2 April 2014

the year is flying by too fast

Today I am sharing this post so you can see that I haven't "just" been sitting around loving the birdsong, the blossoms, the sounds of the valley in springtime. I am learning to "put myself out there".

Legato went to Ortona. This is my contribution to the publication, and if you click on the link you will see some photos from the event.

Monte Cassino Foundation for Remembrance and Reconciliation
Out of the carnage and destruction wrought by the siege of Monte Cassino in 1944, there developed a strong tradition of remembrance and reconciliation - bringing together veterans of the many nations which took part in the battle (on either side of the front line). The many reunions of Monte Cassino veterans have been in support of this noble theme, with former foes developing friendships and discussing the futility and waste of war.
The last major reunion for veterans was in 2004, although smaller numbers of able travellers continue to return every year. This year, 2014, will see a very poignant commemoration as the travelling veterans are in their nineties and know that this will be a last visit to the places that are forever in their memories. 
Now the peace campaign must pass to the generations that follow, focusing on educating youth and society, as well as the veterans' activities. The Monte Cassino Foundation for Remembrance and Reconciliation, MCFRR, founded in conjunction with the UK organisation Veterans in Europe, is devoted to ensuring that the lessons of 1944 are never forgotten. 
The Legato exhibitions for peace and commemoration, established in Cassino in 2010, invite artists to research the history of the battles for the Gustav Line, exhibit in Italy, and then take the messages of reconciliation and peace back to their own communities through their various artworks and presentations. These exhibitions are inspired by the work of the late Douglas Lyne (co-founder of ViE and MCFRR), promoting peace and reconciliation through cultural exchange based on the creative arts. 
It is an honour for the artists to be invited to share this commemoration in Ortona. 

I was very surprised to be one of the main speakers, but welcomed the opportunity to share some of the things that I care about. I struggle a little with "putting myself out there" but there is work to be done and I am trying to be less hesitant about being in the middle of things. Despite being a Leo I am not entirely comfortable in the limelight, and after being out in the open need to scuttle away and hide like the introvert I suspect I am. (If you haven't read Susan Cain's wonderful book "Quiet" please do).

I have always seen myself as being a capable "behind the scenes" person, or perhaps even the "indispensable number two" in any public works. It may be time to get over that obstacle and start standing up and doing things more publicly simply because I can, and because they need to be done. I am reminded of the maxim attributed to Hillel the Elder, "If not you, who? If not now, when?"

Today I am grateful for the opportunities I am being given.  I am also very grateful for the birdsong, the blossoms, the sounds of the valley in springtime, and the chances I make to "just sit around and enjoy".

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