Electric Dreams


Jean Campbell

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Campbell, Jean (2004, April). A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE  March 2004. Electric Dreams 11(4).

Spain 1103

My heart goes out to those who have been torn away
And to those who have to stay
Bombed off their beloved ones on this day

My mind wonders, whether this is the way
That may lead to peace some day
Whatever peace may be today

My limbs feel weak, I have to say
All my power low today
No feet to walk, no hands to pray

Just wait for these dark clouds to go away
-- Ralf Penderak 3/11/04

Last night I attended a meeting which introduced the Nonviolent Peace Force www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org to a group of people meeting in the Unitarian Church in Norfolk, Virginia.  As the meeting went on, I realized why dreams are so important to the peace movement.

At the question and answer session after the speakers, someone asked the question of how to talk with people in our geographical area about Peace, when there are so many military people who live here and so many conservative Christians.  The response in the room was a heaviness, a feeling that conflict resolution is hard, maybe impossible.

When I said that one answer was the solution we had found on the World Dreams Peace Bridge, that of involving our dreams and working with children, it was as if the sun came out from behind the clouds in the room.  People's faces lightened.  They began to smile and look more hopeful.

I think the reason for that is because we all know what it feels like to dream.  And though dreaming may be a serious business, even a scary business at times, still in dreams anything can happen.  Our dreaming self pulls out all the stops and says, "This is your life too!"

When people asked to hear more about the Peace Train, they laughed to discover that children around the world were now sending trains to one another, adding on to trains, sending them back with love.  When they heard that the Peace Train grew out of a dream, they smiled and nodded, and wanted to hear the whole story.

After the meeting, several people came up to me to ask about how to get involved with the Peace Train. Fortunately, I was wearing my Children's Peace Train tee shirt, and I could just let them copy from my shirt www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org

There was also a lot of amazement that the Peace Bridge was sending toys to children in Baghdad.

Now, of course war and violence are grim business, and all of us feel at times as Ralf does in the poem above, written immediately after bombs killed over 200 people in the subways in Spain.  Subways are trains too, and if this were a dream we might be talking about bombs going off in the unconscious.  Yet where but
on the Peace Bridge can we express these feelings?  Where else but on the Peace Bridge can a man from Germany and another from Japan talk about the residual feelings from World War II? Where else cansomeone from Israel talk about his dream for people joining hands across the Jordan?  And where can we turn our dreams toward waking actions?

This month on the Peace Bridge, we have been able to send a second shipment of therapeutic toys to children in Baghdad's Season Arts School, and hope to be able to send packages soon to our friend Dr. Karzan Ali in Erbil in northern Iraq.

Jeremy has written the text for a children's poster book about Peace Trains, which will be published in South Korea and used as a model for other, similar Peace Train books illustrated by children's Peace Train pictures.

Nick has added to the Peace Training site at www.peacetraining.org where there will eventually be a history of peace trains, and suggestions for how to conduct a Peace Train Workshop.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming...BIG.