Thursday, August 6, 2009


I just completed reading a remarkable book entitled "The Third Chapter...Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50" by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. She writes that the third chapter is a stage of life when the traditional norms, rules, and rituals of our careers seem less restrictive; a time to embrace new challenges and to search for a greater meaning in our lives.

This book spoke to me. Since my retirement 2 years ago I have been on a new path, that I haven't been able to articulate clearly, to myself or to others. For over 30 years I worked diligently in the public health sector being an advocate for people who had no power.
Along the way I was fortunate to be in the arena with some large social justice issues. I worked with the farm-workers in Central California, with immigrants fighting tuberculosis in Texas, and elderly people in Wyoming who had to choose between buying food and medications. I did what I could, along with working long hours and raising a family.

My life changed dramatically and quickly when I retired. All of a sudden I had the time and the passion to devote to direct action activities so near and dear my heart. With the support from my terrific family, I entered into justice issues, I had never had the time to explore before.

And I jumped in with both feet, energized by a passion too long ignored in a journey that led to this time in my life. I am no longer afraid of speaking out, or of standing up, or of questioning the powers that be. My place is to be in that march to make the world more just, more peaceful and more loving. There is a voice to my heart and it speaks louder every day.

And so I am arrested and imprisoned for my beliefs. What a gift that was! And I continue on. Know that in my writings I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you. I wll write more of my journey, most recently a trip to New Mexico in recognition of the anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With joy I invite you to travel with me, but wear good shoes and carry some water. The trail can get bumpy and hot!

Pax Tecum

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