Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Back in Missouri


I pulled into our driveway at about 11:30 or 12:00midnight. It is so good to be home. The kids seemed to be great. Alec presented me with a white plastic bracelet that said "ONE". He was so proud of that. Charu had a picture taped underneath the counter...just where I had left a note for her. Sarah had made me coffee and left a note that said it was in the "micorave". It is so wonderful to see them and even more comforting to know I could be gone and we still keep in touch and connected. They are doing well. Please pray for Sandeep. I think I am an embarrassment to him. I know it doesn't sound good to have your wife going to prison. I hope and pray that someday, he might be able to understand and at least respect my decision and action.

Last night as Cynthia and I were driving back, we had to stop for gas in a little place in KY. In the bathroom of this tiny store was a beautiful picture of a ship amid huge and magistic blocks of ice...the caption was this..."RISK A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for." At that point I just laughed and much of the dread I was feeling at coming home melted away.

I am so very, very grateful for your prayers, support, love and comments. I can feel this support when I get scared or uncertian. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all shall be well...God's loving faithfulness is the only thing we know with absolute certainity...the rest is up for grabs. I also wanted to especially thank Cynthia and Beth who were my support folks during the trial prep and hopefully after. I felt wrapped in a blanket of love. Honestly, they took care of physical needs, emotional needs and prayed with me to give me strength. I did not feel alone or abandoned. They are angels!

Again I want to invite each of you to the potluck. It will be a Festival of Hope and peace, no doubt.

I am not sure of what I will need yet as far as support for the kids and Sandeep. I will keep this blog going as I go through phase four and five, as Cynthia called it....Phase four is reporting for prison and phase five is leaving prison. I will have someone post on the blog and someone post on an e:mail list. I won't have access to a computer. I have terrible handwriting so I do pity the person who takes this job, important as it is.

One final note. My dog, Thunder Bolt, is laying on the bed here by me. He snuggles close. I think he must of missed me as well. It is so comforting to pet his soft ears and big blocky head.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Going to court in a couple of hours

I would hoped I had more time to write but it is not so. It is about 5am and I can't sleep. In a couple of hours I will be marching down to the court house. Yes I am a bit nervous but deep, deep down Iam at peace. I listened to a woman speak last night about how her husband was tortured for 2 and a half years in Gutamala...then he was thrown from a helicopter alive to his death. The soldiers who did this, it was found were trained at the SOA and paid by the CIA. She was to be a witness at our trial but the judge would not let her testimoney into the court! Yes, this is the American justice system! I love my country. It is the only country I truely know but this part I am ashamed of.

I want to hold my head high, I want to speak and act with love. It is my highest desire. I am no hero. I am just a woman, a person. But when I hear these stories and meet these people, how can I do any less? How can I not care? Even the worst thing that can happen to me,,,is nothing by comparison.

Whatever happen, I am fine with it. I will ask for probation as I did not cross the line for a particular outcome, but if I get jail time that is ok too...I can only say that because of this vast commmunity of peace makers in St. Louis and beyond who walk with me...Definately not a journey I recommend one take alone!

I am going to try to sleep an hour or so.

Please hold me in the light. and come on the 18th of will be a Festival of Hope...a Festival of Peace!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday...after a looooong Saturday

I am sorry I didn't write yesterday...between talking with lawyers and listening to workshops about prison life, I was just too beat. When I finally got back to the room, I just crashed...talked to folks for a little bit and crashed into a deep but disjointed sleep....This bed is really small, and soft and well...though Cynthia is a great friend...I miss Sandeep.

Cynthia found this quote of Shelly Douglass I think it sums up what yesterday was about very well...she says, "Going to jail, doing civil disobedience, isn't all that special or threatening. It's just something that has to be done in a world where insanity is legal. Civil disobedience is a fact of life. I hope we learn to accept it gracefully."

I will try to write after the Festival of Hope tonight. I am well and feeling fine. I will petition the Judge Faircloth for probation but we shall see what he says.

I am holding this whole community of peace makers to the light with love.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The White Rose Society

I am waiting for Lizz Brown from the "Wake Up Call" to call but it does not seem like she will. I went to the website given to me by the media person of SOAW about Lizz Brown's show...It is called The White Rose Society. I looked up this White Rose Society. It was first named as the non-violent resistance of a few students in Germany during WWII. They produced some leaflets for the German people. As I read the first one, I put the words "American" people in and changed Hilter to Bush...It was striking the message......I will cut and paste it here. It is rather long, I apologize for that. I wanted to pare it down but it resisted paring. So be it...

The Leafets of the White Rose Society

The Leafets of the White Rose Society

The First Leaflet
Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be "governed" without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure - reach the light of day? If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order in history; if they surrender man's highest principle, that which raises him above all other God's creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass - then, yes, they deserve their downfall. Goethe speaks of the Germans as a tragic people, like the Jews and the Greeks, but today it would appear rather that they are a spineless, will-less herd of hangers-on, who now - the marrow sucked out of their bones, robbed of their center of stability - are waiting to be hounded to their destruction. So it seems - but it is not so. Rather, by means of a gradual, treacherous, systematic abuse, the system has put every man into a spiritual prison. Only now, finding himself lying in fetters, has he become aware of his fate. Only a few recognized the threat of ruin, and the reward for their heroic warning was death. We will have more to say about the fate of these persons. If everyone waits until the other man makes a start, the messengers of avenging Nemesis will come steadily closer; then even the last victim will have been cast senselessly into the maw of the insatiable demon. Therefore every individual, conscious of his responsibility as a member of Christian and Western civilization, must defend himself against the scourges of mankind, against fascism and any similar system of totalitarianism. Offer passive resistance - resistance - wherever you may be, forestall the spread of this atheistic war machine before it is too late, before the last cities, like Cologne, have been reduced to rubble, and before the nation's last young man has given his blood on some battlefield for the hubris of a sub-human. Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure.

Georgia! Peachtree country

We are here. Butterfly stomach, weak knees and all. Actually it is so good to see everyone. I can not begin to tell you the breath, length and depth of goodness among the other 15 of the SOA 16. Wonderful people...I believe some of cream of the crop...Sorry, I'm full of corny sap this morning.

Got a call as soon as I got in from the media guy at SOAW in DC...the Liz Brown? show wants to do a radio interview...more butterflys and upset stomachs...I am trying to read through the materials and get my act together.

I am working like hell to just stay centered and let God have the reins on this ride. The kids sound wonderful. They love looking for the "treasure" messages I left taped under things, and beind stuff. Now trying to get hiding places for 21 messages was in and of itself a feat. Then I had to remember what message went with what hiding place, went with what kid! My already addled brain went into overload and a must of wasted 20 envelopes.

Thank you so very, very much for all the prayers. I realize how much being held to the light lifts one's spirit and also banishes the shadows that try so very hard to creep in. The shadows that tell me how stupid I am for doing this, how scared I should be, how ill equiped I am to speak. But I then remember this is not my business as much as it is God's and then I just let go...and let the lignt shine. Please pray I keep that attitude in the coming days.

Jam packed day of meetings and such so I will try to write when I get a moment.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A flood of letters

Yesterday my daughter brought in the mail. I was sorting through and found these letters addressed to me thatjust kept coming...six letters in all. I was astounded. I read each one. They were from the sisters at St. Martin de Tours convent. Each one offered support, prayers and warm wishes. One person told me about how she prayed the rosary and at one station she looked up to see the face of Jesus and she said she saw my face too...she said she saw both Jesus and I carrying the cross. That we both hadlistened to God's call and followed through even though we both knew it would not be easy. I was so touched because at one point on this journey my spiritual director, who is well versed in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius, told me the third week of the exercises was about walking with Jesus to Calvery. She said it is just the natural consequence of following the Gospel...the cross. I just found this sisters words comforting in a strange kind of way. I guess I thought, "Well, at least I am in good company."

Actually, I realize more and more that this is really not a huge deal. This whole action, trial and sentence is really not about me at all. I just happen to be one of the folks walking along the road. Honestly there are really no big deals. Just little steps by little steps that we all take as we decide to follow this Gospel.

Once when I had just entered the SSND community, a sister, who knew I had this burnig desire to live out the Gospels, wrote to me. I will never forget what she wrote, she said, "May the Beatitudes you dream about be etched in your heart." That was over 20 years , yet it remains my strongest desire though I really can't say why.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And Carl Laughed

I see this blog as kind of like a chronical of a small piece of this journey...all the signposts that amazingly happen, just happen in the strangest places.

Tonight I went to a play called And Carl Laughed. It is an orginal play about Carl Kabat, OMI. It was put on by the theater group at Clayton High School. Now about the play....First of all, who is Carl Kabat? Well he is a priest. I bet he is a thorn in the side of his religious community. He is currently in prison for his act of civil disobedience here in Missouri. He dresses as a clown, breaks into nuclear missile silos, hammers on them, pours blood on them and then hangs a sign and waits for the authorities to arrest him. He has done over 17 years of jail time for his actions. He is 73 years old. Those are some of the facts. Now about the play...laced with orginal songs, creative dialogue and a masterful use of five gallon buckets (Carl's suit cases) this group of highschool kids from a wealthy school district, did an amazing production of the life story of a priest who has lived in the slums of Brazil, the Phillipines and Federal prisons through out the US... They artfully protrayed the tension between Carl's carefree spirit who laughs and plays the fool and his Gospel filled heart that cries with the poor,and sees the folly of the nuclear missiles. You met this man, both clown and priest who calls us all to be "fools for the Gospel". Hopefully these students and their director understand how their art is an act of peace making which calls us all to greater responsibility for our neighbors and our world.

Come to the Peace Makers dinner and hopefully you will meet them, (I invited them to come) because peace making happens in so many and varied ways...not just in acts of civil disobedience, but in the songs, the acting, and the message they gave.

A Force More Powerful

I watched a the second part of a dvd called "A Force More Powerful". I highly recommend it. Looking at examples of Non-violent resistance and how it caused change, they look at the non-violent resistance in Denmark during World War II, the Solidarity movement in Poland, and the downfall of Pinochet in Chile. It is fasinating to see the different processes used in each situation. Historically, socially and politically as well as the spiritual components, you see how non-violent resistance is "a force more powerful."

I also found it was just what I needed as I prepare for this trial. I realized this trial is not so much about my defense. Really, there is nothing I need to defend. It is more giving voice to the changes needed to end torture and violence. I know some folks see what I did as "just breaking the law". But sometimes "breaking the law" is necessary because the laws may unwittingly foster violence. Allowing SOA/WHINSEC to exist is contributing to violence, to the unjust forgein policies we have toward Latin America. It is bigger than soldiers murdering citizens, though this is a huge part of it. While I am sure the action of trespassing onto Fort Benning will not in and of itself close SOA, it contributes to the other actions. One thing I learned is that non-violent resistance is a community action. It is not the action or idea of one person but of community. So each person who takes any action for peace, who desires to "disarm" themselves are contributing to the non-violent revolution. There was a priest in that DVD who said, "What is gained through violence, must be maintained through violence." This is so true! We do this in Iraq and throughout the world, don't we? So I wonder, what would it be like if people, lots and lots of people, in lots and lots of cities, sat in front of the Congresspersons offices, in front of military recruitment offices, in front of lawmakers offices in DC. If hundereds and thousands of us spoke in one voice, "NO"...I just wonder! I dream of this day. I hope I live to see it. Because the fear that Pinochet spread to keep people "in line" in Chile is happening here. Fear paralizes and holds hostage while the courage to stand up to the fear iberates. That is the Force more Powerful! May we have the courage to disarm ourselves and our society.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Date for Peace makers community Dinner

Hi everyone, I just wanted to jot off a quick note. I had this idea in December to have a dinner where folks who want to support my family should I go to jail, could meet one another. Well, I thought I could pull it off in January before I went to trial and found I could not. So I through out a couple of dates in Feb....someone suggested to ask Hartford Coffee Company if I could use their space. So I called Shannon and she graciously said, "Sure"

Now I wanted to see if Feb 18th when they close I think around 6:00 would be ok? I will bring Indian food and if anyone wanted to bring something to share we could share. I want to celebrate all the peace makers in this community! My action is just one act...there are tons of peace makers who are praying, offering monetary support, who listen to my fears and tears, who have offered to continue schooling my kids and cooking should I get jail time. I want to celebrate all of this because all these actions are drops in the same bucket! No act is greater or more important than another. So let's share a meal, talk, dance, and just enjoy this vast community! I would have this at my house but I don't know how many folks will show up, that is how wide and broad and wonderful this community is. I know there could be just a few or a whole coffee house full but anyhow, I want to honor each of you, gather us all and thank you somehow. So please, let me know either by posting on this blog or emailing me at to let me know if this is possible for you. I need to let Shannon know before I go to trial, so if you can please respond by the 25th of Jan.

Thanks so much.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Inviting my fears to a "TEA".

My mom sent me this piece on Malachi... "Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." > This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. > > One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. > > That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver. > > As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. > > The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." > She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. > > The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If> the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. > > The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" > > He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it." > > If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you. > > This very moment, God is watching over you. And, whatever you're going through, you'll be a better> person in the end."

As I said, my mom sent me the above little piece. It seems that just when I am like at the end of the line, not sure which way to turn and wondering if I am really cut out to be doing what I am about just now, then something like this comes along. I think it amazing that God or Grace or what ever you call this spiritual living that is going on all around us, I just think it amazing to be held to the fire. It is an honor when you stop and think about it. Doesn't all feel so wonderful at the time on days such as yesterday, but as a friend says a lot, "All is good."

I wanted to share something that happened this morning. Sarah, my middle daughter met me at the top of the stairs at like 4:30am this morning. She said she couldn't sleep. So I snuggled her into my bed and we talked. She said she had a dream that this person was chasing her and some other girls. She called it a "bad dream". We talked about the dream being about her and not about some "guy". I told her (I was really telling myself too) that maybe what was chasing her is something trying to get her attention. We talked about her scared feeling as the time for me to go to trial gets closer. I told her that feelings are part of her and that she can invite them in to have a "tea" or she can try to shut the door on them and shoo them away, in which case they will keep on knocking to get in because they belong to her too. So sometimes they might "chase" her to get her attention. We talked about "safe" people to talk about her feeling with in case I am gone. The list of folks is as long as my arm. For me, as her mom, I am so grateful to this community of friends who "mother" me and can also "mother" Sarah should I be away. I find my kids teach me so much about life and living. I worry about them, how they will fair and how to take care of them...Then I laugh because really it does "take a whole village to raise a child." We in this culture, with our rugged individualism, live with a myth that we can take care of everything and don't need community...but really, we so need community and we need the "village" to help us raise up this next generation of peace makers!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I am finding it is the simple things that trigger anxiety or fear. The small thing today is this is the time of year, my mid winter ritual,when I go through seed cataloges to plan my gardens for the spring and summer. As I was looking at lettuce, picking which ones I would order when I realized, "Hey, I might not be here for spring planting time." Gosh this is getting way too real. Small thing, a bunch of seed cataloges...the big things I can see coming, the small things blind side me.

But then as I am fretting about missing tilling the soil with the "new/old" tiller, I get a letter from a friend that encourages me, lifting me out of the doldrums. If I am sent to prison, maybe my kids can plant the spring veggies and send pictures. I think that would satisfy my need to work the earth.

My statement to the Judge Faircloth...

I think I have what is close to the final verision of my statement to the Judge and JAG lawyers. I guess there is always room to tinker but this is, I think the points I want to make.

Your Honor, JAG Lawyers, Mr. Prosecutor,

When I first began to compose my thoughts for today I was going to share with you my views and opinions of why WHINSEC should close. Then I figured you probably know the argument better than I do having listened to my friends year after year. So I just want to share with you a short story. I think it will illustrate the reason I crawled through the fence, mingled the earth of Honduras with the red clay of Georgia, and carried with me the cross of a young Honduran man, the brother of a friend of mine. His name was Jose Eduardo Lopez, and he is one of the Desaparecidos.

While preparing for final vows in the religious community I belonged to at the time, I asked to join one of our sisters who lived in a refugee camp called Mesa Grande. Situated on the border of Honduras and El Salvador, this camp housed hundreds of children, women and men who had fled the violence of civil war in their own country. Sir, I listened to their stories of how they were shot at in the dead of night as they tried to cross the river. Tearfully the woman recounted the scenes of how the bullets ripped through their children’s bodies as the helicopter gun ships sprayed machine gun fire from the air. Listening to their stories had consequences for me.

I played with the children everyday. Dressed as a clown, I played with puppets and kicked a homemade soccer ball around with them. Their huge smiles and even more huge eyes captured my heart and again bore consequences for me.

Sir, one of the reasons foreign nationals were there was because refugees were being taken at gun point from the camp. Since refugees can not leave the confines of the camp, they had no way to let the world know what was happening to them. Part of our job was to just be present and tell the outside world what was happening. The grief I witnessed when someone would turn up missing had consequences for me.

One day, I was walking from one camp, situated on a hillside to a second camp which was located on an opposite hill. Between the camps ran a long valley. As it had rained the night before, I was paying close attention to my feet so as not to slide down the muddy hillside. I remember how I cursed at the mud, the constant rain and my inferior sandals.

At one point I stopped to see where I was and how far I had to go. Sir, what I saw caused my heart to race. I had accidentally run into a group of armed mercenaries who were a few yards away. I couldn’t run because of the slippery mud and I couldn’t scream because nothing would come from my mouth. The clicking sound I heard as they readied their guns even today sends jolts of fear through my body. I remember the grim look on their brown, sun hardened faces, their muddy boots and their drab green uniforms and hats. At some point I closed my eyes hoping they would not rape me before they killed me. The terror that ran through me is difficult to describe. I thought I would be killed. I didn’t want to die and I had no way to defend myself. When I think of this today, sometimes I tremble inside seeing the images in my mind.

After a while, I opened my eyes and they were gone. My legs gave out and I sank to the ground covered with the mud I had tried so hard to avoid earlier. I can’t explain why they did not take me; maybe they were as surprised to see me as I was to see them. But those feelings of terror, which so many people experience when they face someone with a gun are still indelibly etched into my mind. Facing those soldiers and the guns had consequences for me then and still do today. I survived the terror and I can give it a voice. So many thousands of innocent men, women and children did not survive and their voice was silenced. My act of civil disobedience on November 19 is for me, simply a consequence of living with and loving people.

I would like to close with a quote from Reinhold Niebuhr. He says, "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieve in our lifetime;therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is trueor beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediatecontext of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone;therefore we must be saved by love."Thank you, Your Honor.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This Interconnected Web of Peace

Today I met with three marvelous women. Diana, Beth and Barb...It is amazing to me how there are no strangers in this journey...Only friends who continue to introduce themselves to me. Old friends call to offer support and new friends introduce themselves to offer support. The word "overwhelmed" in the best sense of the word comes to mind. I am convinced that there are no considneces...just sign posts.

I "found" this book called "Lines in the Sand" at the City libriary. It is written for kids (older ones as some of the poems and stories are a bit graphic). It is writings on peace and war from various flavors to be sure. Anyhow there is one poem I want to share because it sums up for me what I have been experinecing lately.

13 Ways of Looking at Peace by April Halprin Wayland

"It is a historic milestone of immense proportions. Is has never happened before, never in human history, and it is happening now, every day, every hour, waging peace through a global conversation." paraphrased from a March, 2003 speech by Dr. Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of teh United Nations, now Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica.

Passing cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
a cab driver teaches the chorus of a peace song

to the woman with freckled arms from Malibu,
who gives him a big tip and runs up the hotel stairs
two at a time
to write a letter to the editor

who tilts back in his squeaky chair and reads it
by the light from his arched window and then publishes
her letter

which my uncle Chucky reads in Anchorage,
inspiring him to write a peace poem on the blackboard.

which Ruthie reads, whispering to herself twice,
then copies down on a notebook paper,
folds, puts in her back pocket,
and when she gets home, smoothes out and emails

to Renee in Sweden
who !!!!loves!!!! it and immediately !!!!forwards!!!! it
to Finley in Hong Kong, Alice in New York,
Fadi in Beirut, Lyra in Moscow,

and Bruce near Netanya
who reads it at a candlelight vigil by the beach

which is broadcast to Saralee in Buenos Aries
(petting Spartacus, who is shedding all over the bed),

who phones Ross, telling him to turn on the radio,
good old Ross, who is eating soft vanilla ice cream
as he listens,
Ross, who takes out a napkin and his guitar,
and turns it into a song.

"This" Dr. Muller says, "is a miracle. This is what waging peace looks like."

My friends, this is what has been happening this last year. It probably has been happening and I just didn't know it but now I do and darn, if I understand it but the connections, like Diana said today in her example of the spider web vibrations, well, they are endless and wonderous and so varied. Literally, we will disarm the by one, we disarm ourselves which touches the heart of the jailer, or the judge or the soldier or even a President...and the world changed.
We are each part of the whole. Such an important and precious part we are! I am so honored to be part of the journey.

Monday, January 15, 2007

January 15th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

I took the Sarah and Charu to the Martin Luther King Day march. We marched about five blocks then took the car up the march route to watch from the street. I want my girls to understand the cost of freedom. So often it seems that freedom means I can do what I want, which is true in some respects. But I want them to know that freedom is not just about being able to do what you want. Freedom is something inside you too. Freedom is what Dr. King tried to live out. I think about that as I face this upcoming trial in GA. The type of freedom Dr. King had is an internal freedom that comes with facing his own violences and disarming himself. Then he could honestly speak up boldly and with compassion and love. He understood that no one wins unless we all win. It is not a battle us against them. It is a matter of disarming myself and living this love boldly.

I am working on my statement to the Judge Faircloth. It is simply a story I want to share. It is the story of facing the guns of the mercenaries and the consequences of love. Stories, especially true stories, seem to disarm folks. We all have stories to tell. I didn't remember this story for a long, long time. I guess it was too scary. Gosh, when I did remember it, I was scared. But I wanted to share this story because it happens everyday...the story of the defenseless facing the powerful. All too often those who are defenseless are silenced. I want to tell the story for all those silenced. There is this vast cloud of witnesses whose names we do not know but who walk with us. I know this sounds a bit vauge and out there but it is as real as your hand in front of your face. It happens everyday...So I don't have anything new or profound to share. The profundity is in the simplicity of the story.

I guess I could go in and lecture the judge, or try to at least. I could tell him everything that is wrong with SOA/WHINSEC. But I think he knows. At least for the past 10 years he has heard the arugment. I will not be found not guilty so this is not about my defense. It is simply telling a story that happened to happen to me and it is a story that has happened to thousands upon thousands of folks in Latin America and throughout the world.

I really pray for the soldiers who pull the triggers, who maime and kill...because the damage killing someone does to your heart must be deep and wide. To live with the screams, the dying, the crying. To see the pain and know they inflicted it. That must be a great burden to carry. I know they did something wrong and the poor person they shot and killed, their family who grieves also has pain and suffering...but the soldier is a person too. They have feelings and dreams and fears as well. I want to try to love them as well. I hope I tell the story to disarm them too.

I will try to write everyday through out these days leading up to and after the trial. I have never been on trial before so I am a bit anxious. I think it's normal. Just so I can move beyond the nerves to calm. That is my prayer.