The Eye of the Storm
October 26, 2020
Three IFYC Alumni from different worldviews pulled off an amazing interfaith feat this fall, creating an original piece of art in less than two weeks from start to finish without ever having met before. Working across the country, across time zones, and across the boundaries of their respective artistic mediums, they responded to an invitation from The Peace Studio‘s 100 Offering of Peace campaign. The peace offerings featured throughout the campaign are original works about what peace means to each contributor, how it is practiced, and/or where one could see it rise up and flourish amidst COVID-19 and the impassioned protests over centuries-old racial injustices happening in our streets.
“The Eye of the Storm” is a collaborative peace offering by Maya Williams, a poet and practicing Christian; Harmeet Kaur Kamboj, a Sikh American interfaith activist, dancer, writer, and educator; and Keryn Wouden Anderson, a professional harpist and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who loves using art and music as a platform for collaboration and interfaith awareness. Keryn explained “It was incredible to see how easily everything came together and how united we could be despite many differences and physical distance. The idea that we all face hard times and have to find ways to be grounded and at peace in the midst of the struggle is one that we all relate to. It provided a beautiful canvas for each of us to express our thoughts and lean into our identities, both spiritual and otherwise.”
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By Maya Williams
At least four hundred years of oppression is not accidental.
Thousands of our ancestors facing multiple hyphenated storms is not accidental.
Our choices in whether or not to make things better are not accidental.
Peace is the presence of our ancestors before and after their bodies or ashes have reached the ground.
Peace is its ability to ground us in order to face our present.
They had to face their futures too. So do we.
This is not to say that we can force the storm to calm its rain of tears or thunder rumbles of frustration.
This is not to say shelter from the precipitation of “new normals” lacks isolation.
Our ancestors have faced hardship in the winds and tears. We are allowed space for anger.
But there were eyes in their hurricanes too. We are allowed space for uncertainty in the quiet.
Sunlight and rainbows are bound to shy their way out. We are allowed space for joy.
Whether you believe we’re a bunch of accidents or purposes, we are meant to be grounded.
We are meant to define our own peace.
Below, you can hear more from the artist about their experience of co-creating this piece.