Pathways to Peace Blog

Pathways to Peace Blog

Between War & Peace

by Bobbi Rudin M.A., ERYT on 09/07/14

In trying to bridge the divide I carry within myself between war and peace, I wrote many years ago a poem  that I have just rewritten. I have written many versions of this poem and have included two below: the original and the newest one.


Between war and peace lies a boundary
where the fingers of darkness
lace with those of the light
forming a multi-hued rainbow

This space, though thin,
one may call home
living forever within
its infinite prism


When the Eagle and Dove
make love, wings of darkness
lace with those of the light

Rainbow-feathered children are born
who love to bridge worlds
connecting them in nested prisms

bringing color 
where there was once
only black and white

by Bobbi Rudin 2014

In Honor of Veteran's Day

by Bobbi Rudin M.A., ERYT on 08/30/14

I was honored to hear poet and writer, Paul Hellweg, read his poems today at the Encino Library. He is a war veteran who fought in Vietnam and you can find some of his war poems online one of which is included below.

Bete Niore (the Black Beast) (poem)

By Paul Hellweg

3rd Platoon, L Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment,
17 August 1968.
Sitting atop a landmine, unheeding,
caring more about the staccato poppings
of machine guns, assault rifles, and
the occasional wham-bam-haven't-we-met-before concussion
of the lonely grenade,
shrapnel seeking human contact,
bullets craving fleshly embrace.
Choir off key,
someone tone deaf.
RPG coming in with a sigh
and damn
the landmine adds its voice to the chorus.
Fifteen feet up,
not comprehending beauty of cobalt sky
nor cotton-puff clouds,
my body cartwheels,
looking down into the belly of the black one,
gravity does what gravity must, and
I meet the beast,
maw open wide in greeting.

- Paul Hellweg

Paul Hellweg served with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Xuan Loc in 1968. He is a member of both Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and he is devoting his life to speaking out against war.

Morning Glories

by Bobbi Rudin M.A., ERYT on 08/24/14

Morning Glories
by Bobbi Rudin

They open to the sun, weaving
long tendrils of stems, leaves and buds
along the 6-foot-tall, pine-planked fence.

They desire to grow in every direction,
flash their canopy of heart-shaped, emerald-green leaves,
perfectly accented with brightly-hued petals.
A multitude of eyes languor in their beauty.

They have spread into more than a thousand families:
Sunspot, Heavenly Blue, Moonflower, Cypress Vine,
Cardinal Climber.... Is their tenacity
due to a strong need for attention, or
is it in service to God's passion for expression?

The Chinese, medicinally intent, used them as laxatives.
The Japanese, with their Zenful eyes, planted them as ornamentals.
In the ancient Americas, children played with rubber balls
of which they were an ingredient. Their psychedelic properties
mesmerized ancient Aztec priests, shape the dreams of hippies
and tantalize scientists.

In the Victorian Era, they stood for "love in vain."
In this yard, intertwined, tugging each other along trellis,
bush, and tree, they symbolize "love in vines,"
rich with infinite entanglements, mysterious,
encumbered with free will, and glorious.

In Memory of Robin Williams

by Bobbi Rudin M.A., ERYT on 08/17/14

I had intended for this blog site to be used for sharing poetry and poetic expressions. I find myself feeling great sadness at the demise of Robin Williams and so choose to include something different this week. As a poet, I, like many of you out there who choose to actively engage with your creative lives, may know those dark depths that we oftentimes must step into and embrace in opening to the creative passions. (I am not denying that there are highly joyful places too and other ways to experience the dark places, but this blog focuses on the feeling of darkness that we can encounter and get lost in if not careful as something that feels lightless and inescapable.)

I happened upon the passage included below in Joseph Campbell's famous writings on The Power of Myth. In the passage, Joseph Campbell is being interviewed by Bill Moyers about individual and collective dreams and myths. Campbell defines a dream as a personal experience and a myth as the society's dream. Campbell further states that those whose private dreams are different than society's dream (or from their church's or family's or employers... on a smaller scale) can face some pretty difficult "adventures in the dark forest." I am pretty sure Robin Williams experienced these deep "neurotic" fears for the reason described below.

"Moyers: So if my private dreams are in accord with the public mythology, I'm more likely to live healthily in that society. But if my private dreams are out of step with the public-

Camplbell: -you'll be in trouble. If you're forced to live in that system, you'll be neurotic.

Moyers: But aren't many visionaries and even leaders and heroes close to the edge of neuroticism?

Campbell: Yes, they are.

Moyers: How do you explain that?

Camplbell: They've moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you've got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can't. You don't have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience-that is the hero's deed."

From The Power of Myth Joseph, Campbell with Bill Moyers pp. 40-41, Doubleday Press, 1988

So, dearest, Robin Williams, you have become another hero who has died in the battle for inner freedom. Know that I hold you in my soul as the true light that you are and have shined here to all of us who benefited from your humor, drama, and amazing life.

Comments, fond memories of, or expressions of gratitude to Robin Williams soul wherever it may be are welcome!


Taoist Poem Embraces the Flow of Emotions

by Bobbi Rudin M.A., ERYT on 08/08/14

 "Joy and anger,

sorrow and happiness,
caution and remorse
Come upon us by turns,
with ever changing mood.

They come like music from hollows,
like wood when played by the wind,
or how mushrooms grow from the damp.

Daily and nightly they alternate within
but we cannot tell whence they spring.

Without these emotions I should not be.
Without me, they would have no instrument."
Chuang Tzu

Click here to go to the website I found this poem on.

Bobbi Rudin
Creating More Peace, Health & Well-Being Through Authentic Self-Expression.
Pathways to Peace Soul-Body Expressions
A Place for Sharing Soul, Emotional Life, & Spiritual Connection