I was not able to go to Crawford, but my friend Diana spent the weekend at Camp Casey, and was generous enough to take down my questions and to file a thorough report of what she saw and heard. Diana calls the experience an "encampment on the frontier of consciousness," and says she arrived in Crawford to the sight of restless natives:
cruisin' the main drag in pick-up trucks and SUV's, spewing invectives with glee out the windows as if they were off to a big football game. Their banners screamed Bush is #1 and Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan: American Traitors. They painted Cindy's name on their horses' flanks and plodded them around proudly. Their ranks were mostly male, mostly with cans of beer in hand, smirking their superiority and disdain with every glance and gesture. The Haters were out in force, claiming their moral high ground with Bible verses on scrawled placards.
Amazingly, Diana reports, the detractors seemed invisible to those who arrived at the Crawford Peace House to support Cindy Sheehan and what she stands for. My friend was fortunate enough to ride to the camp with Sarah Oliver, a founder of the Crawford Peace House, who told her that Crawford residents generally "detest" the house, that law enforcement officials had been very helpful, and thatas far as she knewno threats had been made against Sheehan.
Diana says she then entered a quiet, peaceful gathering of about 2,000 people whose sense of purpose allowed them to survive the sweltering Texas heat.
The presence of Joan Baez added a warm electricity that charged us all with the realization that our ideals of freedom and love are Timeless. Joan had an earthy, radiant beauty that glowed with compassion, sadness and stoicism. It was an act of generosity for her to be there, singing the songs that brought us older ones back to our roots and us younger ones onto the fresh ground of songs sung for peace and freedom. The moments that Joan shared onstage with Cindy Sheehan brought an extra glow to her face, lit up her eyes with what looked like a clarified happiness. At one point during her talk, Cindy said that what had happened in recent months in her life, the movement springing up in the wake of her son's death, was the most important thing that had ever happened to her. Joan responded with a sparkle, "Would you marry me, Cindy?"
Another highlight, according to Diana, was a surprise appearance by activist, author, and artist Russell Means, who acknowledged the leadership power of the women at Camp Casey, and who reminded everyone that a matriarchal societybecause it is not fear-basedbrings about a balance in which everyone's contribution is appreciated.
Camp gatherers enjoyed an array of delicious fresh food in what was described as a well-organized, smoothly-running operation that exceeded even the customary high level of Texas hospitality. Service was a guiding principle of the group, as expressed in its mission statement: "We will carry out our actions in a manner that reflects the world we want to create, and we will act in the service of what we love."
"Local television news media in Texas misses all of this," says Diana, "in favor of airing the pro-war views that match those of the owners of the airwaves. According to her, you had to have been at Camp Casey to have experienced what she calls a "centrifugal force being focused like a growing biosphere of higher consciousness out here in the middle of a pasture in Crawford."
My final glimpse of the Camp left me with a sense that it is important to act as if the whole world is watching, even if no one is looking: On the dirt road running the length of the Camp, a line of people formed, holding a massive banner that was about 3.5 feet in depth and a distance of at least one city block long. The banner read Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home. The gigantic banner was being held by at least 30 people, displayed to an endless empty field and a road kept almost entirely clear of passing cars by state troopers. No news helicoptors exist in the area, nor any air traffic whatsoever. It was a message being transmitted by good hearts, in belief that it will take hold somehow, even if nobody sees it.
Diana Souza is contributing her vibration to the morphic resonance of
Love from her home in a major city in Texas, where she teaches
communication arts, designs books and plays rock n' roll. You're
invited to visit her website at: www.art-temple.com