Dialogue serves to bring disparate groups together. Yesterday my husband and I attended one where the participants were Muslim and Christian. We have also attended others aiming to reconcile different expressions within the Christian faith. Yesterday was delightful.
Dialogue between family members
In other contexts, we are using dialogue to reconcile members of our family who express different opinions, often diametrically opposed. Discussion is essential. The components of discussion, however, must include listening. By listening, we create the safe space where another might dare to share or question.
Rules and a peace pipe
On occasion, dialogue requires a mediator. So, yesterday we enjoyed the leadership of a wonderful woman who gave a lovely decorated stick to the person wishing to speak. She clearly delineated the rules: whoever holds the stick has the right to speak without interruption. As we became more familiar with one another, we began to share personal stories and ask questions. The peace pipe’s importance diminished as we created a safe space.
Dialogue between religions
Between religions, dialogue is opening a space where we may recognise our similarities more easily. The process allows us to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Apparently, the renewal or reformation of religion occurs naturally about every five hundred years. We are living such a period of necessary disruption today. People are no longer comfortable with the too confining status quo. They are seeking freer expression and a safe place.
Sharing my vision
Dialogue opens space. During our discussions yesterday I had the chance to share the foundation of my latest series and the intent behind my solo exhibition “The Veil”. I was pleasantly surprised when the senior member of the Muslim group at our table expressed a rather excited support of my idea. The crux of the matter is we live in an illusion of separation, the veil, which we must remove in order to see the ever present beauty beneath. It is time to stop creating barriers.
Finding something new together
So, less than two weeks away, “The Veil” offers a premise for dialogue. How do we remove our preconceived ideas and our narrow points of view? Can we open a safe place to be for ourselves as well as others? How can we love better? Together we may discover something new, a new way of being. May peace be part of your blessed week.