Reflecting on Peace and Possibility

Tours of Vision and the stu­dents and teach­ers at Palmyra-Mace­don HS cel­e­brate the mes­sage of LOVE

Bernard Stol­mann, ESP Records, about the Love Billboard

I was­n’t able to be present for the entire dura­tion of its dis­play, but I did man­age to spend some time con­duct­ing video-inter­views with indi­vid­u­als in front of and around the bill­board. Most peo­ple were unaware of the billboard’s pur­pose, but upon learn­ing that it was an art project, many con­nect­ed its sym­bol­ism to peace. There was no explic­it sug­ges­tion from my end to repli­cate the idea; rather, I hoped it would evoke an inner desire for peace with­in them, prompt­ing cor­re­spond­ing actions. I believed there was a pos­si­bil­i­ty, though the stakes were unde­ni­ably high.

Dur­ing this time, I was intro­duced to Alve­nia Bridges, who resides near­by. A for­mer mod­el, she had close ties to the Rolling Stones and was friends with Jim­my Hen­drix. She expressed inter­est in bring­ing the sto­ry to Rolling Stone mag­a­zine but sought clar­i­ty on the project’s future direc­tion before­hand. How­ev­er, lack­ing a con­crete plan from my side regard­ing how to pro­ceed fur­ther ren­dered the sto­ry irrel­e­vant for the mag­a­zine. And that was the end of it.

Searching for Direction: Exploring Paths to Peace

I pon­dered over what could serve as a clear goal… To advo­cate for a peace­ful world, to aid, to inspire, to… What­ev­er idea I enter­tained, it nev­er seemed quite right; per­haps too grand, too vague, too neb­u­lous. For some, peace equates to war. Thus, it must be unequiv­o­cal­ly stat­ed that it’s about non-vio­lence. One mes­sage that res­onat­ed with me was «Don’t resort to vio­lence in times of cri­sis.» When chaos reigns, and peo­ple per­ceive only adver­saries, per­haps this is the most cru­cial mes­sage to remem­ber. What­ev­er one’s beliefs, refrain from vio­lence. Stay calm, recon­sid­er, strive not to exac­er­bate the problem.

I real­ized that defin­ing peace isn’t as straight­for­ward as we may assume. Even what’s out­lined on the ABOUT page was­n’t artic­u­lat­ed as clear­ly dur­ing the project’s incep­tion. It’s the cul­mi­na­tion of numer­ous reflec­tions afterward.

Synchronicity and Continuation: Discoveries Beyond the Billboard

Dur­ing this jour­ney, I was con­tact­ed by Harold W. Beck­er, who coin­ci­den­tal­ly estab­lished Glob­al Love Day on the very day of our open­ing. He has con­tin­ued this tra­di­tion annu­al­ly on May 1st. You can learn more about his project here. It shares a sim­i­lar con­cept but dif­fers some­what in execution.

Mary Mar­tin about the Love Billboard