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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Our hosts, the Mad Farmers; and Into the Heart of Bassano del Grappa

Claudio hard at work on his organic farm
Claudio gave Gianni and I a poem by Wendell Berry, called 'The Mad Farmer Liberation Front'. Here it is:
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

At the dinner table of Claudio and Antonella, with family and friends

Claudio and Antonella in front of their shop

On the way to the center of Bassano

The gate of the historical center of Bassano del Grappa

The heart of historical Bassano del Grappa

One of my two hosts in the center of Bassano del Grappa, Amira, from Tunisia. The shirt was a gift from Claudio, who designed it. The haircut was a gift from Sabina, in Montecchio Precalcino. 

The Long (Hot) Walk for Peace to Bassano del Grappa

On our last day with Sabina and Roberto, Gianni and I were joined on our 25k walk to Bassano del Grappa by our hosts, and two friends, Daniele and Silvia. I am grateful for everyone's participation  in our one day walk for peace. It was very hot; one of the hottest days of the summer, and difficult to be cheerful, but everyone kept moving, and we all made it to our destination. Then, while Gianni and I relaxed, the other four had to catch a bus back to the starting point. Thanks for your support, friends!

Silvia and Daniele join us for breakfast in Montecchio Precalcino before the 25k walk to Bassano del Grappa

We set out early, but it was already very hot

A break

This man was very interested in the walk we were doing, as he was a part of Beati Costruttori di Pace, a peacebuilding organization from Padova. 

Getting pretty ragged by this time, but no quitters

Almost there

Our arrival at the organic farm and shop of the hosts arranged by Roberto
Claudio, standing, and Antonella sitting to his right, were the hosts Gianni and I had in Bassano. Antonella runs the shop, while Claudio is an artist and organic farmer. They are both peacebuilders in  their daily lives.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Making up Lost Ground, Walking with Sabina from Vicenza to Montecchio Precalcino

As Sabina and Roberto had picked us up in Vicenza to take us to their village, I later had to go back to walk the distance. Sabina decided to walk with me. Here she is at the spot in Vicenza where she had picked Gianni and I up.

The Piazza in Vicenza

North of Vicenza, a NATO base

As Sabina grew up in this area, she was my guide. She carried my bag and sign for much of the distance.

In a village called Dueville, I present one of the two Villas

And here it is

Sabina, marching like a soldier for peace

After 15 kilometers, the return to Montecchio Precalcino

At home in Montecchio Precalcino, and a Trip back into the Alps

Sabina and Roberto on the right, with friends signing petitions for peace

Sabina's son, Christopher teaching Gianni a thing or two about cards

Sabina's oldest son, Alessandro, a masterful guitar player

On our third day with Sabina and Roberto, we visited friends of theirs in the Alps

We went for a hike

Our hosts for the day on the left, Silvia and Daniele

Sabina and Roberto

To Vicenza (and to Montecchio Precalcino)

Gianni, the rolling stone who joined me for a few days to walk for peace

No place scenic to take a break on the road to Vicenza!

Well wishers on the way 

Entering Vicenza

In Vicenza our hosts took us by car to their village, Montecchio Precalcino. Gianni was in paradise. Our room was full of musical instruments.

Gianni on the right, with Sabina and Roberto our hosts. On the left are two friends.

Interviewed by 'L'Arena', Supporters on the road, the White Doves of San Bonifacio

The reporter from Verona's newspaper, 'L'Arena'

In San Bonifacio, my friend Gianni joined me for a few days to walk with me. We had no place to stay until we found this nun.

We were soon camped in the yard of a convent.

The next morning, the 'white doves' (as Gianni poetically called them) left us this nice breakfast

Gianni with two of our hosts in San Bonifacio