Grasshopper Soup: The party’s over – time for peace

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – This is a great day! The holiday is over! And it appears we have a new tax deal. If you’re only making $449,999, or less, you will pay less tax than someone making a dollar more. Now the Occupy Wall Street kids have a reason to be happy.

One day into the new year and how many resolutions have been made, kept and, perhaps more predictably, broken? I didn’t make any resolutions, other than the ones I’ve been making, keeping and breaking with perfect consistency since the first new year’s resolution I can’t remember making. I think I was about 13, and it had something to do with throwing rocks at cars, and I managed to keep that one. But I quit making new year’s resolutions years ago. If you don’t make ’em, you can’t break ’em.

2013 is starting out same old, same old, and still looks like 313 in some parts of the world. And, as usual, working for world peace is high on many lists of resolutions. Too bad it’s not on everyone’s list, but Tahoe is a good place to find people who want peace.

The Tea Party and the Occupy movement want peace too. No contradiction or irony there! Certainly not enough to worry about at this elevation. As high as we are, in more ways than two, life in Tahoe is too good to see, care or worry about the ironic realities of politics. We have enough of harsh realities of our own in the mountains in winter.

Maybe we should express our deepest thanks for the people who don’t want world peace. Without them we wouldn’t have any reason to make keeping the peace such a daily, year after year, ongoing effort. But it would be nice if those people went away, far away.

Peace means different things to different people. For some, peace is an abstract notion to force on others. For some, peace is an abstract notion beyond their reach.

Peace is not a political concept, nor is it a political, or military situation. Peace is not the absence of weapons. Peace is not a nice dinner, or the result of any diet. Peace is not a good feeling we get for a period of time.

Peace is a moment that can last forever, and it is more powerful, more beautiful and more real than any person, place or thing the human mind can know or imagine.

Peace is available anywhere, anytime, but the recognition of peace is not.

True peace cannot be found in the outside world unless we find it in ourselves first.

Peace is not oneness with nature, or natural beauty.

Peace is not the absence of conflict and cruelty.

Peace is something we learn to find, nurture, prepare for and create in the world around us, but first of all in ourselves, through a lifetime of experience and practice, even when the world around us is not co-operating with our efforts to give, and receive, peace from where it seeks to reside, in the human mind and heart.

Peace is keeping calm when there is chaos all around you, like sometimes on a ski slope.

It’s been said boredom is for idiots. Peace is the farthest thing from boredom. Even idiots can find it, though it will more likely find them first, as it does even with the wise.

Peace is to look forward to more of the same. Peace is to master monotony and celebrate ordinary things. Peace is to be like a child, but not be childish. Peace is to trust that something or someone greater than ourselves will care for us so we can be ourselves.

Peace is being safe and secure, even when there seems to be no safety or security.

Peace is being alive and well, even when life and well being seem to be slipping away.

Peace is not a fad, or a ritual. Peace is not human psychology or a human discovery.

Peace comes in its own time, in a world unto itself, with its own light and its own life.

Have a peaceful and happy new year.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.

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