While waiting for my physical therapy appointment at the Rusk Institute, I found myself eavesdropping on a lady speaking rather passionately into her cell phone. I really listened hard when, when I heard her mention John Lennon. Given that I'm working on a film about the same, I waited until she was finished before jumping up to query her. Of course, Lennon was mentioned along with the song "Imagine"... Rev. Susana Bastarrica, the founder and organizer of the Annual Vigil for International Peace and Ecology, a peace event held every year at the band shell in Central Park was busy on the phone setting up the event. This year is the 13th Vigil and it's coming up on Sunday, along with the People's Climate March.
Susana, warm and spirited has worked at the United Nations. She told me that in 2001, the United Nations unanimously passed a resolution designating September 21st of each year as an "International Day of Peace."
The intention of this resolution is to have the entire world observe a full day of "global ceasefire and nonviolence." Being on the peace train many years myself, Susana invited me to come to along to meetings. Although my schedule didn't permit me to immerse myself in the group, it didn't take long to realize that their commitment to make this year's Vigil is immense. The core group consists of people from a myriad of countries, some only recently moved to the U.S. Everyone is about peace... be they be holistic workers or record producers.
The Vigil offers up an opportunity for people to think about peace as a true possibility. When groups come together be they over me a la John Lennon, or peace, the energy is that much more powerful. The idea is to promulgate peace through music, art, poetry, dance and prayer. When you activate the higher chakras through the muses, anything is possible.
This year's Vigil is triple loaded... here is a short list of some of the participants: Peter Yarrow, Spook Handy, Karen Hoyos (Karen Hoyos International), IMOV (Imov International), Soul Dogs-Love Wins, We, The World, Peace Flag Ceremony, Danny Garcia, World Peace Violin, Technicolor Lenses, Tom "Lennon" Raider, Inma Heredia, Roland Mousaa, Pocodust Colors, Left Banke, Claudine Mukamabano, Lu Dragon, Danny Darrow, Angelo Romano & Art Kartel, GEMMA, and Mana, Cecilia St. King,
Susana anticipates this to be the biggest vigil for International PEACE and ECOLOGY ever. On Sept 21 there will be global synchronized meditations taking place all around the world, with organizations like Peace One Day and climate events.
The Vigil team asks everyone to join and bring friends and family to this free event. They invite you come and share the spirit and dreams of Peace with people from all over the planet.
In a climate of increasing conflict with global horrors offered up on a daily basis, surely this day is an antidote for all that...and perhaps, just perhaps it will be much more. Perhaps, this is good medicine, not a placebo, but the real deal. If enough of us can stir, wake up and say NO, we don't want that... but YES, we want peace and a balanced environment... if we say YES loud enough, together, and sing it out...most assuredly the gods and goddesses will finally hear.
Join at the Central Park Naumburg Bandshell, near Bethesda Fountain