Friday, December 24, 2010

Folding Cranes - Finding Peace

Statue of Sadako Sasaki in Seattle Peace Park
Photo by Scott Butber

Essay by Steve Goodier
Shared with his permission"

In the midst of a world at war, Eleanor Roosevelt captured the mood at Christmas 1942. "How completely the character of Christmas has changed this year," she wrote in her newspaper column. "I could no more say to you a 'Merry Christmas' without feeling a catch in my throat than I could fly to the moon!"

In September 1945, U. S. Navy chief radioman Walter G. Germann wrote his son from a ship anchored in Tokyo Bay to tell him that the formal surrender of Japan would soon be signed. "When you get a little older you may think war to be a great adventure -- take it from me, it's the most horrible thing ever done.I'll be home this Christmas..."  Home. To a world at peace.

In 1955 a thirteen-year-old Japanese girl died of "the atom bomb disease" -- radiation-induced leukemia. Sadako Sasaki was one of many who suffered the after-effects of those bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Japanese myth has it that cranes live for a thousand years, and anyone who folds 1000 paper cranes will have a wish granted. So during her illness, Sadako folded paper cranes, and with each crane she wished that she would recover from her illness. She managed 644 cranes before she left this life behind. Sadako's classmates folded the remaining 356 cranes so that she could be buried with a thousand paper cranes. Friends collected money from children all over Japan to erect a monument to Sadako in Hiroshima's Peace Park. The inscription reads:

This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on earth. Each year people place paper cranes at the base of the statue to recall the tragedy of war and to celebrate humanity's undying hope for peace. In some places around the world, people fold paper cranes each holiday season to use as decorations and as a symbol of their deep desire for lasting peace.

I, too, have a deep desire for a day when war will become a relic of the past. I yearn for a day when we join hearts in union with one another, while beating swords into plowshares and folding paper into cranes.

Peace on earth. The generation to accomplish it will truly be the greatest generation ever."

~ Steve Goodier

Some websites to help you continue your journey...

The Story of the Peace Crane
Three D Video on How to Fold a Peace Crane
Instructions: How to Fold a Peace Crane
New Songs for Peace - This UNESCO-endorsed "New Songs for Peace" project is intended to encourage people to think about peace, talk about peace, and write a new song that we will collect and self-publish in a book. These new songs will promote peace, cultural acceptance and understanding for those who work towards peace throughout the world. - Teaching Tolerance/Promoting Peace - Websites I have collected through the years.

With deep appreciation and thanks to all of our service men and women. May they all be home soon, home to a world of peace.

Karen Chace  2010 ©
This blog post was painstakingly researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog or newsletter via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Mischievious Medieval Romp: Come and Play at the Story Cafe!

Join us for the first Story Cafe of 2011!
New Age Gawain and the Green Knight
~ a mischievous Medieval romp

Featuring Storyteller Diane Edgecomb
Accompanied by Margot Chamberlain on Celtic harp
January 22, 2011

The stakes are high for Arthur’s men’s group. First a bungee-jumping Green Man swings into their midst and delivers an ancient macho challenge. Then a mysterious rider gallops off with his head under his arm, taunting Gawain to follow. But the greatest fun comes when three outrageous female archetypes use all their wiles to assail Gawain’s new-age virtue. Welcome to New-Age Gawain and the Green Knight, Edgecomb’s hilarious send up of the men’s movement. Loosely based on the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Edgecomb’s comedic adaptation has New Age Arthurian knights running for their therapists faster than you can say "Litigation!"

Celtic harper Margot Chamberlain provides an evocative background of original and traditional tunes as we take this fun-loving journey along the ‘road less traveled by.’

Diane Edgecomb is one of the most versatile voices in the storytelling movement today, known for the seamless way her performances weave together story and music. Diane has received three Storytelling World Honors Awards as well as a Year’s Best Performance Award from the Boston Herald. Diane has enchanted audiences with her richly expressive voice and with the wonderful characters she has created for over twenty-five years. She is equally at home telling a tale of mythic drama, singing a haunting ballad or rapping out a comedic tale. But it is Diane’s ever-changing voice and movements enlivening her tales that brings to her storytelling art an originally entertaining and thoroughly captivating blend. 

Margot Chamberlain studied piano at the Oberlin Conservatory and early music with Marleen Montgomery.  She has performed at the Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Counterpoint Theatre and First Night Boston, as well as in many concert situations for both adults and children. She enjoys the wide range of expression, from earthy to ethereal, from mysterious to comedic, that the harp makes possible.

As a Duo: Diane and Margot combine rich story material with carefully orchestrated underscoring of original and traditional music. They have been featured on National Public Radio as well as at theaters, coffeehouses, colleges, museums, and nature centers throughout the United States.

“A storyteller in the grand tradition, Edgecomb is a virtuoso of the spoken word.... an entire cast rolled into one.” Publisher’s Weekly

"National Public regulars Diane Edgecomb and Margot Chamberlain have elevated storytelling to mythic heights." The Worcester Phoenix

ADULT OPEN MIC: Sign up for your eight minute (maximum) turn at the mic beginning at 7:00 p.m. Share your own story, song, music, essay or poem.
TIME: 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. (Feature begins at 8:00 P.M.)
LOCATION: Artworks, 384 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, MA
ADMISSION: FREE (donation suggested: pass the hat for the featured performers)
AUDIENCE: 14 and older
INFORMATION: Email Karen Chace at  or call Artworks at (508) 984-1588.

THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN NEW BEDFORDCome early and take a stroll along the fishing docks or bring your bike, enjoy the ocean breeze and ride around beautiful Fort Taber . Prefer something easier? There is the interesting and historical Whaling Museum .

Later you can enjoy a "flight of wine" and fresh hot or cold tapas at Corks or award-winning chowder (chowda) at Freestones before the show or a night cap afterwards.

How about a trip to one of the best small zoo's in the country? The Buttonwood Park Zoo is an easy drive from downtown. New Bedford also has National Park status and there are many things to enjoy. Spend a day exploring and then relax in the beauty of ArtWorks listening to stories and song. I can't think of a better way to spend a crisp winter day!

Information on Portuguese restaurants in New Bedford.

Freestones - Affordable, casual dining and it is just around the corner from ArtWorks.


Elm Street Parking Garage and Custom House parking is within easy walking distance to ArtWorks.

Sponsored by Artworks! Partners for the Arts & Community
ArtWorks! is supported in part by the MCC as well as business and individual members