Monday, October 31, 2011

Denial of an Opportunity ~ Stephen Jay Gould

“We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.” 

― Stephen Jay Gould

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Living Authentically ~ Michelle Everett Wilbert

"Peace comes when the struggle for living authentically is fully engaged and passionately lived out. It comes when loving people becomes an expression of genuine intimacy and engagement and when the risk of loving is not measured against how safe and protected I need to be in relationship. Peace comes when we embrace the idea of justice and fully understand that there is no interior peace that can exclude the same for anyone else. Peace comes on little cat feet at the precise moment when we are convinced it has abandoned us altogether. Peace comes when we are living from, as Quaker mystic Thomas Kelly puts it, "that balanced, recreating Center which is our true home." It turns out that Peace lived wild is what makes us fully and completely long last."

~ Michelle Everett Wilbert

Friday, October 28, 2011

Beginning With Ourselves ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“Our starting point is always wrong. Instead of beginning with ourselves,we always want to change others first and ourselves last. If everyone would begin first with themselves, then there would be peace all around!” 

“When we talk to our fellow men and they tell us about their troubles, we will listen to them carefully if we have love for them. We will have compassion for their suffering and pain, for we are God's creatures; we are a manifestation of the love of God.”

―  Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The New Digger ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: The New Digger: It has not been a great year for weather here in Powys, and as a self-sufficient grower, I can say that it has been an awful year for growin...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Selfishness Intrudes ~ George MacDonald

“It is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over over any soul be loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return. ” 

― George MacDonald

N.B ~ If you have never read any George MacDonald I urge you to do so, G. K. Chesterton said reading him "made a difference to my whole existence."~ Hay Quaker

Free George MacDonald ebooks and Kindle editions at ~

Monday, October 24, 2011

Your Own Aloneness ― D.H. Lawrence

“It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.” 

― D.H. Lawrence

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Money and Virtue ~ William Penn

"Never esteem people (including yourself) more because they have money, nor think less of anyone (including yourself) because they lack it. Virtue is the only just reason for respecting anyone, lack of virtue the only reason for holding anyone in low regard."

~  William Penn

Free e-books and Kindle editions by William Penn

Friday, October 21, 2011

Continual Conflict ~ Arthur Gish

"To be a Christian is to be subversive, or at least that is how he will be viewed by society. Since his loyalty is to one who is beyond history, he cannot give his ultimate allegiance to any government, business, class, or any other institution. His views cannot be expected to coincide with the majority view around him. He can be expected to be in continual conflict with the structures of society, for to be at peace with God means to be in conflict with the world."

~Arthur Gish

“We buy things we do not need to impress people we do not like.” ~ Arthur Gish 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Planting of a Tree ~ George Orwell

“The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.” 
― George Orwell

“A thing which I regret, and which I will try to remedy some time, is that I have never in my life planted a walnut. Nobody does plant them nowadays—when you see a walnut it is almost invariably an old tree. If you plant a walnut you are planting it for your grandchildren, and who cares a damn for his grandchildren?” 

― George Orwell

N.B. Always being a George Orwell devotee I planted a walnut tree on moving to our current house eight years ago. It is just about 20foot high now, but we will have to wait a few more years for a walnut crop!

~ Hay Quaker

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

William & Mary Barrett Dyer: Mary Dyer’s Other Friends

William & Mary Barrett Dyer: Mary Dyer’s Other Friends: I’m pleased to present a guest post by “Hay Quaker,” whose blog ...

Sitting in the Sun ~ Scotty McLennan

"There are those special moments – like hiking to the top of a mountain and being surprised by a spectacular view laid out before you, or a particular conversation that made you feel deeply loved, understood, and appreciated – which can make all the rest of the daily grind worthwhile we stop to smell the flowers on a daily basis and find the infinite in the small,common things, we can find heaven on earth in the moment..........

What life is all about,and responds that it is surely “not about writing great books, amassing great wealth, achieving great power.”Instead, “It is about loving and being loved. It is about enjoying your food and sitting in the sun rather than rushing through lunch and hurrying back to the office.It is about savoring the beauty of moments that don’t last, the sunsets, the leaves turning color, the raremoments of true human communication.It is about savoring them rather than missing out onthem because we are so busy and they will not hold still until we get around to them."

~Scotty McLennan

More at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reflection of Ourselves ~ Thomas Merton

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

― Thomas Merton

Monday, October 17, 2011

Voices We Shall Never Hear ~ Henry Beston

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” 

― Henry Beston

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stepping Stone ~ Johnny Cash

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." 

— Johnny Cash

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Basic Choices ~ John Seymour

"When we look at the future we have three basic choices: we can continue as we are at present, short sightedly guzzling finite resources in a crazy rush of consumerism; we can attempt to mollify some of the grosser aspects of consumerism, and try still to hang on to our present ‘living standard’; or we can change, willingly, profoundly and radically."

John Seymour

(NB from Hay Quaker - it was reading John Seymour's books that started me on the road to self-sufficiency.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Strange Feeling ~ Louise Brown Wilson

"I remember feeling the Presence as a child as we sat in our living room in worship, heads bowed and eyes closed with visiting Quakers from Ohio or Pennsylvania. These visits were not unusual. Quakers felt leadings, like being told to visit one another. These visiting Friends often wore plain dress--a collarless coat and no tie for the men and soft gray dresses with a bonnet for the women. They smelled like Ivory soap, and their faces looked like they had been washed until they were pink and shining. I remember feeling warm and safe. I felt like I was more than just me. It was a good, yet strange feeling."

More at the outstanding site

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sense of the Beautiful ~ Goethe

"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul." 

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For a fascinating explanation of the illustration

Monday, October 10, 2011

The First Peace - Black Elk

"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us."

-- Black Elk 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

One-Way Mirror ~ John Pilger

“We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly.”

― John Pilger

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hidden Resources ~ Jean Toomer

"We know, but tend to forget from time to time, the sources which can enrich the lives of the world's people. One source is the presence and works of men and women, past and present, who managed to attain some measure of spiritual fullness. Another is the hidden resources within all people. It is my belief that even those whose substance has been wasted have, deep within themselves, the powers capable of making full restoration, could these resources be reached. If salt has lost its savor, nothing can be done. Not so with human beings. Man is renewable. The great source is God, whose abundance is limitless."

Jean Toomer

You Got to Ride it Like You Find it ~ Woody Guthrie

"Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow."

— Woody Guthrie

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An October Garden ~ Christina Rossetti

In my Autumn garden I was fain 
To mourn among my scattered roses;
Alas for that last rosebud which uncloses
To Autumn's languid sun and rain
When all the world is on the wane!
Which has not felt the sweet constraint of June,
Nor heard the nightingale in tune.

Broad-faced asters by my garden walk,
You are but coarse compared with roses:
More choice, more dear that rosebud which uncloses
Faint-scented, pinched, upon its stalk,
That least and last which cold winds balk;
A rose it is though least and last of all,
A rose to me though at the fall.

 Christina Rossetti

Hard to Plan the Day ~ E.B. White

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” 

― E.B. White

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What is the meaning of life? ~ Virginia Woolf

“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.” 

― Virginia Woolf,

Free e-books and Kindle editions by Virginia Woolf at

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Inconsequential Decision ~ Megan McCafferty

“I believe that what we get out of life is what we've set ourselves up to get, so there's no such thing as an inconsequential decision. Our destinies are the culmination of all the choices we've made along the way, which is why it's imperative to listen hard to your inner voice when it speaks up.  Don't let anyone else's noise drown it out.” 

― Megan McCafferty

Monday, October 3, 2011

Three Precious Things ~ Lao Tzu

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”

― Lao Tzu

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Simplicity is Forgetfulness of Self ~ Britain Yearly Meeting

"The heart of Quaker ethics is summed up in the word 'simplicity'. Simplicity is forgetfulness of self and remembrance of our humble status as waiting servants of God. Outwardly, simplicity is shunning superfluities of dress, speech, behaviour, and possessions, which tend to obscure our vision of reality. Inwardly, simplicity is spiritual detachment from the things of this world as part of the effort to fulfil the first commandment: to love God with all of the heart and mind and strength.

The testimony of outward simplicity began as a protest against the extravagance and snobbery which marked English society in the 1600s. In whatever forms this protest is maintained today, it must still be seen as a testimony against involvement with things which tend to dilute our energies and scatter our thoughts, reducing us to lives of triviality and mediocrity.

Simplicity does not mean drabness or narrowness but is essentially positive, being the capacity for selectivity in one who holds attention on the goal. Thus simplicity is an appreciation of all that is helpful towards living as children of the Living God."

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