Two enemies talking

Cronin1You never know what will make your day. Today it could so easily have been the angel food french toast that my daughter made for brunch, but as we were clearing the table she gave me a gift that brought an even larger smile to my face.

“Did you read the article I sent you?” No, I hadn’t. “It’s about a black musician who befriends KKK members and then they quit the organization.”  She knows that my novel z2 is about racist groups, and that I am fascinated in general by any person who manages to reach across a divide of hatred and create healing.

So I read her article from Liberty Voice  about Daryl Davis, member of The Legendary Blues Band and author of Klan-Destine Relationships, a book about the twenty plus ex Klan member that this black musician has befriended. The man sounds sincere and admirable, not to mention courageous.

All the people who have reviewed his book have praise for it, except for an odd review from a professional book review company, and they call the book a “futile and pointless volume”.  It is an oddly harsh review, and its shrill tone seems to be what is pointless. I notice that the book and reviews are from 1997, and the 2013 article sent by my daughter says that Davis is working on a sequel.

I hope that the sequel is good.  I hope that it’s well received. I hope that this man keeps on making all sorts of unlikely friends because we all need to learn to do more talking and less fighting.

Looking ahead

Foundation2There is another excellent thing about the month of January. December is filled with “year in review” thoughts as we all reflect a little on what went well, and not so well, in the past year. January, on the other hand, is all about moving forward. Better habits, new loves and new likes. If we’re lucky, this moving on includes forgiving everyone, including ourselves, for transgressions real and imagined.

My husband, an Irish American, is engrossed in reading a comprehensive history of Ireland. This is kind of my fault, because Ireland will be a prominent part of my novel d4, due to be published in the fall of 2014. I am about a quarter of the way into writing it, and I was hoping to use a few tidbits from his research in my story. What the research has accomplished instead is to reignite his fury at the mistreatment that the Irish endured at the hands of the British.

hippiepeace1“An awful lot of people have been horribly mistreated in this world,” I say. “Not like this. Not for this long.” he corrects me. I disagree, but say no more. I have ancestors on both sides of this equation. I feel for the abused. I do not condone the abuse. I too hurt for horrible wrongs inflicted in Cambodia, Rwanda, Ireland, Kiribati and Belize. Tales of suffering needlessly at the hands of others fill our collective history, and that is a very sad thing.

Light Within 3But I also firmly believe that individuals, societies and countries need to forgive, let go, and move on. Perpetuating a legacy of revenge and hatred, particularly against the descendant of those who wronged our ancestors, only adds to the sum total of hate and misery in the world. It accomplishes nothing more. This  is partly why I wrote z2, and why d4 will pick up this theme again.

January is all about moving forward. It’s an important concept, even when we don’t know exactly where it is we are going.

(Please like the Facebook pages of Foundation for a Better Life,  Hippie Peace Freaks and The Light Within and thanks to them for sharing the witty and wise displays shown here.)

For some fun with New Year’s resolutions please visit my x0 blog here. For my genuine new year’s wish for you, please visit my y1 blog here.