1 World Peace and Shelf Space | Traveling Light Blog by Travel Writer Colleen Friesen

World Peace and Shelf Space



“It’s been said that the magpie is one of the most accomplished nest builders in the bird kingdom. She works painstakingly slow, roving to collect material and build her rather large – by avian standards – home.”   - Amanda Dameron, Dwell Magazine, March 2012


I am not a magpie.

Neither am I a fan of slow.

But it would seem that this move is forcing me to accept a glacial process of piecing together exactly what can stay versus what must go. I am getting more ruthless by the minute.

However. Problems emerge. Problems such as this.

I may not be a magpie, but more than once I have described myself as a crow. I am continually attracted to bits of this and that. I thought this was kind of a fun past time, as I picked up a copper Shiva while in Delhi, or stuffed my suitcase with rocks off the beach in Greece, or dragged home the heavy Sphinx bookend from Egypt.

Nederlands: Shiva Nataraja (6274-1) Nataraj, t...

I have a huge wooden angel that took up too much room in our VW van, as we drove home from Mexico along with a rather austere-looking wooden monk (with a removable cross that fits in his hand!) from downtown Dewdney, BC.

Oaxaca - Colleen Friesen


Alas, these crow-like tendencies are the very things that are now dragging me down. Where, in this new space-capsule-sized-apartment, should the monk live? Surely he doesn’t want to share the shelf with the bubblegum-pink fat-bellied Buddha? Would Shiva-the-Destroyer be affronted if she had to hang out with the much larger (and admittedly fierce-looking in her own right) angel?

Then again, perhaps I’m sitting on the answer to world peace. Maybe if I line up all my assorted religious iconery and suggest to these totemic items that they are now representing the world and that it is up to them to learn how to share this space, I just might single-handely promote a more peaceful co-existence on our planet. No delusions of grandeur here. Not at all.

Still. Think about it. Maybe, just maybe, everyone would quit clinging to the need to be right and certain. Might they let go of the notion that their way is the only path to the truth? Perhaps, instead of trying to convince others of their position, they would start asking themselves, what would love (and compassion and kindness and understanding) do in this situation?

Maybe at night, when the moon is fat, there would be a faint shuffling as they all edged a little closer to each other. This might be followed by a faint murmuring of spirits, and (oh – please let it be true) a shared understanding would emerge.

The various statues would begin to glow with a united realization; that ultimately we’re all searching for only one thing in this world…to love and be loved.

Then again?

I might just be rationalizing a way to keep all this stuff.


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2 Responses
  1. Mandy says:

    Yup, keep it. Or at least, find a public or relatively private space to set up that particular ecumenical shrine…

  2. Colleen Friesen says:

    Mandy. Thanks for weighing in. I believe you’re right. It is a very ecumenical shrine I’ve created :)

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