Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Not In This Alone

I'll start this by thanking Marla for bringing people together. This morning, I called my old friend Christopher to give the news of Marla. We stay in pretty good touch but it had been 6 months and he's in Vermont and I'm in California.

We both met Marla 10 years ago when we were all working on the 50 Years Is Enough Campaign on the IMF and World Bank. Marla was going to the same school I had a few years before, Friends World College. I made an effort to connect with her as a mentor and help however I could, that being the ethic of us FWCies... making us sisters in a small and quirky club.

It was apparent then and again when I met her again 5 years later that she had the fire for justice in her belly, for justice on an international scale in a way few people do. Obviously Marla never stopped campaigning against the international financial institutions, corporate greed, and war against people -- economic, military, all of the above...

The thing about death is, I've learned, you learn from it and from the person who has passed from your life. It turns out that over the years Marla and I met many of the same people... it's a bit odd running into you on this blog when I haven't seen you in months or years. From this loss, I'm learning, though, that it is really important that we not operate in isolation.

Even if we are in Baghdad, we should be in touch with our friends, mentors and partners in the struggle. Even in Oakland we can get isolated in our work and just not spend the time it takes to maintain human contact over time, miles, issues and organizations we work for. Make a phone call a little more frequently, take a hike to get to know someone better and to spend time talking about our struggles, hopes and fears for our work. That's what I'm taking from this now.

Thanks again for inspiring me, Marla.

Cheryl Brown