long as war is regarded as wicked,
it will always have its fascination.

When it is looked upon as vulgar,
it will cease to be popular.

Oscar Wilde


9 September 2011

Thimble 46 - Teddy Bear Day

Today is Teddy Bear Day and this is the story of a very special teddy bear.

Teddy is a stuffed bear that belonged to Aileen Rogers when she was a girl growing up in Quebec.

When Aileen’s father, Lawrence Browning Rogers, went to fight for Canada in World War I, Teddy was shipped overseas to help protect him. In a letter from September 25, 1916, Lawrence wrote:

Tell Aileen I still have the Teddy Bear and will try to hang on to it for her, it is dirty and his hind legs are kind of loose but he is still with me.

Teddy was discovered, along with Lawrence’s wedding ring and letters from his family, after he died at Passchendaele.

In the final years of her life, Aileen often spoke about Teddy and about her father’s departure for the war. Aileen’s niece, Roberta Rogers Innes, unearthed Teddy from an old family briefcase in 2002. The briefcase also included more than 200 letters that Lawrence had written to May during the war.

In 2003 Roberta submitted Teddy and some of the letters to The Memory Project, an initiative of The Dominion Institute, the Globe and Mail and the government of France. Those entities launched a national call for letters and photographs from the front lines of the First World War to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of the war.

Teddy was among the artifacts selected.

The Rogers family donated Teddy to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, where the little bear now has a spot in a glass case as part of the World War I exhibit.

There is a Children's book about Teddy's story, "A Bear in War"
You can find out more about the book and the Rogers family here.

8 September 2011

Thimble 45 - The True Peace

The True Peace

The first peace, which is the most important,
is that which comes within the souls of people
when they realize their relationship,
their oneness, with the universe and all its powers,
and when they realize that at the center
of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit),
and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.
The second peace is that which is made between two individuals,
and the third is that which is made between two nations.
But above all you should understand that there can never
be peace between nations until there is known that true peace,
which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

Black Elk, Oglala Sioux & Spiritual Leader (1863 - 1950)


7 September 2011

Thimble 44 - Young man I think I know you...

This is a poem about war. It's old, from the American Civil War, and yet it could have been written about wars being fought right this moment.

A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Grey and Dim
by Walt Whitman

A SIGHT in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying,
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,
Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first just lift the blanket;
Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray'd hair,
and flesh all sunken about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?
Then to the second I step- and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?
Then to the third- a face nor child nor old, very calm, as of
beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you - I think this face is the face of the Christ himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.

Music "Dead Soldier's Waltz" by Sabaton


5 September 2011

Thimble 42 - Hunyani... In Memory

This weekend was the anniversary of the first of two civilian aircraft brought down by surface-to-air Missiles in Rhodesian (Zimbabwe, Africa) airspace in the 1970s. They were:

Air Rhodesia Flight RH825 Viscount "Hunyani", shot down 3rd Sept 1978
and Flight RH827 Viscount "Umniati", shot down February 12th 1979.

What made the Hunyani different, is the fact that not all the passengers died in the air crash - 18 survived. Some of the survivors, mostly women and children, waited by the crash site while the others went for help...

but help would come too late.

Ten of those waiting by the crash site were shot, and bayoneted, to death by the guerilla troops that found them first. The massacre of those survivors of that air crash will always stand out for me as one of the most appalling acts. To find a message of Peace on an anniversary like this? Yes, it can be done, but not by me. The words I'm choosing for this thimble were spoken in 1978, by the (then) Dean of Salisbury, in his sermon about the Hunyani Disaster. They are as apt today, for any war tragedy, as they were back then...

The Silence is Deafening

Sermon by Very Rev. John da Costa,

'Clergy are usually in the middle, shot at from both sides. It is not an enviable role. Yet times come when it is necessary to speak out, and in direct and forthright terms, like trumpets with unmistakable notes. I believe that this is one such time.

Nobody who holds sacred the dignity of human life can be anything but sickened at the events attending the crash of the Viscount Hunyani. Survivors have the greatest call on the sympathy and assistance of every other human being. The horror of the crash was bad enough, but that this should have been compounded by murder of the most savage and treacherous sort leaves us stunned with disbelief and brings revulsion in the minds of anyone deserving the name "human."

This bestiality, worse than anything in recent history, stinks in the nostrils of Heaven. But are we deafened with the voice of protest from nations which call themselves "civilised"? We are not. Like men in the story of the Good Samaritan, they "pass by, on the other side."

One listens and the silence is deafening.

Who is to be blamed for this ghastly episode?

Like Pontius Pilate, the world may ask "What is truth?" What is to be believed? That depends on what your prejudices will allow you to believe, for then no evidence will convince you otherwise.

So who is to be blamed?

The United Nations and their church equivalent, the WCC. I am sure they both bear blame in this. Each parade a pseudo-morality which, like all half-truths, is more dangerous than the lie direct. From the safety and comfort of New York and Geneva, high moral attitudes can safely be struck. For us in the sweat, the blood, the suffering, it is somewhat different.

Who else? The churches? Oh yes, I fear so.

For too long, too many people have been allowed to call themselves "believers" when they have been nothing of the kind. Those who believe must act. If you believe the car is going to crash, you attempt to get out. If you believe the house is on fire, you try to get help and move things quickly. If you believe a child has drunk poison, you rush him to the doctor. Belief must bring about action.

Had we, who claim to love God, shown more real love and understanding, more patience, more trust of others, the churches would not be vilified as they are today. I have nothing but sympathy with those who are here today and whose grief we share. I have nothing but revulsion for the less-than-human act of murder which has so horrified us all.

I have nothing but amazement at the silence of so many of the political leaders of the world. I have nothing but sadness that our churches have failed so badly to practise what we preach. May God forgive us all, and may he bring all those who died so suddenly and unprepared into the light of His glorious presence.


You can find the full download of that sermon, and photos of the memorial, here on this web page.

4 September 2011

Thimble 41 - Peace Blessing


The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Bible - Numbers 6:24-26



3 September 2011

Thimble 40 - If there is to be Peace


If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,

There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,

There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,

There must be peace in the heart.

6th century bc

2 September 2011

Thimble 39 - Unity


Video created by 'charliechap1317'
song about war and peace bringing Unity by Trevor Hall


1 September 2011

Thimble 38 - Ganesha Mantra

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi - the birthday of the Hindu God, Ganesha.

"Ganesha is the power of knowledge, success and fulfillment. It is believed that mantras of Ganesha, when chanted with genuine devotion, give positive results."

I've picked one of his mantras for today's Peace Thimble, from iloveindia.com:

Aum Lambodaraya Namah

"This means you feel that you are the universe ... Like an entire tree is in the seed, the whole universe is in the sound of creation, which is Aum ...

Therefore, if you say, realizing the oneness with the universe, "shanti to the world" every day, then the grace of God will come and there will be world peace, universal peace."


Can one everyday person really make a difference and change the world? Isn't that a bit like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble?

Maybe... but what if you got everyone to help you?
What if we bailed with a billion thimbles?

These are my Thimblefuls for Peace... I hope they make you think.