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Category Archives: Vietnam

Today I had all morning and all afternoon to work on my book, focusing on Day Two and Day Three of our DC-9 trial. I’m bushed. It was a grueling experience in 1970 and practically wore me out again in the re-writing of it. Judge Pratt had taken a page from the lessons of the Conspiracy Eight trial in Chicago – shut them up, gag them if they try to interrupt with questions. Never let them cross-examine witnesses, even if they fire their lawyers.

I have been fighting a cold too for the last several days. But I couldn’t pass up the chance to use the hours available to me, a clear, phone-interruption free day! What a gift!

I also feel gratitude for the opportunity we had in 1970 to confront the court system, to speak out against war, injustice and corporate murder of innocent people. I can feel the feelings I felt then, over 40 years ago. I suppose that is why I keep writing, to bring alive the scenes, the defiance we exhibited, the fire in our hearts to struggle together for justice and peace.

Now I can rest, rest my cold, rest the work energy, rest the feelings and trust the great spirits of today’s young people to carry on the fight for justice, peace and real rest for all people.

Viva Tunisia!


August 20, 2010

Today I completed the third draft of my book The Power of Love! Hooray!

As I was compiling a bibliography, I breathed yet another prayer of gratitude to all the teachers and writers who have influenced me for so many years – Theilard de Chardin, Franz Fanon, Paulo Freire, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Thich Nhat Hanh. Two leaders of the Sisters of Loretto whom I dearly loved are on the list – Sister Luke Tobin (Hope is an Open Door) and Sister Helen Saunders (More than a Renewal )- which contains an entire chapter about my participation in the anti-war action that is the subject of my book. I still have the copies of several “handbooks” I dragged all over the country hitch-hiking from trials to demonstrations to speaking engagements: Seymour Hersh’s Chemical and Biological Warfare, Domhoff’s Who Rules America , The Rich and Super-Rich by Ferdinand Lundberg and Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital.

Not to mention the minimum of three novels I need every week to keep me going.

Isn’t it the least I can do– to contribute one book in gratitude for all I’ve been given to read?

“Jon Fravel”  www.flickr.com/photos/jfravel “Rushing Waters”

Today, July 2,  is my brother’s birthday.  I hope he enjoys my gift -the draft of my book, The Power of Love: How a Nun became a Revolutionary.  I realized as we walked along the bridge over Great Falls, enjoying a magical day outdoors together, that he has been one of my greatest fans all his life.  He knew and understood my life as his sister, as a nun and as a convict awaiting sentencing for my opposition to the Vietnam War.  He has always been open-minded, loyal and passionate in his own convictions.

Thank you, my brother, for your love and support, now as I launch my story.  Thank you for being such a joy in my life.  Thank you for “walking in beauty” in your own life.

Tomorrow evening I will be reading from my book The Power of Love at the Voices from the Heart Community/Unity Variety Show.  This is a very exciting moment for me and several of the other artists performing new works for the first time in public.  I am particularly grateful to the producer of this event for offering a similar opportunity four years ago.  Although that event never happened, I was inspired to begin writing my book with publication in mind.  The writing process revealed new themes and a deeper understanding of my own experiences.

So, tomorrow, I come to the Community/Unity Variety Show with a completed book, 39 chapters long.  Of course, I will only read short introductions to the first three chapters.  The setting for the reading is my sentencing for three federal felonies for burglary and destruction of property at the Dow Chemical lobbying office in Washington, DC in March, 1969 as part of the DC-9, a “Catholic Left” anti-Vietnam War group.

“I stretch out my stockinged and healed foot toward the Federal courthouse step and quickly pull it back near its partner.  Should I actually climb these steps that could lead me to 35 years in prison or run down Constitution Avenue and flee?”

I hope those of you in the DC metro area will join us.

I am amazed that just beginning this blog with the intention of sharing my writing/publishing process with the world has already had great results.

One of them happened on June 8 when I was interviewed on film about the story at the heart of my book – the DC-9 anti-war action I did as a young nun.   The film – Hit and Stay – focuses on the Catonsville Nine and other “Catholic Left” actions against draft boards and corporations like Dow Chemical that profited from the Vietnam War.  So far, the interviews with men far outweighed those with women.  Hopefully, as I plan to share in my book, The Power of Love: How a Nun became a Revolutionary, my voice will help to balance the film.

There are several other events that have come as a result of letting a few friends know that I am now ready to not only write my story but also share it with the world.   More later.

What is your experience with putting out an intention to the universe and seeing what comes back to you?????