From our President, Ruthy Wexler
Last night, Kriss and I attended the kick-off session for the IB (International Baccalaureate) World Conference. Joice Fairchild, former and forever member of Pen Women, who now resides in Florida, was also there, with her granddaughter, Jessica–and lucky for us that she came. We all decided she was the best one to speak at the conference, introducing the IB kids to the Tapestry, since she was the instrumental person who shepherded the project along. She knows the story inside out. We all had dinner beforehand with Diane Dunne, head of Mackintosh Academy (see pic) and then proceeded to the auditorium in Sturm Hall.
It was thrilling to see our tapestry panels up on there the stage (that morning, Kriss, Diane and I had overseen the installation), thrilling to see the students file in and fill the room, thrilling to have Jan Lotter, our IB connection, introduce Joice… but that was nothing compared to when Joyce took the mic.
Joice spoke from the heart about peace and making a difference in the world. She was supposed to speak for only 6 or so minutes but after a few, no one cared about that or interrupted, because her words and voice carried such a message–you could have heard the proverbial pin drop. Then the students raised their hands to ask questions. Such sincere, heartfelt questions. “How do you know you’re making a difference?” “What if no one listens?”
Joyce answered these with such HEART, such openness, such VISION… that we were all caught up in the moment and I think all of us, the whole auditorium, really glimpsed the possibility that the tapestry and our thoughts will result in seeding pockets of peace.
It was really something. ALL we could have hoped for to launch our Peace Tapestry into the world.
Lots of work to do still. On August 11, we have reserved the day at Mackintosh to pack up the sections in individual boxes or cylinders, label them and take them home to various houses. Our members will have to store them until they get shipped out to the winners of the contest. So I will need help on that day.
This is an amazing opportunity. We’re going to do all we can to publicize and talk about the Peace Tapestry. I’ll be writing the article for Pen Women. If anyone knows of other outlets for publicity–radio, podcasts, etc–please contribute that idea.
See you in September (if not on Aug. 11)