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Submitted by: awaken2sun | 1:45pm, Aug 30
Culver City CA United States

My Vision of Peace
This is the Double Rainbow in the DreamCatcher Story:

DoubleRainbows: by Stephen Frank Gary
I am an artist and offer a story about making art. Ive been making art most of my life. I receive big happiness practicing the creative process to make things I call art. It helps me to grow; creates hope.
This is a story about creating a peace machine. Its called the DreamCatcher/Peacewheel. When I was at Burning Man in 2007 I put together a peace machine, made in the shape of a peace sign. The spokes of the peacesign are shaped like large feathers. It stands upon its own and is made to be wind generated causing it to be rolled by the wind. Whenever it rolls, it creates peace, or so I would like to believe.
OK, OK, its esoteric and does not seem to be doing too well lately, at actually making peace happen, but its rasison d’etre.
The plan was to make it at Burningman, to be part of the festival, and as a personal growth art project. No one there knew I was going to make it. It’s a thematic piece whereby, and in so doing, let it make the intent behind it, peace, come into existance. Being an artist for most of my life, I developed a consciousness about mans suffering condition and the present state of affairs presently playing out in our world. I was worried that we as a society were witnessing a final playing out of mans quest for power and eventual self destruction. The Arm aged doom and destruction stories proselytized by media and some religions sometimes takes root into our psyches. But in analyzing this out, such destruction seems exaggerated and pessimistic. So I thought to myself, what a stupid thing to do, blow up the world.
Why not make up a better story! You know, one of a bright future on a green living planet, and free of religious dogma.
Before I tell you more about the Dreamcatcher/Peacewheel, there is a little bit of history which went behind its making. In 2005 I started making large 9 foot high peacesigns, made out of electrial conduit, and fiberglass that would roll like a bicycle wheel taken off the bike. The first one was made to roll in antiwar rallies in Los Angeles. The second one I made for an antiwar rally at the Whitehouse in 2006. The 3rd one was a replacement for the 1st one, after it disappeared. The 3rd one evolved into the one, now called, the Dreamcatcher/Peacewheel.
The DC Peacewheel
The 2nd one is called the DC Peacewheel and I ll begin here, as it just fits better in the story I am writing. I flew into DC for a large antiwar rally in 2006. I came in on a Thursday, rented an SUV and went to Home Depot for materials. My luggage contained a bag with an electric saw, and a pipe bender with me. That was an interesting conversation with Homeland Security about what that was in my luggage.
Anyway, after I obtained the materials I needed a place to make it, but did not know anyone in the DC area to call upon. I needed an electric outlet. I drove around following my instincts and located a church in Falls Church Virginia. As I drove around the back, nobody was there. But, it did have an outside electrical outlet and a large parking lot. Perfect for the project of what was needed. I knocked on the door of the church but nobody was there, so I just went to work building it. By evening the bending and joining it into a rolling armature was completed. Where does one put a 9 ft peacesign. So I placed it by the truck and went to sleep.

The next morning some people went into the church. I went and told them what I was doing, come from LA to join an antiwar rally, and would they mind if I made a big peacesign in their parking lot. The pastor lady was delighted with the intent and allowed me to continue the project there. I completed the fiberglassing that day, Friday, and rolled it in DC the next day. We had over a half million people surrounded the White House and the entire block around it. Anyway, that church ended up keeping the “DC Peacewheel” when I was done. The Pastor said I could come back and roll it again if I wanted if I wanted.
The Hollywood Peace Sign
That brings me to the next chronological event in the Peacewheel Series. In May 2006, the first peacewheel, the first one I had made, in 2005, "disappeared." I had rolled it at many antiwar rallies in Hollywood in 2005 and 2006. After it disappeared, and to my surprise, CNN aired a story that someone had “painted” a peacesign on the Hollywood sign. So I went to look at what it was. Well really, here I must admit that I was a little surprised to find out our mainstream "newsmedia" does not know the difference between paint and a sculpture made out of metal and fiberglass hanging by a rope. But that’s just how the media reports here in the USA. Its not exactly the truth and many times far from it. The “news” is slanted the way the media owners want it to appear. I say this because when I heard the CNN story, I went to look the Hollywood sign and saw my "missing" peacewheel hanging on the Y of the HOLLYWOOD sign! It was so cool and I admit to a pretty big smile seeing it.
But, it was not a destructive assault of paint on the sign like CNN reported. It was my peacesign hanging like a medallion from a rope. It could be cut, or lowered down without any damage to the Hollywood Icon. Who ever put it there did with an intention to not damage anything, at least that is how it appeared to me.

I was proud of the symbolism of what message it sent out to the world. Some people in Hollywood wanted the world to know not all Americans supported the ongoing wars waged by our government, and wanted them to stop. It seemed like a nice message for the world.
It was taken down and I have no idea what became of that piece.

The Dreamcatcher/Peacewheel
Thie next Peacewheel evolved one step futher from the DC Peacewheel. The DC one had an appearance it was of made from feathers of birds. So the next one would incorporate the feathers idea but used to become like a giant dreamcatcher. Traditional Dreamcatchers were invented by Indians to be like a web in which dreams could be caught. They were made out of ribbons and feathers, and are to be placed close to ones bed. So, like the earlier peacesigns, the Dreamcatcher/Peacewheel was also 9 ft high and it was made to be rolled at antiwar rallys in Los Angeles in 2007, as replacement for the one that disappeared to the Hollywood Sign, and rolled at several Hollywood anti-war rallies.
But the concept was again evolving into a new project. This one involved incorporating the DreamCatcher, at the 2007 Burning Man event, into a moving peacemaking machine. When crossing over Donner Pass, going to the burning man site, a full moon eclipse was taking place overhead. The timing was right for this next project, and it seemed as if magic was in the air.
The 2007 Burning Man was known as the Greenman. But instead of creating power energy, my plan was to harness green wind energy, into a kinetic machine capable of produce peace energy. That was the intent, and theme of the art piece I wanted to make. After locating a campsite I began construction of the machine. When completed, it was 9 foot tall and about 40 inches wide; made up of three large 9 feet high peace signs, which acted as the armature for the machine/ art piece. The rocket shaped part of the peacesign act as spokes for the wheel, through the middle of which was a sprocket, which could be used as a handle to push the machine and make it to roll. There were also wind catching devices attached, designed to catch the wind speed and cause the wheel to roll.
The end opposite to the wind catcher part was the Dreamcatcher peacesign. It also had several real bird feathers attached as would be found in an authentic Indian Dreamcatcher.
When it was finished I had to roll it out to the “palaya” for public viewing. That was about ¼ to ½ mile away. To get there, I had to go through what is called Center Camp. As I was rolling it there, was met with this dust storm from hell, but fairly common to the area. It looked exactly like one of those old cowboy movies where some dude stumbles into the bar followed by a dust cloud, coming in for respite from the 50 mph dust storm raging outside.

Let's just say, on the way it became obvious that the wind catching devices were actually operational because I had to wrestle it to keep it from crashing down. As I approached “Center Camp” found a sturdy pole, and tied the wheel up to it. The 50mph dust storm kept on blowing. When the storm died down enough, people poked their heads out, and some started dancing in the street. The place where the wheel was tied up at, was at the radio station for Burning Man, so the music was going.
Although the wheel had a little damage, it still rolled. So, as the dust began to settle, I untied it, so as to return to the mission at hand, and place it upon the Palaya. I began to roll it out towards the Palaya where it would stay a few days, but to get there had to roll through the Center Camp.
A part of the project was to gather peoples dreams into the talisman. A talisman is a symbol with magical meanings attached to it. This PeaceCatcher/DreamCatcher, is a talisman. Making it into a talisman was accomplished by inviting people to write their dreams, or affirmations, upon it. It was constructed with a theme, having an intent to capture the wish in it, of those who were invited to write upon it. As to the interactive part of it, the only criteria I told participants was to make their intent to include a positive wish, and hopefully one that included peace as an ideal and write it onto the machine with the pen I gave them. My wish was that the machine was to make peace a reality: worldwide. The conceptual idea of the piece is that by making your wish, or affirmation, upon it, would give a little power to the talisman, the Peacecatcher/DreamCatcher, from the person making the wish, which was incorporated into this piece of art. After the wish was stated upon it, the winds would take the affirmation, and disperse it to the cosmic consciousness and the heavens, as it rolled off into the sunset. That’s the magic of it. Its true beauty is in its theme.
The project was both conceptual and an object, a machine of moving parts.
The Double Rainbow
Anyway, after the dust storm, and while I was at Center Camp, and a lady was writing her wish on it. Then the most amazing thing happened. The ambient light went from where you could not see anything more than 6-7 feet in front of you during the duststorm, and within 5-10 minutes of that, went to a very bright direct sunlight, such as that which is usually found within the middle of the desert. It went from dusty-dark, to light in all of about a 10 minute time span. Big contrasts. Then the light somehow crystallized to become a beautiful and vibrant rainbow, one more vibrant than I had ever seen before. It just popped up. There had not been any rain you could feel. It was a friking dust storm. Nevertheless, there appeared an entire end to end vivid rainbow which then, much to my total amazement, morphed into a full end to end double rainbow. Maybe I don’t get out enough, but I had never seen a full double end to end rainbow.

I had never seen such a vivid rainbow as this, much less a double one. Anyway, it was amazing to me. Enclosed if you look closely at one of the images of it, you can see the double rainbow, but the photos in no way capture the colors of what I saw.

My internal dialogue spoke to me and it felt like an epiphany from the rainbow. What I took away from this experience is that the true powers that make up this world will not allow us to destroy it. The world is going to survive and prosper. . Things are not so bad out here, and if we work as a group, things will get better. We are not alone in this world. There are unseen forces around us, who care about us. They send out their silent messages into the winds and the clouds. Those who are open to receiving these messages will receive. Such messages like I received, may really only have come from within my own personal faith/outlook.

The reality is that it may only be a figment of an overactive imagination, and maybe there really was no message at all. But that’s un-important. You have to really want it, Peace, to make it manifest. I realize this all may be within my own little messed up distortion of my own life but I share it with you anyway. I am an optimist/idealist. Hopefully, you are one too. Life is a beautiful gift which we appreciate and celebrate it, for the short time we are here with each other.



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