~ from SCI Dallas, by Norman Lowry

On the wall at the foot of my bed hangs a picture of a gateway through which lies the residue of life never fully realized.  At this site, eight years prior to my birth, the United States of America purposefully melted hundreds of thousands of people, with a fire hotter than the sun.  Next to this haunting image of Hiroshima hangs a picture of a female Buddhist cleric, peacefully sitting amid gasoline-fueled flames, whose outstretched arms seem to be inviting me to accept her love and forgiveness for my country’s choice to war against and to decimate her native Vietnam. 

Next, hangs the picture of 10-year-old Mona from Gaza who, with freshly bandaged head, pleads with me not to murder any more families with my country’s bombs, as I have just murdered her family.

Next, hangs a picture of a lonely road in present day Jeju, South Korea, on which a solitary woman stands in the way of a military tank, begging America to remove its “PIVOT” (U.S. military acronym); it’s geopolitical placement of 60%+ of all U.S. military forces on or around her beautiful island home, for the purpose of the domination of all of Asia.

Next, hang the pictures of friends; some with their children, grandchildren or other precious ones.

Finally, there are the pictures of nature: mountains, lakes, rivers, birds, water creatures; and images of my favorite works of art.

These pictures remind me of the monster of complicity and culpability which resides in my broken heart.  They also remind me of the available freedom I am finding in my choices to learn to love others as much as I love myself.  They help me not to forget that the extinction of mankind and of our lovely earth, which America is most strongly prosecuting, will escalate to its completion, if we do not stop it.

“May we be the wind that diverts the oncoming storm.”
– Bernard Naracobi

[Norman Lowry is serving a one-to-seven year sentence for repeated protests at a military recruiting station in Pennsylvania.]