Friday, September 30, 2011

Hay Quaker ~ One Year On

The Hay Quaker Blog is one year old!

In that year 484 posts and 27,808 page views!

I would like to thank all of you that have been readers, regular or occasional, and all those who have given me encouragement with their comments. In particular I would like to thank all those who have provided links to this site from their own blogs and websites.

The blog is not just used by the Quakers and Unitarians who have provided most of the material but by Anglicans, Catholics, Mennonites, Methodists, Jews, Pagans, atheists and others. Thank you!

I love to exchange views with readers of Hay Quaker so, if you do not do so already, please follow me on one of the following. I will be pleased to welcome you! (Click to the links)

These are the five most popular posts from the year ~

Being Useful ~ Leo Tolstoy
Stare us in the Face ~ William Penn
Be Anything or Nothing ~ Susan B Anthony
Personal Revolution~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
To Live the Simple Life ~ Rufus M. Jones

And if I can add my own personal favorite to that list it would be ~
Escape Like Squirrels ~ D.H. Lawrence

As the blog is so large you may need to search for what you want. The search engine, provided by Blogger in the top left hand corner is of limited use, or try using Google search with the words of your search followed by "Hay Quaker".

Thank you all once again!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things that Startle You ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” 

― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Free e-books / Kindle F.Scott Fitzgerald books

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The State of Our Own Being ~ David Lapin

"So as we observe the state of the nation and the world, see their progress and their struggle, we can and we should observe the state of our own being. Not only in terms of how much more we are doing, observing and learning, but also in terms of how much more deeply and sensitively we are living."

Rabbi David Lapin (for Rosh Hashanah)

Every Struggle is a Victory ~ Helen Keller

“For, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.”

― Helen Keller

Helen Keller's home "Ivy Green" Joseph Baker 

More at

Free e-book - Kindle Helen Keller Autobiography

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Part of My Fabric ~ Rita Williams

"To me, the core belief of Quakerism, as far as I can see and having become a Quaker later in life, is that there’s a little piece of God in all of us. It gives an equality to everyone and diminishes the thought that people are better than they are. That to me is the important thing. I didn't know I felt that way until I was introduced to Quakerism, but I think it always was part of my fabric, of the way I felt. I didn’t have it in words so much as I felt it." 

–Rita Williams

More at
Artist Hannah Walis (perhaps a onetime student at Ackworth Quaker School?)

Monday, September 26, 2011

No End to its Blueness ~ L.M. Montgomery

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky - up, up, up - into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.” 

Religion without Love ~ Anna Sewell

“There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.”
― Anna Sewell

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Universe of Miracles ~ Edward Pease

"The miraculous does not strain the Quaker faith, for we live in a universe of miracles, from the incomprehensible mystery of the miracles of small things such as the springing of the seed in the earth to a plant or a tree and the life histories of all creatures, to the vast systems of the heavenly bodies. But new miracles are not required to prove the existence of a Power that he feels within himself and perceives without himself."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall, Leaves,Fall ~ Emily Bronte

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

~Emily Bronte

Thursday, September 22, 2011

God is Awake ~ Victor Hugo

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. G_d is awake.” 

~ Victor Hugo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Best Things ~ John Lubbock

“All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.” 

― John Lubbock

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Other Side of Silence ~ George Eliot

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” 

― George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When We Should Speak ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Yours ~ Ayn Rand

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours.” 

― Ayn Rand

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Task Will Never be Done ~ Sydney Bailey

"Peace begins within ourselves. It is to be implemented within the family, in our meetings, in our work and leisure, in our own localities, and internationally. The task will never be done. Peace is a process to engage in, not a goal to be reached."

Sydney Bailey 1993

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Turn off the Computer ~ Michelle Everett Wilbert

"If you love and enjoy your children, you are a good parent. If you love and enjoy your own life and ideas, then relax and get on with it. Don't let this machine keep you from the hard work of sorting out life's mysteries and predicaments. A computer is a tool to be used wisely, but it's a very seductive tool that can start using you.
Now, shut me off, turn off the computer, stand and stretch, and go outside!"

~ Michelle Everett Wilbert

More at

Artwork from Di Oliver

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Being Useful ~ Leo Tolstoy

"I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbour — such is my idea of happiness."
— Leo Tolstoy

Monday, September 12, 2011

Silence and Detachment ~ John Burroughs

"Communing with God is communing with our own hearts, our own best selves, not with something foreign and accidental. Saints and devotees have gone into the wilderness to find God; of course they took God with them, and the silence and detachment enabled them to hear the still, small voice of their own souls, as one hears the ticking of his own watch in the stillness of the night."

~ John Burroughs

More at

Digging ~ Edward Thomas

"To-day I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
And the square mustard field;

Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;

The smoke's smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.

It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth."

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Great Hope Fell ~ Emily Dickinson

A great Hope fell
You heard no noise
The Ruin was within
Oh cunning wreck that told no tale
And let no Witness in

The mind was built for mighty Freight
For dread occasion planned
How often foundering at Sea
Ostensibly, on Land

A not admitting of the wound
Until it grew so wide
That all my Life had entered it
And there were troughs beside

A closing of the simple lid
That opened to the sun
Until the tender Carpenter
Perpetual nail it down --

A Great and Difficult Task ~ Karen Blixen

"When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself. "

— Karen Blixen

More at

Artwork from Mary Azarian

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Youthful Disobedience ~ John Woolman

"While I meditate on the gulf towards which I travelled, and reflect on my youthful disobedience, for these things I weep, mine eye runneth down with water."

John Woolman

Text of John Woolman's Journal at

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recognize the Possibilities ~ Thomas Merton

"You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope."

— Thomas Merton

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm just as Strange as You ~ Frida Kahlo

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you." 

— Frida Kahlo

Friday, September 2, 2011

Simplicity of Life ~ William Morris

"Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement; a sanded floor and whitewashed walls and the green trees, and flowery meads, and living waters outside; or a grimy palace amid the same with a regiment of housemaids always working to smear the dirt together so that it may be unnoticed; which, think you, is the most refined, the most fit for a gentleman of those two dwellings?"

William Morris

Significant and Binding ~ Britain Yearly Meeting

"Our testimony to equality stems from our experience of a divine love for all at the heart of the universe. This love is oblivious to wealth, status and power. It was this conviction that led early Friends to refuse to doff their hats to social 'superiors'; even today Friends tend not to use titles and many do not accept honours either. But, it is this original, underlying religious understanding that we need to hold on to. There is, indeed, that of God in everyone, and so we need to build all our relationships, personal and political, near and far, and all our actions in the world, on the basis of this experience.

If we know and remember this, we will come to accept and value the diversity of all people. In early centuries Friends took what was considered to be a progressive approach to women, to children, to prisoners, to those with psychiatric illnesses and eventually to slaves. More recently we have been challenged to understand how we and society marginalise people affected by unemployment, homelessness, homophobia, racism, and disability. This continues to be a very significant and binding part of our common spiritual experience."

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