Two Heart Cells

When two heart cells are brought together and separated by glass, it takes 2 seconds for them to beat in sync.   What is the lesson for us? — it takes effort to stop that process.


Joseph Chilton Pierce



The Tone and Texture of Shame

Shikata ga nai: It cannot be helped.

Carl Watanabe is a Japanese American, an intelligent,  thoughtful, fun, and earnest man. He has been in public radio and public life for many years.  I first met him years ago in his public radio role.  Once I realized that he and I shared WWII from very different perspectives — he was Japanese American and I am native Californian who lived on the San Francisco penninsula — I … Continue reading

Waves Wash the Wounded Shore

From the fifteenth floor balcony, we were looking  at the Mediterranean spreading its waves on the wounded shore. There were smiles coming at us through the windows from the high rise buildings near by. Children screaming in joy, were finally free to check and see if their neighbors were still alive. Flocks of pigeons were flying across the sky wiping away the smoke and clearing the intense noise of the earlier bombing. Ceasefire was announced.

Continue reading

Womens’ Court Initiative

WOmensCourtOver the course of the past few years there have been some very exciting developments for women in the Balkans and as such, for women everywhere. The Women in Black led the Women’s Court Initiative to support women in redefining and achieving justice for their war experiences and creating opportunities for testimony from some of the women. There was a great deal of effort in creating services leading up to the testimony as this is a very dangerous thing for the women to do and the women needed a great deal of preparation and protection. Continue reading

Globalgirl Media

GlobalGirlLogoGlobalgirl Media is dedicated to empowering high school age girls from under-served communities around the world through media, leadership and journalistic training to have a voice in the global media universe and in their own futures.

We at Ashlar Center believe in this IMPORTANT work!  See the video’s witnessing Kosova women.

GlobalGirl Media invests in girls as agents of change by providing concrete skills with which to improve their personal situations.  Continue reading

Teuta: Escape and Return

In this piece,  Besire, a trauma psychotherapist/psychologist in Pristina, Kosovo interviews and makes a few comments for context.  She herself was a refugee who survived very difficult times.  She wanted the women’s stories to break through the walls of her office into the world and did the women. here must s be pointed out that stories are given with the consent of clients.  These stories need to be held, cradled and the women celebrated … Continue reading

Unable to Speak Their Truth

An Ashlar associate describes a barrier to healing for women in traditional cultures who were raped during war. (note: English is not her native language – these are her words with little editing)

Before the war, our society had close connections, large families which were very close emotionally. Since the war ended, not only had huge losses, with regard to the dead, but also has a sense of detachment, lack of connections. … Continue reading