Thursday Tidbits: Peace in Relationship and Dystopia

forpeace6This week, Thursday Tidbits considers peace in terms of our relationships, as the June post for Bloggers for Peace. I am reminded of Pema Chödrön’s observation that we are always in relationship, even if the only other being in the room is an insect.

We are always in relationship, and the first is with ourselves. Whatever that relationship, it flies as our banner, the basis of our relationship with reality, peaceful or no.

When you enter deeply into this moment, you see the nature
of reality, and this insight liberates you from suffering and confusion. Peace is already there to some extent: the problem
is whether we know how to touch it

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Our day-to-day relationships are mostly peaceful but not always, for we are human and do not always lead with compassion. Yet, by entering deeply into each moment, we are able to try again, perhaps even to meet one another in acceptance, if not in agreement. Is that not the threshold of peace?

Just recently, I read Piper Bayard’s dystopian thriller, Firelands, a fine novel that raises question after question regarding our relationship with our world.

A cautionary tale, Firelands is as unpredictable as the nature of relationship for we are taken down paths that prove not to be what they seemed but like any master storyteller, Bayard allows her characters to reveal themselves for all that they are and are not.Firelands 0613

I am not a frequent reader of post-apocalyptic fiction but as I read Firelands, I was reminded of a favorite Mignon McLaughlin quote:  “The hardest learned lesson [is] that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.” Bayard’s vision is not a pessimistic one. Rather, it is refreshingly realistic.

In the theocracy of Firelands, we see what a faction-weary world can become for such a world, like ours today, “desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds” (Dalai Lama).

Storyteller Bayard affords us a glimpse into one possibility for our future and offers us the opportunity to look at ourselves now, in our present. But mostly, she takes us to the threshold of peace by reminding us that our story is one of relationship and always will be; to touch the peace within ourselves is to extend it in relationship in any world that comes to pass.

Although this is Piper Bayard’s first book with StoneGate Ink, we can look forward to more fine writing, including a seven-book series written with Jay Holmes. I am a constant reader of their blog, Bayard & Holmes, for their posts are thoughtful and thought-provoking. Often, they reveal a perspective I had not considered.

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

11 thoughts on “Thursday Tidbits: Peace in Relationship and Dystopia

  1. Piper’s quite right – this is why authors should write. Writing is about sharing thoughts, hopes and ideas,and it’s about being able to bring those concepts to others. I’ve just picked up a copy of Firelands – Kindle edition – and am very much looking forward to reading it.


    1. Oh, you will enjoy it, Matthew. Like you, I have the Kindle edition, and I kept checking location numbers because it’s so well written that I didn’t want the story to end but then, I wanted to find out what happened next. Thank goodness we’ll have more to read from Bayard and Holmes.


      1. I started reading it yesterday and can’t put it down. I was supposed to be writing a book of my own (a ‘biography’ of coal) – with looming publisher deadline – but was captured by ‘Firelands’ instead. It’s a fantastic story. I’ve let Piper know.


        1. Wow! Knowing your dedication and incredible publication record, that is quite the compliment! Truly, I am interested in the coal biography as coal plays a role (almost literally) in the old woman novel I am drafting. Maybe you’ll give us a post on it? Yours is another blog I hold in high esteem. As a matter of fact, on my way over now. Thanks for adding this to your comment, Matthew.


  2. What a wonderful mix you have here, KM. Apocalyptic fiction, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, and Mignon McLaughlin. So much peace combined to make a wonderful reminder.
    My favorite quote is “lead with compassion.” This can be read in a number of ways–be a leader in compassion, start with compassion, let compassion guide you. Sounds like we need a t-shirt.
    Yes, I believe that it is all about relationships. To repeat a corny pun, “it is all relative.” {{{Hugs}}} Kozo


    1. Ooh, a T-shirt! As usual, you’re onto something, Kozo. Loved the pun, and you know, it is quite a mix, and I like that. It’s relationship. Thanks, Kozo!


  3. Many writers think their greatest moment will be to see their name in print or to hold their book in their hands. For me, it’s sharing a story born of my deepest hopes and perceptions and having others share them with me. Thank you for taking the time to share this story with me, and for your beautiful post.


    1. FIRELANDS is such a fine novel, Piper, and as a writer, it inspired me because as a reader, it wowed me. Not only do I have an author who will tell me more stories but as a writer, I have an example of what it is to write a good story. Both are priceless, Piper. Best of luck with this novel.


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