An Arrow in Me, Pointing East

Journal entries

(At Stoddard Wells) Gumption assessment: 

Well.  I don’t have adequate rain gear yet, or a wool hat for the cold.  But not to worry for a little while, I’m burned out on urgency. The fact is—I can’t not go, if there is a way to go.  Too many commitments, arrangements have been made.  So—slow and steady…There is an arrow in me pointing east.  That’s all.  That’s the main thing.

(Thurs, 3-13 SW) Today was supposed to be a “Unity” day, consolidation of “neighborhoods” etc.  Participated in the last half or so of a campwide circle today, during which my heart opened.  I was sitting in my tent, writing, and I thought, listening to the singing of the circle, “My heart always closes around that sort of stuff.”  But that was just a concept, not necessarily a fact, as I found out writing a little more and then joining the circle.  I especially enjoyed all the hugs at the end. 

(3-24, Barstow)  …wound up walking and talking a long time with Barb, Brenda, Will.  It was sweet and I was obviously calmer than I knew.  At one point, as we were walking up the road together hand in hand, someone drove by in a truck yelling “Ya ****! Ya ****! And I was surprised that it didn’t even phase me, that, as Barbara put it, “It didn’t interrupt my energy in the slightest.” 

Thurs, 4-3.  A rest day.  Caught up on some sleep.  In the morning I helped serving breakfast and then I cleaned the cabinet and stove in the kitchen.  In the afternoon I caught up still more on sleep.  All it takes is one day and I feel like I’m in Barstow again. 

[Utah, no date:]

The woman who runs, and I suppose owns, the laundromat in Beaver Utah is very nice and friendly.  She leaves out a huge box of Ajax for us all to use for free. She’s 35-ish, good-spirited, good-looking.  Though she is ready to say hi, be friendly, talk, I’m shy about her because she’s predisposed to liking us already and therefore I can’t make things any better with her but could possibly make them worse.  I could somehow make a bad impression or offend her.  I’m very uneasy with folks from “the outside world,” especially the ones that like us.  We depend on them for so much, and since we are “already marching” and they are probably “inactive” as yet, it may be that they are the critical ones, that the fate of the world rests on what they do (or don’t do)--based on how we appear to them.  When I think this way, the responsibility to be likable feels awesome, and I’d rather avoid it.

A thought upon waking today: I will have to face physical hardships, severe weather conditions, etc. at some time or another.  If not now, then later. So it might as well be now, with a group of people like this.

I miss chocolate.

Unknown Marcher

Answer to a Friend

In answer to a friend who asked “What Magic?”

This is what keeps me going.


I sit at the info-desk dreaming of ice cream—

A few minutes later a woman brings me an ice-cream sandwich.

I pick a spot in the desert for my tent—

The perfect rock for hammering stakes appears at hand.

I am feeling lonesome and horny—

A beautiful and passionate woman comes to visit me in my tent.

I am losing the track of my purpose—

I receive a letter reminding me to “Trust my Intent.”

I am in need of money for batteries—

A friend repays a $5 loan.

I am grouchy at the end of a long hot march.

The sunset brings tears of joy with her beauty.

I seek a way to build an enclosure for our altar candle—

I find the perfect pieces in the junkyard.

I hope for a sign of Peace—

A small bird lands on my tent at sunrise and

Sings his morning praise.

I ask one person to help get candles for our altar—

Twenty people contribute $51.18

I wish to voice an idea at a meeting—

A man or woman speaks the exact words I thought.

I inwardly complain of the taste of the water—

Lemons are offered to us all for our water bottles.

I am tired of walking, my feet ache—

I am offered a job in camp for the day.

I need a boost for my spirit—

A young girl gives me a crystal.

I am tired of the dark and cold—

The sky is pink and gold at sunrise.

I am unsure of myself—

God speaks clearly to me.

Each Moment—Each Day


With Love

John Light


Be As A Child

Be as a child and you shall see God.

Dance and sing in praise of Life.

Join your spirits in joy—you can fly.

Laughter is the Power of Life.

The spectre of your fear will

Disappear in the face of the sun.

Feel your heart, it will light the way.

Be one with the growing things of earth

You will have peace.

Love one another as best you can.

Nothing is as important as we think it is.


John Light, 4-6-86 – Whiskey Pete’s


A working definition

If you should meet a fella who

does not mind bustin’ pants,

I’ll betcha that he’s honest, too,

so give the guy a chance. 

I’ve seen lots of people who,

while sitting on their duff,

talk about their honesty

and all that other stuff.

Such words mean little to me, though,

these folks don’t understand

that honesty and workin’ hard

go always hand-in-hand

Jeff-Free Turnbull


Stone in the Water

Drop a stone into the water—

In a moment it is gone,

But there are a hundred

Ripples circling on and on.

Say an unkind word this moment—

In a moment it is gone,

But there are a hundred ripples

Circling on and on.

Say a word of cheer and splendor

In a moment it is gone,

But there are a hundred ripples

Circling on and on.

Anonymous - to Jeff-Free

Gentle March

This is a gentle march

No lug soles to trample the earth

This is an angry march

We step on one another.


This is a clean march.

We pick up our litter.

This is a dirty march.

We litter our lives with distrust.


We have a community

And we care for one another.

We have disunity

And we have ostracized our friends.


Each day I reach out and grab onto someone

here whose heart and mind call to me.

Each day I reach out and clutch the air, the

space once occupied by a potential teacher.

I rejoice in the human richness around me.

I mourn the lost opportunities.  


To those here I say: Stay. Teach and learn with us,

grow and love with us, argue and rage at us, but stay.

To those who have left I say: Go into the world,

grow and love with us in mind and know that

though we argued and raged at you, you are

deeply, deeply missed. 

Sarah Willner

3-25-86 Libya Day

I Reagan will speak

And we the people will answer.

Reagan will ask the people of America for war.

And we the people of Peace City will answer no.

Reagan will speak to the people of America

And we the people will answer to our Congressmen.

Reagan will ask, like a fool, once more

But only Congress can make a war.


II It used to be my friends.

Now it’s my friends and their children.

This madman, this madness

Will return us to the days of death.


All day long

I have not been able to breathe.

And now,

The sound of an airplane panics my body.


I am here in Peace City

My brothers and sisters, my children

Are spread across the Mediterranean

And far from my arms.


Oh god

Whom we call upon in times so bleak

Guard us and our children

From madmen’s mad dreams. 

Sarah Willner



1986 is here

Now is the time, this is the year

To spread the beautiful message of Peace

To friends in the world, many hearts I hope to reach.


As I travel the roads

And visit the towns

Across this great nation

A cry of unity sounds


The mountains so majestic

Throughout the oceans that roar

Within the redwoods is our history

And flying high an eagle gracefully soars

hoping and watching.

1986 is here.

Now is the time, this is the year

To spread the beautiful message of Peace

To friends in the world, many hearts I hope to reach.

Children are growing

Each new day is more fun

Brothers and sisters are loving

Sharing the warmth of the sun

realizing that

1986 is here.

Now is the time, this is the year

To spread the beautiful message of Peace

To friends in the world, many hearts I hope to reach. 

Jane Carson

Open Letter

I’m no longer assured that I’m making a worthwhile contribution to the march effort.  I’m frustrated, but not overwhelmed by events. Rather, this need to know things, via ASL, can be compromised to some degree. 

I am proud to be deaf. Once I was angry to be so, but that anger has been tempered over time with the knowledge that my inability to hear is a nuisance ® something that is inconvenient at the wrong times.  I sit in my tent and see fellow marchers giving announcements over the microphones.  When I signal for them to tell me what they just said, most are aware of my deafness and the response is usually forthcoming.  How to express the gratitude that they made the effort, but also the realization that I understood not one thing they said? Every day there is a new face to lipread, to try to comprehend and to be frustrated by.  I’ve come close to actively desiring to “throw in the towel” because of this frustration. 

However, each day brings a new challenge.  I’m not afraid to face new challenges.  I’m only afraid that I can’t understand the point of the challenge.  I need to understand and comprehend in order to face one.  Not understanding a challenge and wanting so much to comprehend it so hard, only to be frustrated time and time again, leads me to fear for my ability to contribute to the march.

I must understand what is being said to be of any help.  But I will not become dependent upon another just to fulfill this inability to comprehend.  I’m not on the march to be “extra baggage.”  I’m walking to help the cause.  However pen and paper can be helpful, but is awkward and time consuming.  Why should I be responsible for the communication channels when I don’t control the situation?  I speak yes, I don’t hear.  That is my inability.  Why in this single inability must I feel the need to be responsible about pen and paper? You who hear control the communication channels, not I.  Therefore, you be responsible for pen and paper as you choose. 

Do come to me when you want the sign for a word.  This I can share because in this way I hold the communication channels.  In this way I will be responsible and be of a help to the peace community.  I am on the Great Peace March to communicate to the best of my ability.  This is what my life is about: learning how to communicate and to do it well.  With communication comes understanding.  And with understanding I can and I will be a part of Peace City.  This is where my home and my people are.  My goal is to walk across this nation in the name of global nuclear disarmament. 

Unknown Marcher

Song I

This is my birthday song

I sing to you from a tent

I am firm and I am strong

And I will not relent.


I sing to you of peace

All people living free

Above my head a cloud of fear

That wants to rain on me.


No nuclear war

Will shorten my days

No air raid drills

Scar my children’s ways.

I will live for life

And you must come

I will bear the strife

We’ll live free as one.

Song II

When life is a love song

We all will live free

When peace is our life’s work

What joy work will be.


It can happen now

It can happen here

We can live for life

And abolish fear.

When war is no option

When weapons are gone

Then all men as brothers

Will sing life’s love song.


It can happen now

It can happen here.

We can live for life

And abolish fear.

Song III

A bell is for music

Not to signal fear

Peace is forever

Not some UN Year.


And now we walk

So you may rest

And now we talk

The truth to test.


Force is for killing

So we must kill the force

But we must be willing

To firmly stay the course.

Come with us to a homeland

A homeland built for peace

There we’ll take a firm stand

That war machines will cease. 

Song IV

It is time to come together

It is time to reach for stars

It is time to stop the weapons

It is time to stop the wars.


But how—not I

Just me—and why


Because all men are brothers

Because the earth’s our home

Because the dream of mothers

Is to see their children grown.

But who—not me

I can’t—you see


You can if you but try it

You can if you believe

You can, you can’t deny it

You can, or you can grieve


For kids—who cry

For life—that’s why.

Sarah Willner



Why Do We March?

We March from March thru November

To rekindle the spirit of 1776 in 1986

We march from L.A. across the U.S.A. to D.C.

Thru Death Valley and over the continental divide

To unite our nation for life and peace.

Why Do We March?

We march for those who marched and died

In W. W. I and W. W. II believing in a just cause

And war to end all wars.

We march for those who died in Korea and Vietnam

And for those still dying in on-going wars.

Why Do We March?

We march for all those who have died

In all wars since time immemorial.

We march to fulfill the unfulfilled dreams

Of Samantha Smith that all children

Should grow up in a world of love and peace.

Why Do We March?

We march to influence the leaders of all nations

So that none commits another “March of Folly”

We march as members of one human family

Inspired by the noblest goal of humankind:

The elimination of all wars, our world at peace.

John M Gordon

Sunset Fire Prayer – Barstow

Sometimes we gather

In wind and rain

Sometimes we gather

In sun and stillness.

Help us to keep walking together

Even when we must be still.

Tom Benner


We Come to Washington

We come to Washington

Silence felt in a golden heart

Our strength

The winds of courage

gusting through the bowing trees

People follow where we go

Hmmmmm gentle subtleties

whistling wind

through the trees.

Catherine, BY 35


I Hope This Peace March

I hope this Peace March is gonna make a big difference on this Earth.

I hope the Earth feels better.  Peace means no War.

It means no “W”’s on the flags. 

Cooper-Woods Darby, Age 7


A Song About Children

The sun is coming up this morning on a new day

Do I hear the children singing in a new way?

Are there really roses blooming in a valley by the water?

Do the children see the valley on the other side?


See the children building castles in the new sand

(and) see them walking on the water in a new land

Long ago the seeds were planted where the children build their castles

Will they lead us ‘cross the river to the other side?


See the castles by the water on the other side

(and) see them dancing in their courtyards no more tears to hide

and the seeds have always been there where the tiny footprints lead us

to a City in the valley, on the other side


And when you hear the voice inside you— children praying

The children listen to each other —see them playing

Will they answer all our questions? Do the answers really matter?

Will they lead us ‘cross the river to a new day?

song by Jerry Conner, sung at his memorial service, 1/24/2000


Hey Jer


(Read by Timothy L. Trujillo at Jerry Connor’s Memorial Service)


Hey Jer

Sweet Jer

Brother of my soul

teacher of miracles and magic


perched upon

stones in sweeping sands

two solitaires

say its OK


when stranded or lagging

you always came through

better than the Samaritan


forgiving offense

large and small

rather kick with cold beer

or short

            or medium

                        or long walk

you remain

My Hero


And so I say

farewell for now

next stop Thanatopsis

Paradise, Nirvana, Valhalla


And I’ve been told

Elysian Fields are green this time of year

fragrant with flower and herb


Yesterday in my garden

I watched a butterfly emerge

from its aged chrysalis


this obscure wonder

revealed multicolored wings

unfolding expanding

until at once with flicker of light

they carried my newborn friend alight


soar like so dear Jer

and carry that part of me

that is forever you

to greater heights







I Can Get There From Here

words & musică Purpose/Fisher


From where I sit destinations abound

places that dreams are made of

but inside  my head, I keep losing  ground

with all of the ways that I avoid love



But I can get there from here

I can get there from here

If I can get to the front door

I can get there from here...


Kicking myself for the time I waste

cursing these rocks in my way

But with tolerant hope and a gambler's good grace

they become stepping stones leading my way



I can get there from here

I can get there from here

If I can get to the corner

I can get there from here


I've got a worn-out soul

and good shoe leather

Time will take its toll

but the road gets better


Everyday people all over the earth

Cover impossible miles

And in their footsteps I see my own worth

With a  dream and will to survive


I can get there from here

I can get there from here

If I can get to the next town

I can get there from here


I can get there from here

I can get there from here

though the borders be closed down...

We'll turn the whole world upside down...

Cause if we get to the next town...

We can get there from here