Today is the fourth of July, "Interdependence Day," a time when Quakers and others who care about peace ask themselves: what if we Americans had won our freedom not through bloodshed, but through patience and negotiations, like the Canadians? What kind of country would America be today if we didn't equate violence and freedom?
What would America be like if instead of imagining the goal of life to be "independence," we recognized that the reality of life is that we are all interdependent. No one is an island--every one's life (and death) affects us all--what we do to the least creature, we do to ourselves.
This seems like a good day to begin a new blog after a ten-month caringbridge blog in which my dear wife Kathleen and I chronicled our journey through cancer land. Kathleen and I were interdependent: we depended on each other, and loved and supported each other, but we knew our ultimate dependence was upon God and Christ.
Five weeks ago, Kathleen passed away in the City of Hope and now I am beginning a new life in a new apartment in Culver City. During the past month, there have been two beautiful and moving memorials for Kathleen--one at my Quaker meeting, and one at Torrance United Methodist Church, where she served as an associated pastor twenty years ago. Having celebrated the life of this amazing woman who was not only my wife, but also my best friend and soul mate for twenty years, I feel it is time for me to move on and begin a new life, with help from the Spirit, and also from my Beloved, who is still very much in my heart.
I feel as if I have been led by Spirit to my new apartment since my new landlady is a dear Friend (i.e. a Quaker) whom I have known for twenty years. She is renting me the downstairs of her home. It's a welcome change from the apartment in Santa Monica where Kathleen and I had been living for the past year. Our old apartment looked out onto a car lot on Santa Monica boulevard. When I open the front door of my new apartment, I see a large grassy front yard with a pine tree, roses, and other greenery. Since I am only three miles fro Venice Beach, sea breezes cool the air.
This residential street seems very peaceful, though I have been told my neighbor was busted for growing pot in his house and a crackhead lives in the adjacent apartment building. But this is West Side of LA, where such things are to be expected, even in paradise.
My new life will be devoted full-time to peace making and interfaith work, and to writing. And of course, to friends and to Spirit (last but certainly not least). I am very grateful to my Beloved that we saved enough resources so that it is now possible for me to realize my dream of being a full-time peace maker.In this blog I will write about all the fascinating interfaith and peace activities that are taking place in the Los Angeles area. Despite what you read in the newspapers, we are living in marvelous times and the Spirit is at work bringing people together and creating a new world in which peace is possible (if we are willing to work for it).
I hope that this blog will help to bring together some of the interfaith peacemakers in LA and provide a place where we can share our insights and concerns. And I hope this blog will be a source of inspiration and hope for all who read it.
With best wishes, Anthony Manousos