by Fiona Duthie
The International Day of Peace, September 21st, was first celebrated in 1981. It is a day to celebrate and foster peace, and to observe an absence of war, with an international call for a 24 hour cessation of hostilities, issued by the UN.
Marie Spaulding of Living Felt, was inspired by this day to create Peace Felt, a global feltmaking collaboration- “To connect every country in an energetic circle of peace, unconditional love, and gratitude. For Peace to be Felt in hearts across the world.”
On this, the International Day of Peace, Marie shares with us her vision, inspiration, and information on Peace Felt.
“At the time I received the inspiration for Peace Felt, I was asking for guidance in how I could be of greater service to Good, to Love, to God. In the vision I received, a number of desires came together…I had specifically wanted to create a celebration around the International Day of Peace, and I have wanted to connect fiber artists in a meaningful way. Peace Felt answered all in one project. The power of all of us together is immense and this project connects our hearts and our intentions in harmony, while also celebrating the craft of felting.”
“Projects made for the exchange have included wall hangings, sculptures, flags, scarves – just a wonderful variety of
heart-felt expressions. If you are a weaver, quilt maker, basket weaver, fiber artist, sculptor, mixed media artist, etc. you may wish to participate by incorporating handmade felt into your preferred medium. The projects must include at least 25% hand-made felt (either wet felting or needle felting). Most are 100% felt.”
“This year 15 countries are participating, with 300 individual and group members matched. Each participant or group is connected with a Receiving Partner and a Giving Partner. The participant will send their PEACE FELT to their Receiving Partner, giving it in the spirit of unconditional love, free from the expectation of a return gift in “exchange”. Instead, that same participant will receive a PEACE FELT from their own Giving Partner allowing them to be the recipient of unconditional love without anything expected of them in return.”
Peace Felt participants often build up lasting friendships, in online conversations as each person’s or group’s felt project develops. Dita, in the Netherlands, shared this letter from her group to their receiving partners, which reflects so well the motivations surrounding Peace Felt:
“Dear Jan and Group,
On 9/11 (this very special day), my friend Jitske and I organised a day for Peace, a day of commitment and creativity. The first part of the day took place in a Mongolian yurt, which gives a special feeling because of its round form.
By singing and dancing we formed a circle inside the yurt and opened our hearts, and in this way we made contact with our deepest wishes. These wishes were later translated in a personal ‘peace of felt’.
We danced and sang for peace, outside in the whole world, but also within ourselves.
We have put our footprints for peace on the “earth”, represented by silk fabrics, of which we afterwards have made flags. In the pictures you can see 2 flags in front of the yurt. I have also felted a flag for you, with silk tops in the colours of the rainbow, representing all people.
The footsteps on the flag make contact with each other. It was a very special day. All our wishes for peace are inside the flag. By hoisting the flag, you let our wishes come true.
We enjoyed it very much to be also connected with you, on this wonderful day.”
Marie leaves us with the foundations of Peace Felt and wonderful insights to meditate upon on this International Day of Peace:
“It is in the giving that we receive. By creating and giving from our hearts, without expectation of return; by giving our attention to love and peace and unity, we, as the giver, receive that back.
We all deserve the joy and freedom of receiving without obligation. It can be so hard to accept a compliment or a kind word, the receiving of a gift of love and returning only gratitude and appreciation is powerful for both the giver and the receiver.
What we put IN to what we are doing, we energize. If we make something for someone else with love in our hearts, they feel it.
We are Many, We are One. When we join together in a common thought, we connect and energize that thought. Let us plant seeds of Love, Community and Support through our passions and our past times.”
Thank you Marie, for your thoughtful words, and for initiating and sharing the wonderful exchange that is Peace Felt.