Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lisa Allender Writes' posts

Been awhile, since I posted here. I'll be copy-n-pasting some "Peace Moments", as we call them at my Pax Christi group at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, in the form of my recent posts from "Lisa Allender Writes".For now, I'm exhausted, and headed to bed. You may access these posts immediately, at:
Lisa Allender Writes is at:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pax Christi St.Jude, and What I Posted Earlier Today, at my other personal blog, Lisa Allender Writes...

About to finish an archive of our Pax Christi St.Jude chapter for its' past six (glorious, fulfilling) years, and will post a few highlights, soon.In the meantimne, here's what I posted, re-produced here, at my other personal blog,
"Lisa Allender Writes", earlier today.

Mother's Day is coming up, and instead of images of childhood and innocence, and joyous wonder, here on the heels of the announcement on May 1st(the death of Osama bin Laden), it is only death, destruction, and shame and fear, which threaten to consume my thoughts.
Mother's Day celebrates not only Mothers, but us who sprang from them.It is we who lift up our Mothers as those who nurtured us in the most crucial of ways, offering support and love--if we are so blessed--unconditionally, and forever, to us.Mothers are those who see the best we have to offer; we are never the worst act we've committed; we are first, and always, that Mother's child....
Just days after the announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden, I pondered on my Facebook Wall, whether we (USA) should be "celebrating"(in private or public), the death of anyone, even (or maybe especially) an avowed enemy, like Osama bin Laden.The responses on Facebook, had the negative ones been in red ink, would have made my Facebook Wall appear as if it was bleeding. I was expecting a few "attaboys" from my more conservative(read:right-wing) Facebook Friends, but did not expect the kind of non-apology, and blind acceptance/following by my more Liberal and Progressive Friends, of our (USA) committing violence in the name of (ironically) putting an end to violence."
I think it surprised me, because I have "reasonable" friends...all of them were hurt by September 11th, some of them very directly so, and none of them supported our invasion of Iraq, though several supported bombing Afghanistan.Most of my friends, poets, actors, novelists, playwrights, spoke of understanding and compassion; they spoke of moving forward, not holding onto "blind hate." They SPOKE of it, they WROTE about it, but I am not sure that I ever saw or felt true forgiveness exhibited, in any of these (otherwise fine) folk.
One person in particular may surprise you, my readers, with his views on Forgiveness, as he was working approximately 800 feet from the Twin Towers that fateful September 11th morning...
I'm considering asking dear ol' pal, Dan Kinch from NYC, to guest-edit my blog, "Lisa Alender Writes" and perhaps "Practice What You Peace" for a day or two, as his own personal narrative is so compelling, that for me to tell it, would I'm afraid, never do it the thing we all wish for, and seem to keep speaking about.....justice.
Stay tuned.
For more on how to feel about Osama bin Laden's death, or perhaps how to re-frame it, please go to:
to read a statement by them, about this matter.
And Peace, kids, Peace.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Planting Seeds

I wonder why it is that some articles, we may read them, and then, forget them, while others are so haunting, we become obssessed with them? Case in point:
I read an article moments ago, regarding the radiation in the soil, which Japan has measured, which indicates they cannot plant rice...rice!....the main-stay of their entire way of life, unable to be planted....The article detailed the reactions to yesterday's (3rd in three weeks) earthquake, too.
In another bit of news, I discovered the Oak Ridge Nuclear facility in Tennessee, is not a "peaceful use" of nuclear power for energy, but rather, a NUCLEAR WEAPONS facility--the first in the USA, in nearly four decades.That's right--we are again manufacturing incredibly lethal nuclear weapons. At a time when people are starving, both in Japan, and here at home, we are committing over 7 Billion Dollars to even more Nuclear Weapons.
Below, I've posted the observations from that first article, which I just posted on the "News Feed" on Facebook:
"Matsuko Ito said she screamed when the violent shaking woke her up around 11:30 p.m. She's not sure she can take much more.
"It's enough," said the 64-year-old while smoking a cigarette outside the shelter where she has been living in the small northeastern city of Natori. "Something has changed. The world feels strange now. Even the way the clouds move isn't right."

Even the way the clouds move isn't right. And images of all the clouds we've ever seen, rising over Japan, immediately flash into my mind.
And I think: is this Earthquake(s)/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster, this generation's Hiroshima/Nagasaki?Is it possible that a "Natural Disaster" could trump--in terms of enormity--the man-made(USA-made) atrocity committed on Japan, so many, many years ago?
I remember watching, just a few years ago,with my dear friends and fellow-Pax Christi members, Joe and Mary Jean Goode, a well-known HBO documentary, "White Light/Black Rain" about Japan, and the interviews conducted with educated, professional young people in major cities, Tokyo among them.They were told a month and day and year: August 6th, 1945, and asked what happened on that day.
Not a single young person(all under 25) could say for what that date, was famous. Most guessed it was a celebrity's birthday, or other such nonsense. I remember crying when I realized no one in their younger generation remembers Hiroshima, or Nagasaki(August 9th, 1945), anymore.
I realized no one recalls the bad, the horrific, the shameful.
And it occurred to me just now, that we are, generationally, like the lover who remembers only the good, and none of the bad.We rewrite our histories with the loves of our lives, just as we rewrite our country's histories,our government's moments of rage, hate, racism, and revenge.
It was rage, hate, racism, and notably, revenge, when the government of the United States of America, dropped those bombs on the civilian people of Japan.Innocuously named "Little Boy" (the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima), and "Fat Boy", (the bomb we tossed onto Nagasaki), did we simply decide we had the "right" to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people instantly, while guaranteeing the deaths of millions, later? The argument is always "we saved more lives, by dropping the bombs."
In what universe does killing to avenge killing, and killing to prevent death, make any kind of sense?
In a recent letter from Mary Jean Goode, when addressing our (USA) involvement in yet more war(this time, Libya)she posited:
"...I recalled Luke’s version of Jesus’ arrival on the outskirts of Jerusalem. According to Luke, Jesus broke down weeping over the world’s refusal to learn “the things that make for peace.” It’s one of the most touching scenes in the Gospels. He has walked over a hundred miles on a campaign of nonviolence from Galilee to Jerusalem, only to arrive at the Mount of Olives, see the famous city, and burst into tears because of its collaboration with the Roman empire in the demonic spirit of war. He could see that its destruction was inevitable."
As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it saying, “If this day you only knew the things that make for peace -- but they are hidden from your eyes.”
(Luke 19:41-42)

Think about this, kids. Really think about it....Jesus spoke of "the things that make for Peace".That he longed for nations at war, to see that they "do not know the things that make for Peace."
I am thinking of Japan, long after the rain of nuclear fall-out which came, day after gray day, in Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
I think of the pain and suffering a long-ago generation of proud Japanese, suffered.
And I think now of this woman, Matsuko Ito, reviewing the clouds, as they silently float by, and I wonder, when those people of Hiroshima, looked heavenward, hearing a whir, or seeing the flash,just before annihilation, was there any sense of The world feels strange now. Even the way the clouds move isn't right.....
We have the power to change the way we respond to violence, and while we cannot prevent natural disasters, or make the soil in which the Japanese long to plant their grain, safe again, we can all try to nurture the "soil" in our minds.Plant the first seeds of a sweet rice of Peace, now.
Before it's too late.
Peace, kids.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finding Peace in the midst of violence.

"Unspoken Words" will be completed soon.
We must shoot a few more scenes of the feature-length-film(which will be released in theatres, next year) I was (in my last post here, months ago), not at liberty to name. I would describe the character I portray--Benetha--as a hard-drinking, hard-smoking woman who is quite cruel to the 13+ foster-children for whom she "cares". I have a large supporting-role in a film that will feature several well-known actors and is directed by award-winning film-maker, Henderson Maddox.
The violence committed throughout the film is all on my part.If you know me personally, then you know this is pretty challenging for me: swearing, committing gun violence, and beating and abusing others (even while playing someone else).
The film manages to end with resilience being seen in the characters affected by Benetha.... and a sequel is already being planned!
How does "Unspoken Words" affect my committment to my Pacifism, as a way of life?
It means committing to the depiction of extreme violence, with my prayer and hope being that, for all who see Benetha and are repulsed by her, especially if they wrestle with any of the issues she faces, they will say "I don't ever want to be her." and then they may choose to make different choices in their own lives.
My hope & prayer for anyone who reads my blogs--this one, or "Lisa Allender Writes", is that you have a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous Holiday & New Year!
Peace, kids.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Piece of her mind. Peace in my heart.

Guess what? About two weeks ago, at the callbacks, I got the role I discussed in my last entry here at "Practice What You Peace".
I'm currently eating, sleeping, and drinking "Benetha", the name of the human being I hope to morph into(in the Feature-Length Film I cannot yet name), very soon.
She is quite different from me, and for that, I am grateful.
It will be challenging--a true journey--to become someone so filled with hate.
In discovering her hate-filled spirit, my hope and prayer is that my own spirit will be even more filled with the love that Benetha cannot seem to find, or feel.
Here's to stepping into another person's shoes.
May we all do so, and step lightly, and with hope.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cruel Characters

A new Feature-Length-film being cast in Atlanta, which I auditioned for, has me:
Preparing for a callback which entails creating a Foster-"Mother"(I use the term "mother" quite loosely, here)who is a mouthy, cruel, selfish bigot who earns her dollars by "fostering" poor African-American children.
What causes someone to behave in a cruel fashion? Sociopathy? Spite? Previous abuse?
In terms of outcome: it. just. doesn't. matter.
Hurt children, lost children, children who are left without self-esteem, who hear only barks from a headache-y, drunk mother, and who endure beatings, are damaged because someone damaged them, and the "reason" or explanation" behind it, matters not at all.
God--the Peace that lives within us-- cannot abide anger and hate.
Try to be angry or hateful in your thoughts, and try to commit a gentle gesture, like a hug.It's very hard to do.
And try the reverse: Think peaceful thoughts while trying to be violent.
So, let's stay in "Peace" mode, kids.
The world has enough cruelty, already.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Acting as a Spiritual Endeavor

Verrry tired. Soo tired, in fact, that I posted my entry for my "Lisa Allender Writes", in my "Practice What You Peace", (see entry, below).
But when I realized I'd posted here(I subsequently posted it where it belongs, at
Lisa Allender Writes, my main blog), I figured I'd share a mysterious moment, about this preparation in acting...I am:
Discovering that preparing to play a heroin-addicted mother of three girls(for a
short film, entitled "Just Us") is a spiritual endeavor.
Discovering the Mother's spiritual burdens, and my own.
I have had to release my preconceived ideas about both addiction, and what it is, to doing my research, I came across an essay written by a woman who lost her very young sister, to heroin. She commented how she'd "mothered" her sister, and how their own mother, had abandoned them. Given that my character in this film, does EXACTLY that--abandons her daughters, (because of her own descent into heroin addiction), I felt it was "destiny" for me to read her essay.
I think of it as the Universe "answering" me as I searched for words to fill my head,as my heart swells with the anger and harshness, and the incredible sense of loss I know she--the Mother I must create-- must feel.The loss of her family, her daughters, her sanity, her health--and eventually--her own life.
I posted a note--a "tribute" of sorts, at that site,to this young woman's essay and to her sister.
RIP, Ms. Kyndall Znidarsic. Much Peace to her sister, Nicole DelBuono.