Monday, December 31, 2012

Fellow Travellers ~ Thomas R. Kelly


"Have you had the experience of being carried and upheld and supported? I do not mean the sense that God is upholding you, alone. It is the sense that some people you know are lifting you, and offering you, and upholding you in your inner life. And do you carry some small group of acquaintances toward whom you feel a peculiar nearness, people who rest upon your hearts not as obligations but as fellow-travelers? Through the day you quietly hold them high before God in inward prayer, giving them to Him, vicariously offering your life and strength to become their life and strength."

Thomas R. Kelly

More at http://www.pendlehill.org/images/pamphlets/php021.pdf


Artwork Mary Fedden http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fedden

Friday, December 28, 2012

Insolent Power ~ William Charles Braithwaite


'Evils which have struck their roots deep in the fabric of human society are often accepted, even by the best minds, as part of the providential ordering of life. They lurk unsuspected in the system of things until men of keen vision and heroic heart drag them into the light, or until their insolent power visibly threatens human welfare.'

William Charles Braithwaite, 1919


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Simple Gifts ~ Joseph Brackett

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

Refrain:

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,

Refrain:

'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

Refrain:


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Gifts







Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Twins in Soul ~ William Penn

"Friends are true twins in soul; they sympathize in every thing, and have the love and aversion. One is not happy without the other, nor can either of them be miserable alone. As if they could change bodies, they take their turns in pain as well as in pleasure; relieving one another in their most adverse conditions.What one enjoys, the other cannot want. Like the primitive Christians, they have all things in common, and no property but in one another."

 ~ William Penn



Artwork by Donald Uhlin 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Countless Pairs of Eyes ~ George Amoss Jr.

"A few days ago, I looked into the clear, steady eyes of a dear friend and received the sweet, silent assurance of love. I realized then, yet again, that it is love that sustains me, that enables me to go on from day to day in the face of the ravages of time, that redeems my time and my pain. Since that day, my heart has been heavy with the realization that there are countless pairs of eyes in this world that seek, that long for that sweet, silent word, that divine Logos of love, and do not receive it--not because they are wilfully blind, but because someone like me, who has been blessed with a glimpse of the redeeming power and beauty of love, has chosen--out of fear or for whatever reason--to hide behind a wall of what George Fox referred to as "thoughts, searching, seeking, desires, and imaginations." So I pray this morning that I be given the courage to fling my arms wide and join the Lord in the dance of crucifixion, learning in that dance the joy of suffering love, the joy that breaks down all barriers and opens my eyes to answer the love--that of God--in every one."

George Amoss Jr.



More at  http://www.qis.net/~daruma/messages.html

Artwork by John Craxton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Craxton

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Do my Forgiving ~ Mariellen O. Gilpin

"Sometimes forgiveness comes in an instant, an act of grace, as in the healing of my relationship with my father. Sometimes it comes in less deep-rooted relationships first, as in the challenges to my support group friends, because sometimes we have to grow stronger, wiser and more loving in other relationships first. Sometimes forgiveness must be a process, a progressive letting-go over time. But I need to forgive because it heals me physically as well as spiritually. I need always to challenge in the presence of God because of the resulting sense of compassion and wider vision. I need to remember the importance of humility, and the importance of not waiting for the other to change to do my forgiving. Always, I need to remember that the work of forgiveness is something God calls me to do."

Mariellen O. Gilpin



More at  http://fqa.quaker.org/fager/gilpin.html

Monday, December 17, 2012

Great Respect~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life

"Consider beforehand if what you are about to say is worth saying. Practice saying much with few words. Never present a tale as true unless you know for certain that it is so; it is better to say nothing at all than to say something that may turn out to be false or otherwise of no value. For once it becomes known that you are not conscientious to always speak only the truth, no one will believe you even when you do speak the truth. If, however, you have great respect for the truth your every word will carry more weight than those spoken under oath by a liar."


More at  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.co.uk/p/rules-of-life-translated-by-joseph.html

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Am Involved in Mankind ~ John Donne

"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."

-  John Donne




More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Donne

Artwork by Thomas Hart Benton  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hart_Benton_(painter)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Eye Sees~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life


"Everyone most certainly needs instruction at times. The eye sees all and seeks the improvement of all, but it cannot see itself to aid its own improvement. Thus it is with us -- we are so prejudiced in our own favour that we cannot see our own mistakes and shortcomings as easily as those of others. Therefore, it is very necessary that we have their help, since they can see our needs much more clearly than we ourselves can."

~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life


More at  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.co.uk/p/rules-of-life-translated-by-joseph.html

That Perfect Silence ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"Let us labor for an inward stillness--
An inward stillness and an inward healing.
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks to us and we wait
In singleness of heart that we may know
His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will and do that only”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


More at http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Henry_Wadsworth_Longfellow

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deeply Rooted in the Earth ~ Thomas Moore

"But there is a spirituality that is more like a lowly emanation from the most humble and earthbound things; that of a particular house, a garden, a neighbourhood  a grove of trees, a pristine beach, a holy well, a field of wheat.  Here spirituality is indistinguishable from enchantment, for in an enchanted world the things of nature and even of culture reek of holiness.  Enchantment is nothing more than spirituality deeply rooted in the earth."

-   Thomas Moore



More Moore at
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Moore_(spiritual_writer)

Artwork Joseph Vorst
http://www.harcogallery.com/vorst_j.html

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lived Down ~ William George Jordan


"Let us seek to cultivate this simplicity in all things in our life. The first step toward simplicity is ” simplifying.” The beginning of mental or moral progress or reform is always renunciation or sacrifice. It is rejection, surrender or destruction of separate phases of habit or life that have kept us from higher things. Reform your diet and you simplify it; make your speech truer and higher and you simplify it; reform your morals and you begin to cut off your immorals. The secret of all true greatness is simplicity. Make simplicity the keynote of your life and you will be great, no matter though your life be humble and your influence seem but little. Simple habits, simple manners, simple needs, simple words, simple faiths,—all are the pure manifestations of a mind and heart of simplicity.

Simplicity is never to be associated with weakness and ignorance. It means reducing tons of ore to nuggets of gold. It means the light of fullest knowledge; it means that the individual has seen the folly and the nothingness of those things that make up the sum of the life of others. He has lived down what others are blindly seeking to live up to. Simplicity is. . .the secret of any specific greatness in the life of the individual."

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_George_Jordan



Artwork by Ann Tanksley  http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2873900065.html

Nothing in Anger ~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life

"Do nothing in anger but consider well before you act, lest you be sorry later and will acquire a name of evil repute. In time your anger will cool and you will be able to decide wisely what has to be done. Make a difference between one who has wronged you against his will through lack of forethought, and one who has deliberately and maliciously done so. Be gracious to the former and let your reactions toward the latter be tempered with righteousness."

~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life


More at  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.co.uk/p/rules-of-life-translated-by-joseph.html

Friday, December 7, 2012

More Peace~ Monica

"I make peaceful living a priority. That means I limit artificial noise whenever possible, noise made by non-organic things. We'd rather hear the duckling laugh, the rain on the roof, and the dog bark rather than electronic beeps. I'm always on the look out to clear clutter, which is nothing more than visual chaos. We like fresh air and a relaxed lifestyle. All too often, these things elude me and circumstances takes over. Even the quaintest landscape looks most peaceful before the tornado funnel arrives.

One way I've put more peace into my life lately is by throwing away my to-do list. This doesn't mean I chuck all my responsibilities out the door (who could get away with that?) but if I'm going to make peaceful living a priority, then I need to save my sanity and revamp my goals. Instead of a to-do wish list, I've started doing what I call "one big thing." Every day when I get up I ask myself what is the most important "big thing" that has to be done today. It could be laundry. It could be seeing a friend. It could be a much needed trip to the store, or a home project that needs attention. Barring sickness, emergencies, or locust plagues, I can usually get the one big thing done. Anything else I can do on top of that is icing on the cake, and it feels so good. Most of the time it's surprising how many other things I am able to get done besides the big thing, but there is no pressure to do them. I feel more productive and less stressed than when I held myself to a list of demands which often made me feel like a failure when I couldn't complete all of them in a single day. "



More at http://themennobrarian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/peaceful-living-one-big-thing.html

Artwork by Meyer Wolfe, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyer_Wolfe

Tenderness Toward All Creatures ~ John Woolman


"Where the love of God is verily perfected and the true spirit of government watchfully attended to, a tenderness toward all creatures made subject to us will be experienced, and a care felt in us that we do not lessen that sweetness of life in the animal creation which the great Creator intends for them."

"Be careful that the love of gain draw us not into any business which may weaken our love of our Heavenly Father, or bring unnecessary trouble to any of His creatures."

John Woolman


Free e-book kindle edition copy of John Woolman's Journal at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/37311

Artwork ~ "The Peaceable Kingdom" by Quaker artist Fritz Eichenberg, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Eichenberg

The illustration suggested by Friend Michelle Everett Wilbert http://closetotheroot.blogspot.co.uk/



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fleeting, Unredeemable Time ~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life

" Never go to sleep without considering how you have spent the day just past, what you accomplished for good or evil, and you will readily perceive whether you are using your time -- fleeting, unredeemable time -- in a constructive manner or not."

~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We Receive Everything ~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel

"We receive everything, both life and happiness; but the manner in which we receive, this is what is still ours. Let us then receive trustfully without shame or anxiety. Let us humbly accept from God even our own nature, and treat it charitably, firmly, intelligently. Not that we are called upon to accept the evil and disease in us, but let us accept ourselves in spite of the evil and the disease."

Henri-Frédéric Amiel



More at (free e-book or kindle edition)  http://manybooks.net/titles/amielhenetext058ajrn10.html

Artwork from Quaker artist Kenneth Rowntree  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/obituary-kenneth-rowntree-1271123.html

"Let your life be modest~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life


"Let your life be modest and reserved, your manner courteous, your admonitions friendly, your forgiveness willing, your promises true, your speech wise, and share gladly the bounties you receive."

~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life



More at http://hayquaker1.blogspot.co.uk/p/rules-of-life-translated-by-joseph.html

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tired and Irritable ~ Robert E. Reuman


"Whether working as individuals or institutions, we need to learn to be patient with what we can achieve, and to take limited satisfaction in limited progress. We are all humans: we make mistakes, we grow tired and irritable, we cannot love as widely or as wisely as we feel we ought to. Having tried to improve our situation, and without giving up that effort, we must learn to forgive others and ourselves in comparable degrees."

~ Robert E. Reuman



More at http://pamphlets.quaker.org/pdf/php147.pdf

Artwork from Lill Tschudi  http://www.bookroomartpress.co.uk/biographies/23.html

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Tide of Human Life ~ Mildred Tonge


"When we belittle our own experience, we refuse to take the responsibility of our gifts. Writers and artists, like children, know the sacredness, the immediacy of their own experience. Faith means believing in the divine purpose behind our own childhood and adulthood. Faith means claiming the value of our own experience as part of the meaning of the universe.

Our own spiritual journey, our own quest, our own search for soul or identity, our own link with God—by comparison with Dante’s or Giotto’s, we may feel ours trivial or clumsy. But when we attempt to express ourselves with pencil, typewriter, or brush, we share not only in the creativity of our own time but of all time. We perform the human act of organizing something from chaos. We share the divine act of creation. We become part of, not isolated from it."

~ Mildred Tonge




Artwork by Edward Ardizzone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ardizzone

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trying to be Humble ~ Bruce Arnold

"I gradually moved away from the emphasis on plainness, and back to calling it simplicity.  What I had learned, stayed with me, but the perspective underwent a gradual and subtle shift.Now, thirty years later, I am wondering about the wisdom of that. Many Friends are once again feeling the call to plainness.

First, I want to say that my suspicion that it takes community to have a real, vital expression of plainness is proving to be accurate. It may be, in our current situation, that this community is more “virtual” than was possible before. People who might never have met can now, through internet social networking media, question each other, support each other, serve as role models for each other. As this discussion grows, and more people engage with the effort, I expect that actual (or “analog”) communities will grow, in which people in the same Yearly Meetings (and not just the Conservative ones), or even the same local Meetings, will be practising plainness together, face to face and not just keyboard to keyboard......

What is plainness, then, and why is it different from simplicity? I am struggling to answer this question, myself. While I find it useful to distinguish the two, it is hard to come up with a pat definition that can withstand all objections.I know this, though: plainness has more to do with trying to be humble than it does with trying to be good."

Bruce Arnold

More from ~  http://lettersfromthestreet.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/quaker-plain-i/


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Learn to Limit Yourself ~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel

"Learn to limit yourself, to content yourself with some definite thing, and some definite work; dare to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not and to believe in your own individuality."


Henri-Frédéric Amiel

More at (free e-book or kindle edition)  http://manybooks.net/titles/amielhenetext058ajrn10.html

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great Destroyer of Happiness ~ 'Wee Dragon'


"I don’t want to leave a legacy of life evasion to my children.  The legacy that was left to me.  I want to teach them to love life, to embrace it, and to look to G-d, no matter the circumstances.  I realize that my chances of teaching that to them, when I do not do it myself, are slim indeed.  I remember a childhood of being disciplined or silenced for expressing a negative emotion.  I remember thinking that my negative  feelings were the cause of my mother’s stony silences, of my father’s anxieties.  I remember wondering how it was that I came to be the Great Destroyer of Happiness, how I destroyed my family with my SELF.  Oh, how I don’t want my children to feel that!

This human condition is messy at best, devastating at its worst.  I don’t want to wake up one day, with my kids grown and wrinkles on my face, and realize that I wasted so many days just trying to get to the next day.  I want to learn to embrace what is NOW, and to open myself up to seeing the beauty that G-d has placed in it.  Now, just to get out of this trap of a head.  I want nothing more than to pull down these lofty and theological ideals that I hold into the mess of my daily life."


More at my favourite blog of all time, http://weedragon.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/insufficient-love-to-frenzy-of-love/  Please visit it, but be prepared for a level of simplicity and honesty that will affect you and stay with you.

Artwork by Mariann Johansen-Ellis at  http://printmakinginspain.blogspot.co.uk/

Friday, November 23, 2012

Occupied with Things ~ Rufus M. Jones

"Sometimes _ Oh joy! when the inward weather is just right; when selfish impulse has been hushed; when the clouds and shadows, which sin makes, are swept away and genuine love makes the whole inner atmosphere pure and free from haze, then I know that I find a beyond which before was nowhere in sight and might easily not have been suspected. I can not decide whether this extended range of sight is due to alterations in myself or whether it is due to some sudden increase of spiritual visibility in the great reality itself. I only know the fact. Before, I was occupied with things; now, I commune with God and am as sure of Him as I am of the mountains beyond my lake, which my sceptical visitor has not yet seen."

Rufus M. Jones 





More at  http://www.quaker.org/pamphlets/wpl1919a.html


Artwork  Barnett Freedman  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnett_Freedman

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Speak Well of Them ~ Amish Rules of a Godly Life

"Do not speak evil of friends; rather, speak well of them wherein they deserve praise. What is not praiseworthy keep to yourself. Slanderings and scornful gossip are poison to any friendship. If you are present when others speak disrespectfully of one who is absent, search first your own heart before joining in; without doubt you will find there the same (or greater) shortcomings. This should move you to better yourself, and yet keep you from speaking evil of others and belittling them."

Taken from the Amish book 'Rules of a Godly Life'

More at  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.co.uk/p/rules-of-life-translated-by-joseph.html


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Everything Cannot be Untied- Henri Frederic Amiel


"A man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied; he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is en-wrapped  for everything cannot be equally considered; in a word, he must be able to simplify his duties, his business and his life."

-  Henri Frederic Amiel


More at http://www.amiel.org/


Lord of all Hopefulness ~ Jan Struther


"Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day."

Jan Struther



More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_All_Hopefulness

I know this as a childhood hymn sung to this old Irish tune



Music from the excellent Purple Hulls  http://thepurplehulls.com/videos/

Monday, November 19, 2012

Out -of-Step ~ Ellen M. Ross


"Sometimes I feel painfully out-of-step with the world around me. Perhaps I’d have fit in better in some other era, in a more simple time. And yet, as a student of Quaker history, I know there has been no “simple time.” Some days my yearning to make a better world and my fear that I cannot make any meaningful difference pervade my every step.

In these dark moments, history comforts me. In the eighteenth century, people with sensibilities similar to mine took meaningful action in their own lives. My solace comes in stories of these Quakers—people who worked to change themselves, their families, their communities; who accepted the misunderstanding of the world around them and persevered in working for what they believed."


More at ~  http://www.friendsjournal.org/the-solace-of-history-reflections-on-quakers-and-the-environment/


Friday, November 16, 2012

Light and Life ~ William Penn

"It is not opinion, or speculation, or notions of what is true, or assent to or the subscription of articles or propositions, though never so soundly worded, that ... makes a man a true believer or a true Christian. But it is a conformity of mind and practice to the will of God, in all holiness of conversation, according to the dictates of this Divine principle of Light and Life in the soul which denotes a person truly a child of God."

~  William Penn, 1692


More at  http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/penn/pnintro.html

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Art of Living ~ Horace B Pointing


"The art of living must be studied, as must every art. It calls for imagination, so that every advance, every change, is not merely a difference, but a creative act. Achievement, at any level above the lowest, calls for courage to hold on, in spite of current moods, and for exacting self-discipline. The art of Christian living calls for the same self-preparation; but its reward is not merely aesthetic satisfactions. The soul, hungry for God, is fed. Life itself takes on new meaning. Thus it is that we break from the confines of the prisons we have built about ourselves. Thus it is we are brought into the freedom of the Kingdom of God which, every day, through the wide world, is being realised in the hearts of men."

Horace B Pointing



More (but not much more I'm afraid)  http://openlibrary.org/works/OL11831100W/The_Society_of_Friends

Artwork by Mariann Johansen-Ellis  http://www.etsy.com/people/mariannjohansenellis

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gathered Into the Barn ~ George Fox

"Bring all into the worship of God. Plough up the fallow ground. Thresh and get out the corn; that the seed, the wheat, may be gathered into the barn: that to the beginning all people may come; to Christ, who was before the world was made. For the chaff is come upon the wheat by transgression. He that treads it out is out of transgression, fathoms transgression, puts a difference between the precious and the vile, can pick out the wheat from the tares, and gather into the garner; so brings to the lively hope the immortal soul, into God out of which it came. None worship God but who come to the principle of God, which they have transgressed. None are ploughed up but he who comes to the principle of God in him, that he hath transgressed. Then he doth service to God; then is the planting, watering, and increase from God."

George Fox


More at  http://www.qis.net/~daruma/exhortation.html




Monday, November 12, 2012

Like-minded People ~ Melancholy Jane


"Ever since I left home at a fairly young age, I have been seeking a community of like-minded people. It’s a dream of mine to live among friends who think like I do, feel like I do, and make choices similar to mine. I’m still searching for that community, and until I find it, I’m quite happy to make do in the community where I find myself. Every place I’ve lived for the past several years, I’ve tried to integrate myself into the fabric of the place.......

This is one way that the Quaker testimony of community has woven itself into my life and the life of my family. We try very hard to connect to the people living around us. That means our neighbors, our classmates, and the people who work in and around the places where we live our local lives.

My family is very lucky in that we live in a village, which means that we walk to school, the supermarket, the dentist, the bank, the coffee shop, even the local knitting store and second-hand store. As we walk, we see people we know and people we don’t know. Walking with my kids gives me the opportunity to talk with them about the people in our lives, the people all around us. They see me speaking amiably with strangers, greeting friends, and giving and receiving help as it’s needed. These connections with our community are a part of our everyday lives."


More at the simple, but all the better for that, blog ~ http://melancholyjane.com


Artist Edward Bawden http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bawden

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our Growth ~ Kenneth Boulding

"The purpose of our growth in life is to bring us into unity with the universe into which we are born, to make us aware that we are not lonely individual meteors hurtling blindly through an abysmal dark, but living parts of a living whole. As we grow we learn to love more and more: first ourselves; then the family within the small kingdom of the home; then the school, the wider circle of friends, the home community, the college, and the still wider community of the nation; and finally, the greatest country of all, which has no boundaries this side of Hell, and perhaps not even there. In some this process of enlargement is arrested at an intermediate stage, and then love turns in upon itself and becomes sour. Some have never truly loved anything but themselves - perhaps `because their first outreachings were received with coldness and lack of sympathy - and then love quickly turns putrid, and becomes greed, and lust, and turns even to self-disgust."

 ~ Kenneth Boulding

More at http://pamphlets.quaker.org/wpl1942a.html


Artist Barnett Freedman


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love Everything ~ Fyodor Mikhail Dostoyevsky

"Love all God's creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light! Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. And once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly, more and more every day. And you will at last come to love the whole world with an abiding, universal love. "

Fyodor Mikhail Dostoyevsky



More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Dostoyevsky

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Your Life is a Leaf ~ Leonard Cohen

Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on.
And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been travelling so long.

Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned:
When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned.


Well they lay down beside me, I made my confession to them.
They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem.
If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon.
Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon.
And you won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night:
We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right,
We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.




Leonard Cohen

 The Sisters of Mercy on facebook 
http://www.facebook.com/MercySisters?fref=ts

Art by Penny Peckham - http://wordandimage-pennypeckham.blogspot.co.uk/2011_10_01_archive.html

More at http://www.leonardcohen.com/us


Fit Things Together ~ Corita Kent

"Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is "to fit together" and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together we are creating - whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day."

 ~ Corita Kent

More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corita_Kent


Art by ~  Corita Kent

Monday, November 5, 2012

Collective Wisdom ~ Max Carter

"A notable aspect of Amish society is the ability to take new technologies and ideas, put them “on probation” to see how they affect core principles, and then make an informed decision about whether to adopt them. We modern Quakers are more prone to accept whatever new thing is coming down the pike, realizing only later that we should have been more careful in welcoming Trojan horses into our lives.......
How may we more effectively use the collective wisdom of our heritage and our community to assure that we march into the future wisely?"

~ Max Carter

More of this article at http://www.friendsjournal.org/are-you-amish/


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quiet My Body ~ Francis Brown


"I shared in meeting the other day a little prayer, a definition of prayer, that is not Quaker but which helps me. This little definition is that prayer is a quieting of your mind and an opening of yourself to a larger awareness. And that’s exactly what I do when I go into Quaker meeting. First of all, I just try to quiet my body -- that isn’t very hard for me at my age, but it‘s very hard for young kids. But the hardest thing is to quiet your racing mind, you know, your thinking and intellectual pursuits, and quiet your spirit and just open yourself up to a larger awareness—that’s the presence of God—and take it from there."

–Francis Brown

More at http://www.dailylocal.com/article/20120529/NEWS01/120529493/downingtown-quaker-leader-francis-brown-dies-at-age-94


Wall hanging to be found at Belfast Meeting House (Fredrick Street)
http://www.quakers-in-ireland.ie/quakermeetings/ulster/belfast-frederick-st/

Friday, November 2, 2012

Frayed around the Edges ~ Pamela Haines

"To mend something well, you have to understand how it’s put together. How do the seams work in a dress? What is the process of knitting that will allow me to repair a long unravelling  It can be hard when, in order to fix something, you have to take a first step that makes it worse. I don’t mind disassembling things; if I just pay attention I have a fair amount of confidence that I can get them back together. But with my wobbly dining room chairs I needed the support of a more experienced friend to know that, before they could be solidly re-glued  I had to knock the joints completely apart. Once I had good access to all those pegs and holes, it was easy to know what to do.....

Then there is the relationship that gets broken or torn or frayed around the edges. The impulse to just throw it out and get a new one can be strong. But we can practice mending here as well—acknowledging our part, listening from the heart, saying we’re sorry, not giving up on ourselves or the other person, putting in the time to be in contact. What if we thought of mending as a critical activity in our quest for a truly liveable world? Then every time we sewed a button, every time we apologized, or repaired something rather than throwing it out, we could remember that we are building the skills, muscles, and attitudes that are needed to make our world whole."


~ Pamela Haines



More at http://www.friendsjournal.org/2007114/

I woulod love to give full credit for the quilting, but all I can find out is that it was made by 'Amy'.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Times and Seasons ~ Caroline Stephen


"There are lives so rounded and crowned by their completed deeds of love, that death seems to have appeared in the fullness of their prime only to consecrate them for ever; others stand apart from human ties in a solitude which makes time seem of little consequence, and the grave a not unfamiliar country... We do not know to what unfathomable necessities the times and seasons of life and death may correspond; and as little do we know, in looking at each other's lives, what may be unfolding or what may be concluded, as seen from within. That which seems to others a cutting short of activity, may be to ourselves the laying down of arms no longer needed; our eyes may see the haven, where our friends can see only the storm; or if we cannot see a fitness in the time of our death, is that a strange thing in such a life as this?"

Caroline Stephen

More at  http://www.quaker.org/fqa/types/t21-woolf.html



Artist Edward Bawden  http://www.cecilhigginsartgallery.org/bawden/eb_home.htm

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Life is Never Fair ~ Johann Christoph Arnold



"What does forgiving really mean? Clearly it has little to do with human fairness, which demands an eye for an eye, or with excusing, which means brushing something aside. Life is never fair, and it is full of things that can never be excused. When we forgive someone for a mistake or a deliberate hurt, we still recognize it as such, but instead of lashing  out or biting back, we attempt to see beyond it, so as to restore our relationship with the person responsible for it. Our forgiveness may not take away our pain – it may not even be acknowledged or accepted – yet the act of offering  it will keep us from being sucked into the downward spiral  of resentment. It will also guard us against the temptation of taking out our anger or hurt on someone else."

~ Johann Christoph Arnold


More at http://www.plough.com/en/ebooks/w/why-forgive

More about Bruderhof Communities http://www.bruderhof.com/

Brave Enough to Stay ~ Victoria Pearson


"When I speak of love, I am not talking about the avarice spewed in the media, the drug-hazed sentiment of the 1960s, or the lonely pining of the unpopular. I am talking about the power of justice love, where right meets right, where power bursts the bounds of human limitation, human evil. I am not telling my colleague, when he shares he is committing to another—good for you! now your life is perfect! What I am congratulating him on is his commitment to struggle and growth and the potential for transformation in the heat of what happens, when we are brave enough to stay. And this staying is good for us as individuals, and when it is right, it is good for the world, it builds the kin-dom. It changes things. It would do us well if we were more honest about what we do when we love, what we embrace and the power we have together that we do not have when apart.

And love is not simply something we do as couples. We love as neighbors, as friends, as adversaries seeking common ground, as teachers, as students, as children, as parents, as activists confronting injustice, as ministers and musicians and every other thing we can think to do and be, with love."

~ Victoria Pearson

More at  http://seekerfinding.blogspot.co.uk/


Illustration Linda Farquharson  http://www.linocut.co.uk/biography.html

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Better is Silence ~ Virginia Woolf


“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.”

― Virginia Woolf


More at  http://www.quaker.org/fqa/types/t21-woolf.html

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On John Woolman ~ Sterling Olmstead


"What I see Woolman offering to the spiritual seeker is a detailed report of his own search, which shows a coherent and balanced pattern in which inner and outer are connected in life and practice. He shows us how to carry the motions of love we feel into the workings of the world. He does not withdraw from that world, nor does he become so fixated on results that he tramples over others, and he does what he does by addressing the witness in others. This is a pattern which is valuable for our own journey, and which can bring us close to the experience of seekers in other traditions."

Sterling Olmstead




Friday, October 26, 2012

Seeing in a Dark Wood ~ Norma Jacob

"Whether or not we subscribe to any definite religious creed, growing old makes it impossible any more for us to turn away from seeking out some support of this nature. What was immediate is now less significant than formerly, while by contrast, what was far away and indefinite has become close and increasingly real. The focus of our souls, like the focus of our eyes, changes as we age, and we change with it.

So we who are ageing can never know, any of us, what is coming next, though we must wonder more and more. The kind of unquestioning certainty which they had in the Middle Ages about heaven and hell is forever lost to us, and surely that is on the whole a very good thing. But we can have intimations, flashes of seeing in a dark wood. For me only two things now seem sure. One is that time must have a stop, and the other is that whatever lies over and around mortal time is not to be feared. With that, I shall have to be content."

 ~ Norma Jacob



More at http://www.pendlehill.org/images/pamphlets/php239.pdf

Artwork from Howard Phipps
http://www.birchamgallery.co.uk/catalogue/artist/Howard:Phipps/biography/?category=prints

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Solitude ~ Elise Boulding



"Solitude is the most beautiful condition of the human spirit. I understand now what St. Augustine really meant when he said, “Every time I go out among men I return less a man.” He was trying to say that in solitude he understood humanness, but easily lost track of it when confronted with his fellow specimens of humanity. I love humans now as I never loved them before when I depended on them daily. It is in solitude that I am learning to truly remember what I have lived forgetting. I hope to learn how to weave the golden threads of solitude into the warp and woof of family and community living. I know of no other way for us to become what we are created to be."

~ Elise Boulding



More at   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/us/02boulding.html?_r=0

Artist Lawrence Beall Smith

Monday, October 22, 2012

Moderate Living ~ Aotearoa/New Zealand Quakers

"Simplicity does not consist in following a strict formula, but in basing our choice of purchases, activities and lifestyles on moderation rather than extravagance. Moderate living avoids over-indulgence and slavery to fashion; it requires a responsible attitude to alcohol and drugs of any kind. Children and young people are under particular pressure to acquire, consume and do what is fashionable or aggressively advertised. Adults can help children to develop inner strength by their own example, and by working out together what is right and possible, given the family's circumstances. Simplicity has its own beauty. It does not exclude artistic creativity, which is a deep human need, and can be an expression of the divine. Quakers look for an inner stillness in worship and in personal spiritual life, and a simplicity which lets go of inessential commitments in order to be truly centred."

~  Aotearoa/New Zealand Quakers





Artwork fom Clare Curtis http://clarecurtis.co.uk/

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rest, Peace and Liberty ~ Elizabeth Fry

"I want less love of money, less judging others, less tattling, less dependence upon external appearance. I want to see more fruit of the Spirit in all things, more devotion of heart, more spirit of prayer, more real cultivation of mind, more enlargement of heart towards all; more tenderness towards delinquents, and above all more of the rest, peace and liberty of the children of God."

~ Elizabeth Fry



More at  ~ http://www.howardleague.org/elizabethfry/

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Inner Listening Space ~ Elise Boulding

"The fact that I have been able in some way to reach back to the early rememberings, to the freshness of the feeling of God’s presence as I knew it when small, has been enormously important in keeping what wholeness there has been in my life. The inner listening place I developed so early has always been there for me in a very conscious way during times of unbearable stress. It is a space that cannot be crowded. And yet, as an adult, I lost the feeling of the immanence of God’s presence. I only remembered the space."




http://www.pendlehill.org/images/pamphlets/php200.pdf

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