Understanding a true meaning of love and peace is the beginning of wisdom and unity with the great spirit of the Universe.
The closing of each year is a time of celebration and reflection. We
count our blessings, remember our losses, and look forward to the
wondrous mysteries of what is to come. For me, 2012 was a remarkable
time. I have seen and taken part in so much for which I am thankful
beyond words. The past 12 months have led to my sculptural experience, Love & Peace,
taking root and blooming internationally. I feel connected to the world
in ways I had only imagined possible before and I know that 2013 will
bring even greater surprises to us all.
When I think back upon 2012, I am awed by our progress. When
injustice was found and the oppressed were silenced, so many hands and
voices reached out in support of righteousness.
I believe there have been precious few times like these when so many
opportunities for empowerment have been within the grasp of women and
the young. Those courageous individuals who made a stand and pursed
those opportunities have provided me with unending inspiration.
Figures such as Malala Yousafzai, whose brave fight for the rights of
girls to an education in Pakistan lead to her also fighting for her own
life after being struck down by an assassin's bullet. Malala's
miraculous and blessed recovery and the way the world rallied to her
support forced us all to pay attention to her cause; to discuss the
issues she had raised and begin to think about a better, fairer and more
Somaly Mam, grew up in poverty in Cambodia. Her journey from lost
innocence became an inspiration to millions. Somaly and her Foundation
are tireless in their struggle to highlight the plight of innocent women
and children sold in to sex slavery.
Aung San Suu Kyi has stood up against the dictators in Myanmar from
the confines of house arrest for most of her political life. In 2010 the
rulers of her country finally caved in under the weight of global
pressure and she was freed. This year she became part of the new
democratic process and took her seat in Myanmar's Parliament. This long
and hard fought for change is greatly due to Aung San Suu Kyi's status
as a symbol of freedom and her ever presence in global conversations.
The tireless determination of these women and so many others burns
brightly in our eyes, bringing us closer to the reality of global peace.
The year also brought with it immense tragedy. From escalating
violence in the Middle East to the horrors committed against the truly
innocent in Chengping, China and Sandy Hook, Connecticut, our will to
persevere was tested again and again. Moments of despair like these
leave us wondering how we will be able to recover, how will we ever
piece life back together from the shards and scraps. I truly believe
that the surest route to healing is through conversation. When we share
our hurt, it begins to be released from us--the open ear of a friend is
another shoulder to carry even the heaviest burden. Love & Peace
has been created to open lines of communication between all people,
offering places of solace and community across the globe. I hope so
strongly that comfort may be found through my sculptures, and that they
are received as tributes to resilience.
As we retire old calendars and prepare for a fresh start, I wish for
so much: May our spirits be cleansed and our hearts open to a universe
of positive change. May we treat every being with compassion and
respect, as all creation possesses within it a spark of the Divine; may
our souls link to strengthen us in the face of struggle. Let us make
each new day a celebration of our miraculous lives--and let us make 2013
the Year of Love & Peace!