Night Landscape on Ebay

Being a writer and an artist is more than just being a business person. It is more than just making something for a penny and selling it for two. It is about honesty, integrity, and having something burning within your chest that you have just got to get out. Even if nobody loves it, and even perhaps if everyone hates you for it. You have to express the things that you found are most true…the things that you have found worth living for.

Since stopping running in Savannah, I’ve been a little uneasy. I didn’t really know how to assimilate back into “regular” life. Having known only the life of a pilgrim for the preceding year, it was a challenge (to say the least) of how to be a…….whatever normal is.

The tunic has hung in the closet since then. I’ve not worn it. I didn’t know if I should. Is it who I am? Would it make sense? Could I? Should I? And if so, how to?

Yesterday, I draped my old and familiar friend across my breast. It’s faded navy has held up well to the constant bombardment from the sun and 6,000 miles. I pulled out my cart, inflated the tires, and loaded it with art supplies. In addition, I loaded it full of canned food, granola bars, and fresh fruit to give to the homeless—and I went for a run.

Clark Kent can do the things that Superman can. He can run fast, catch a bullet, even fly. But, when he is Clark, he is not Superman. People don’t expect Clark to act like Superman, but they do expect the man with a cape to do what is emblazoned upon his chest. They expect him to be super.

I can call myself peace, but having it on my chest is a reminder to me, and a signal to those around me that I am serious, very serious about it. I need to be peace in the community.

Since that night so long ago  outside of Aberdeen, Washington (for those who have been reading that long) when I realized why I am out here, I have done my best to be a “Good News” reporter. That is what the Gospels in the New Testament literally translate to: “Good News”. I’ve done my best to report to others the good news of those around me doing kind things. People doing what Jesus, Buddha, Rumi, Aesop, and Lao Tzu encouraged people to do. Be Kind. Love one another. Be the love in the world. Be the change. Love your enemies.

I’ve been honored to tell the stories of all the people who I have met who have been doing just that. I’ve been honored to report the good news. If you turn on your TV, it is very clear and you will quite quickly discover, that a lot of people are making money by reporting the bad news. Fear sells. Hate turns a profit. But love, love isn’t selfish…and therefore doesn’t lend itself well to being co-opted for personal gain. Generosity doesn’t self aggrandize. Kindness doesn’t seek to be made manifest just for some conciliatory praise. Peace doesn’t grandstand.

No, Love is for love’s sake. The joy of peace is peace itself…it needs nothing else. And if it perhaps spreads, well then all the better, for everyone wins.

I am peace again.

Yesterday, I met Patrick, Anthony, Tony, Mark, and talked with a few others. Homeless men that were out on the street. People I was able to love. I gave away cans of chicken noodle soup, corn, bags of jerky, granola bars, and love. As I walked up to people who looked to be homeless I asked, “Hey, do you know anyone around here that might need some food. I have some food here to give away, do you know anyone who needs it?”

By asking in this way, I allowed them to save their dignity, and perhaps to be the vehicle that helps others. It allowed them to say, “Yeah, I know some can I take it to them?” Or, “Uhh…I need some food, can I have some?” I gave them what they asked for, and told them, “Feel loved.”

Then I ran on.

One guy called out after me, “Hey, what does it say on your back?” I allowed him to read my mission. I am still running 10,000 miles. I am still doing it for love, art, and peace. I am still the Peace Artist.

As I ran away, he said, “I like what you are doing, and I appreciate what you stand for.”

I turned and said, “Thank you. I love you too brother.” And like that, my peace returned.

In the following weeks, months, and years. I am going to try to be that good news reporter. I am going to interview as a reporter all the people who will tell me what they are doing in the community to make peace. I will go to bars, churches, strip joints, hospices, farms, back alleys, missions, Country Clubs, or anywhere else to find and report on people who are being the love.

And this is the way of the Peace Artist: It ALL begins with gratitude. Love, Help, Make Art & Peace.