A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Palm Trees, a Massage, Quaker Testimonies and Anarchy Done Right

After a short trek to Guardamar del Segura I stayed with Manuel, an English teacher and rock and roll musician, and Sylvia, a fashion designer for shoes. After yet another evening of rest, relaxation and good company I set out for Elche.
Nearing, and entering Elche, I passed more palm trees than I've ever seen anywhere in my life, and that includes North Africa, Hawaii, and Florida. They are the descendants of date palms planted by the Moors over a thousand years ago.
My first hosts in Elche, Javi and Mabel, are people after my own heart with their life of simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality. They are helping to create an intentional community based on these qualities we Quakers call 'testimonies', and they are involved in the 15th of May Movement, which is similar to, but pre-dates 'Occupy Wall Street'.
This evening I met with another host, Jeroni (who is a friend of Javi), and we went to a street meeting of the 15th of May Movement. I had the opportunity to explain what this walk is all about, and to circulate the petitions. I explained that I was also a believer in non-violent resistance, and a bit of an anarchist, though my idea of anarchy is not to abolish government, but simply to disobey it, or pay no attention to it when it requires me to act contrary to God's will. At any rate, the anarchy advocated by this movement is based on simple living, mutual aid and peace, and that is anarchy done the right way.
Javi has also been very interested in this pilgrimage and in my ability to carry on with it. Having noticed my limp, he arranged for me to visit a massage therapist today. This therapist, Geneviève Drijvers, from Belgium, did wonders on my knees, and I'm no longer limping. If I could, I'd have Geneviève accompany me on this walk to cure what ails me, but that would deny others the opportunity to be soothed by her healing hands.


  1. Hello Ken, Javier here. Just remember to pass by whenever you are coming back from Cairo. It doesn't matter if this time is by car, plane or bicycle :)

    Keep telling this beautiful peace message to the world and I am sure you will find the strength to get real changes wherever you are.

    Take care and thanks again for your visit.

  2. And thanks again for your kindness and hospitality, Javi. See you again before too long.