|Index + Catalyst + Humanity + Gaians + Mystery +Prologues + Bio's|
Prologue & Acknowledgements
How do you write a prologue for a book called "Hope" without sounding trite and cliché? First, imagine poets from the world over putting their best works forward all with the gentle "hope" of calming a caustic world. Next, mix in the true meaning of hope, a word that transcends national boundaries, ethnics, religions and genders. Modern definitions (to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment) do some justice to this powerful word, but it is in its ancient roots that one finds the ultimate pledge to future survival -- to have confidence; trust.
It is with these strong roots that Book of Hope creator and editor, Birgitta Jonsdottir, exemplifies courage and conviction. I have watched from afar as this book went from concept to reality, how Birgitta took on the mantle of poetic hero using poetry as both shield and weapon. Knowing that peace is a state of mind that few accomplish, she put together a lineup of exceptional poets whose work would be a testament to humankind; that if the planet has become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, this book could argue the cause for preserving humanity.
So this friends is the Book of Hope, I hope you enjoy and cherish each word!
Larry Jaffe, Poet, Los Angeles
Honorary Editor and Spiritual Guide for the Project
May 6, 2002
It is imperative that we overcome petty hatred, greed and jealousy. The human race is at the cusp of great things, a great awakening, a great coming together. We as artists, spiritual leaders and those with vision, must not, cannot allow negative forces to dictate how our future shall be. We have the power to change this. We must not sit back and do nothing, for to do nothing would condemn all of humankind to oblivion.
This is a call for understanding, a quest for hope. Do not let the darkness slither into our hearts. Damn the politicians and demagogues, this is about us, the people. All races, all religions, all nationalities. We must get the message across. Stop shedding blood in the name of religion. Stop hating those that are different. Stop the violence. Learn to love first, not fear first. Open the hearts and minds of the world, they must see, they must understand.
We have a window of opportunity in which to do this. We must not fail.
Michael Lohr Poet, Virgina
May 6, 2002
When the towers collapsed something inside me collapsed as well. It reminded me of the Tower card in the Tarot . Old values died, perhaps this was an open door into awakening for us humans. Our world is trembling with fear and all the consequences of fear. My first reaction to 911 was grief and a very strong urge to do something. I started in my own heart. Mended old wounds in my personal life. Michael Lohr was the catalyst for these books. He suggested that my tiny publishing house Beyond Borders should do something and I felt that he was right. So after asking my family what they thought and getting positive feedback I went ahead and started this adventure. Having been very much involved in the Internet and having had so many doors opening through that medium I knew I could get the word out.
The Book of Hope and The World Healing Book never had any shape in my mind. It is more like energy that needs to manifest. I have just followed my heart in this process. Two of the first people I asked for support were Larry Jaffe & Ram Devineni. I had worked a little bit with them through Dialogue among nations through poetry and I really felt that we had a similar vision on how we see poetry and poets weave together a dialogue of peace in our world. Both have been enormously supportive and without them and Michael Lohr this would never had been possible. What has amazed me the most in the process of putting all this together is all the poets with vision and heart. It has kept the flame of hope burning in my heart no matter what is going on around me. I feel the world needs Hope and Healing now more than ever. I feel the sparks for soothing and awakening to a world where peace and compassion is possible, are in this book. The reality is that no matter where we are on this planet and from what background we come from, we all have the same dreams and hopes. I can feel one heart beat in the books. The heart of humanity.
I have always wanted to be able to help people that are struggling, specially children. I never had the funds. But through the energy that has been put into the making of this book, those funds will hopefully be available for the children in Afghanistan - that was one of the big inspirations to carry on no matter how late in the night I was working. I would never have enough words to thank each and everyone that has taken part in this project. I wish for joy, light and love for all of you . If there are so many poets in our world willing to work for peace - there is hope. Hope for a world beyond borders - where a dialogue of healing and hope can take place and we can focus on the things that unify us rather than separates us.
I want to thank my husband Daniel Johnson and my son Neptunus for their support and love and the owner of Prentmet Gudmundur Ragnar for believing in this project. I wish to thank our mother Gaia for all her gifts, I wish to thank Higher power for being with me in this and everyone that has contributed their time, work and love to the Book of Hope.
And you dear reader I hope you will find what you are looking for within this book.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, Reykjavik
May 6, 2002