Sunday, December 28, 2014

Next Year ~ Arnold Bennett

“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life.You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”

― Arnold Bennett

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Artwork from Jane LaFazio

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our to-do Lists ~ Monica

"There is a selfishness inherent in busyness. When the preoccupation with our to-do lists and the constant focus on our own interests take over, can we spare time to look outside of our families, our house, our own little worlds and extend love to others? I struggle with finding a balance when duelling priorities come knocking at the door.......Part of finding balance, I think, is noticing what you can do and finding some satisfaction in knowing that there is something you often do well. It makes up for the chronically un-swept porch or leftovers that went to waste. There's no perfection this side of eternity, but there are certain things that you do well. It's the heavy weight on your scale..'LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.' Psalms 39:4"

~ Monica

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Artwork from Sarah Kirby

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Things That Have No Place~ Tove Jansson

“There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep—then they appear.” 

~ Tove Jansson

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Artwork from Lynton Lamb

Friday, December 5, 2014

Recognize Cruelty for What It Is ~ Rachel Carson

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is... we cannot expect things to be much better in this world... We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”

~ Rachel Carson

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Artwork from Mark Hearld

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Don't Wait ~ Virginia Shurman

"As modern people, we may be struggling with many questions about prayer. How can we influence God? Should we try to do so? How can we pray rightly? What are we to think when our prayers appear to go unanswered? It is important to begin to pray, no matter where you are in regard to these questions. It is known from experience that prayer brings us closer to God, so don’t wait until you have solved these questions to pray. London Yearly Meeting encourages Friends “reverently yet daringly to make fuller experiment of the life of trust and consecration through prayer, that they may know relief from the burden of anxiety and perplexity and realize the joy of health and victory, whereby they may become centers of radiant energy for the help and healing of others.”"

Virginia Shurman

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Artwork from wORKINGaRTs at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Elaborate Furnishing ~ A E Houseman

“Existence is not itself a good thing, that we should spend a lifetime securing its necessaries: a life spent, however victoriously, in securing the necessaries of life is no more than an elaborate furnishing and decoration of apartments for the reception of a guest who is never to come. Our business here is not to live, but to live happily.”

~ A.E. Housman

Monday, November 17, 2014

Something New about Something Timeless ~ Hay Quaker

I hope that readers of Hay Quaker will join me in a new venture, a blog about my views and experiences of simple living. Please  Click here to see what I have been working on.

Friday, November 14, 2014

What We Look For~ John Lubbock

“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportsmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”

~ John Lubbock

More at,_1st_Baron_Avebury

Artwork from Annie Soudain

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Way of Life that is Odd ~ Warren E. Burger

“There can be no assumption that today's majority is "right" and the Amish and others like them are "wrong." A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no rights or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different.”

~ Warren E. Burger

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Artwork WPA poster

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mysterious and Unexplorable ~ Henry David Thoreau

“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

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Artwork from Aijung Kim

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What a Cruel Thing is War ~ Robert E. Lee

"What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world."

 ~ Robert E. Lee

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Artwork by unknown (to me) student at The Art Academy

Friday, November 7, 2014

Some Kind of a Minimum ~ Richard P. Feynman

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all.”

~ Richard P. Feynman

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Artwork from Mariana Yampolsky

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sharers in the Guilt ~ Anna Sewell

“Do you know why this world is as bad as it is?... It is because people think only about their own business, and won't trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrong-doers to light... My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”

~Anna Sewell

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Artwork from Herbert Cole

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Simple Things ~ Edwin Way Teale

“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.” 

~ Edwin Way Teale

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Even Terrorists ~ Robert Griswold

"The result of terrorism is never what terrorists think it is going to be. Terrorists believe that their act is going to get people to change their ways or to 'teach them a lesson they won't soon forget.' The hope of terrorists is to instill a level of fear in people that will make them willing to give up their status as persons worthy of respect and care and thus, become submissive to the icon (religious, patriotic, tribal or whatever) of the terrorist. Terrorists can believe this works only because they have themselves given up their status as people worthy of respect and care and have become submissive to an icon. They have been afraid at the meaninglessness and hopelessness of their lives and have made a pact to exchange their fear for a rage that offers only their own (and others) extinction. As Nietzsche said, 'Rather than believe in nothing, people will believe even in nothingness.'
But the faith of terrorists never succeeds. Most often the result is counter-terrorism which is merely terrorism itself in a new disguise. Those attacked become afraid and in their fear they become willing to give up their status as persons worthy of respect and care by becoming willing to cease treating others as persons worthy of respect and care. Instead of accepting the terrorist's icon, they cling to their own icons and hide the reality of what they have surrendered under the flag or the cross or the hammer and sickle or the swastika or the six pointed star or the tartan or the family or 'our way of life.' Those attacked become terrorists willing to inflict injury on any and all who have come to represent the source of their fear even it in the process many innocent bystanders are killed. The common consequence of counter-terrorism is the spread of terrorism and the breeding of more terrorists.........

If we hold fast to our Inner Guide, we will be able to let go of our fear. We will be able to retain our love, compassion and recognition that even terrorists are human beings, however lost they have become. Both love and hate have power to change people. But love alone can heal the world. The only hope is to let go of fear and equip ourselves with love. All the rest is a snare and an illusion."

~ Robert Griswold

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Artwork by Lena Karpinsky

Monday, October 20, 2014

Static Things ~ John Fowles

“In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.”

~ John Fowles

Artwork from Nick Wroblewski

Monday, October 13, 2014

Continue the Illusion ~ Frank Zappa

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

― Frank Zappa

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Artwork by Jamie Temple

Friday, October 10, 2014

What is Worth Keeping ~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” 

― Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

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Artwork by Tirzah Garwood

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quiet Transition ~ Tove Jansson

“The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It's a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you've got in as many supplies as you can. It's nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won't find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.”

Tove Jansson

Artwork by Tove Jansson

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Life from the Center ~ Thomas Kelly

"Life from the Center is a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It is amazing. It is triumphant. It is radiant. It takes not time, but it occupies all our time.”

Artwork from Peter Clayton

Monday, September 29, 2014

Corn and the Ear ~ Thomas Clarkson

"The bud and the blossom, the rising and the falling leaf, the blade of corn and the ear, the seed time and the harvest, the sun that warms and ripens, the cloud that cools and emits the fruitful shower; these, and an hundred objects, afford daily food for the religious growth of the mind. Even the natural man is pleased with these. They excite in him natural ideas, and produce in him a natural kind of pleasure. But the spiritual man experiences a sublimer joy. He sees none of these without feeling both spiritual improvement and delight. It is here that he converses with the Deity in his works."

~Thomas Clarkson

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Artwork by Jan Ritchie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Obeying from Within ~ D H Lawrence

“Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose."

~ D H Lawrence

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Doorsteps ~ Bill Mollison

"Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.”

~ Bill Mollison

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Artwork from Jamie Fryer

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Long Way Home ~ Sylvia Townsend Warner

"Go the long way, the long way home.

Over this gate and that lean, at the three lanes' meeting delay,
Look well at that field of hay, eye closely the drilled loam,
Finger the springing corn, count every petal
Of the hedge rose and the guelder rose.
Under the bosom of the blossomed elder stay,
Delay, linger, browse deep on all this green and all this growing,
Slant cheek to the sweet air, with deep greeting survey
The full-leaved boughs like water flowing,
The corn-waves hurrying uphill as the wind blows.
Look overhead into the blue, look round,
Watch this bird fly and that bird settle,
With slow treading and sure greet the assuring ground:
Go slowly, for slowly goes this midsummer day,
And this is the last time you will come this way.

Go the long way, the long way home.
Aye, and when you've arrived and the sighing gate falls to,
Go slowly, go heedfully your garden through.
Breathe in the spice pinks, turn face up to the soft
Ripe rose that wags aloft,
Nod to the old rake, rub thumbs along the spade's edge,
Measure the potato hills and the tall bean rows,
Pledge cherry and currant bush, pledge lily and lily leaf spear
And rebel the nettles waving along the hedge;
Look closely, look well,
See how your garden grows,
Ponder yourself even into the secret cell
Of this year's honeycomb:
Look long, for long has this been yours and long been dear,
And this is the last time you will stand here.

Go the long way, the long way home.
Though you are weary, hasten not ghost to ground,
Tarry this last hour out, take your last look round,
Greet finally the earth, greet leaf and root and stock.
Stand in your last hour poised, like the dandelion clock-
Frail ghost of the gaudy raggle-taggle that you were-
Stand up, O homing phantom, stand up intact and declare
The goodness of earth the greatest good you found,
Ere the wind jolts you, and you vanish like the foam."

-Sylvia Townsend Warner

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Inside Oneself ~ D H Lawrence

“Religion was fading into the background. He had shovelled away all the beliefs that would hamper him, had cleared the ground, and come more or less to the bedrock of belief that one should feel inside oneself for right or wrong, and should have the patience to gradually realise one's God. Now life interested him more.”

More at.

Artwork from Garry Shead

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

L.M. Montgomery ~ Simple Little Pleasures

 "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” 

L.M. Montgomery

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Artwork from Clare Winslow

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Break that Chain ~ Leymah Gbowee

“The person who hurt you....who raped you or killed your also here. If you are still angry at that person, if you haven't been able to forgive, you are chained to him. Everyone could feel the emotional truth of that: When someone offends you and you haven't let go, every time you see him, you grow breathless or your heart skips a beat. If the trauma was really severe, you dream of revenge. Above you, is the Mountain of Peace and Prosperity where we all want to go. But when you try to climb that hill, the person you haven't forgiven weighs you down. It's a personal choice whether or not to let go. No one can tell you how long to mourn a death or rage over a rape. But you can't move forward until you break that chain.”

~  Leymah Gbowee

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Artwork from Liberian artist Tubman Tweh

Sunday, August 10, 2014

On Cleavers ~ Leila Lees

 "Clearing and cleansing, it helps us reach out to the divine. It enables us to move out from staying in our own rubbish, or old patterns of behavior. The other important aspect is the ability to identify and let go of the old patterns and behaviors, letting go of as well as to reach out. Sometimes there’s a leap in our thinking and cleavers can galvanize that thinking. It always calls our attention. Wake up to where you are in your life.”

~ Leila Lees

(I pull masses of this weed from my hedge every year and feed it to the chickens, no wonder they seem so happy!  HQ)

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Artwork from a gifted artest  unknown to me I'm afraid.

More about cleavers

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ebb and Flow of Justice ~ Jane Addams

“In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life......The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” 

         ~Jane Addams

Artwork from  IsmailShammout

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Attraction of Simplicity~ Mark Burch

"The attraction of simplicity is mysterious because it draws us in a completely opposite direction from where most of the world seems to be going: away from conspicuous display, accumulation, egoism, and public visibility — toward a life more silent, humble, and transparent than anything known to the extroverted culture of consumerism."

~ Mark Burch

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Artwork from Robert Tavener

Monday, July 21, 2014

Justified War ~ John Howard Yoder

“If the tradition which claims that war may be justified does not also admit that it could be unjustified, the affirmation is not morally serious. A Christian who prepares the case for a justified war without being equally prepared for the negative case has not soberly weighted the prima facie presumption that any violence is wrong until the case for an exception has been made.”

~John Howard Yoder

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Artwork by Raymond Verdaguer

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All my Thoughts ~ Thomas More

"Give me, good Lord, a humble, lowly, quiet, peaceable, patient, charitable, kind, tender,and pitiful mind, in all my works and all  my words and all my thoughts."    

 ~ Thomas More

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our Community ~ Bill Mollison

"A people without an agreed-upon common basis to their actions is neither a community nor a nation. A people with a common ethic is a nation wherever they live. Thus, the place of habitation is secondary to a shared belief in the establishment of an harmonious world community. Just as we can select a global range of plants for a garden, we can select from all extant ethics and beliefs those elements that we see to be sustainable, useful, and beneficial to life and to our community."

~ Bill Mollison

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Artwork by Grandma Moses

Monday, June 23, 2014

I am a Quaker ~ A Member of Providence Meeting (RI)

"I am a Quaker for many reasons. Quaker practice is simple and deep. In this busy, complicated and noisy world, I appreciate and long for a regular “time-out” and my Quaker journey has provided me with a way to sit in silence and be reminded over and over again of the goodness in the world and the people around me despite the challenges we face. I am a Quaker because the practice demands a personal connection to and responsibility for my spiritual journey. My Quakerism is as much about service to a greater good, believing in and working towards a more perfect world and living in accordance with the world we know is possible. I am a Quaker because I believe in peace, in personal integrity and in community. I believe there is goodness in everyone and that it is part of my job to find that and to honor it – in myself and in others."

A Member of Providence Meeting (RI)

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Friday, June 20, 2014

John Everard ~ Find your Enemies

'You are bidden to fight with your own selves, with your own desires, with your own affections, with your own reason, and with your own will; and therefore if you will find your enemies, never look without.... You must expect to fight a great battle.'

John Everard  1650

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Peculiar People ~ Kathleen Quiring

"As I’ve researched and meditated on my ancestors’ history, I can’t help feeling a little guilty. They worked so hard to preserve their way of life so they could pass it on to their children. They made so many sacrifices to protect one of their greatest values: the freedom to educate their own children. They laboured to protect their descendants from the corrupting forces of the world, especially as manifested in the world’s education programs, which taught conformity, competition, and nationalism. And here I am now, a product of the public school system.

They worked so hard to protect me from the kind of person I’ve become. I sympathize with what the Mennonites were trying to do by isolating themselves. I often long for the same thing and have a similar impulse: to run far away from the dehumanizing effects of consumer culture. I agree wholeheartedly with their desire to remain set apart, and share their suspicion of modernization with its inevitable links to consumerism and materialism. But at the same time, I realize that you can’t ever be fully out of this world. God put us on this world, amidst other people, for a reason. We are called to be a peculiar people, but we still need to engage the rest of the world. We can’t run away forever."

Kathleen Quiring  (Mennonite Blogger) 

More at   (Well worth visiting) 

Artwork from   Don Swartzentruber 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scrub the Floor ~ D. H. Lawrence

"I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor."

~  D. H. Lawrence  1913

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Inhabited Garden ~ Goethe

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Artwork from Sam Motherwell

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Defamation and Detraction ~ Rules of Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of Friends Held in Philadelphia 1806

"Friends are every where exhorted to maintain a strict watch over themselves and each other against the subtle and mischievous spirit of tale-bearing and detraction -- the manifest tendency of which is to lay waste the unity of the body, by sowing the seeds of disesteem, strife, and discord among brethren and neighbours; as well as to unfit those who either propagate or listen to evil reports, for being of that service to the persons reflected upon, which they might be if the order prescribed by our blessed Lord to his church, was strictly observed, viz. "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that, in the mouth of two or three witnesses, ever word may be established. And if if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee an an heathen man and a publican."
It is therefore advised that, in whomsoever this weakness appears, it may be immediately checked; and, if any one gives way to it, to the obvious injury of another's reputation or interest, let him or her be faithfully admonished; and, if they persist, and cannot be prevailed with to give due satisfaction, the preparative or monthly meeting should be informed of it, and deal further with them; when, if this produce not the desired effect, they should be testified against.
And, if any member who offends in this respect, shelters him or herself under a pretence, that they say no more than they have heard from others, but will not discover who they are: Such reporters or tale-bearers should in like manner be dealt with, and testified against as being themselves the authors."

Rules of Discipline
of the Yearly Meeting of Friends
Held in Philadelphia 1806 ~  'The Old Discipline'

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Age of Progress ~ Eve Balfour

"When a new generation has arisen, taught to have a living faith in the Christian ideals, to value and conserve its soil, and to put service before comfort, then not only will our land have citizens worthy of it, but it will also be a land of happy contented people, for it is important to remember that happiness is a by-product. It is, moreover, a by-product of activity, not of ease. It cannot be found ready made. Nor can it be fashioned out of those things usually covered by the term ‘a higher standard of living’ – material comfort, more leisure, more money, more gadgets. Important as they are, these are static things. Happiness, which must not be confused with pleasure, results only from those activities which develop personality and character. It can be achieved in varying degrees through the physical exertion of work or play, through the mental exertion of acquiring knowledge, through the spiritual exertion of creative effort, through the exercise of skill, through service; perhaps most of all through service. If we seek happiness as an end in itself, it will elude us; if we make service our aim, happiness will flow automatically. This is as true for a nation as for an individual. We shall never succeed in building a ‘better and happier world’ until we recognize it. When we do, we shall discover that we are on the high road to building a Christian society, for happiness through service is a creative force of unlimited power for good. In its atmosphere ecology – the most needed of all the sciences – could flourish, and could in time help us to become truly aware that everything in heaven and earth is but part of a single whole. Then for the first time in many a century could we justifiably claim to be entering on an age of progress."

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Artwork from Jenny Tylden-Wright

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Dont' Know ~ Rebecca James Hecking

"I don’t know (and I doubt anyone does) how the Earth will look a hundred or a thousand years from now, but I do think it’s fair to say that biological diversity will be diminished, and long-term damage will still be very much in evidence.  Those of us who care even a little bit fall somewhere along the road from denial to acceptance, although we may not experience the stages in quite such a neat linear package since the object of our grief isn’t a person who has died, but rather a planet in a state of decline (for now).  I find myself at times bouncing around the various stages, depending on the latest bit of (mostly bad, but occasionally good) news. I have moments when I am filled with militant, righteous anger, and others when I am simply sad. I also have moments of serenity and peace, accepting what is."

~ Rebecca James Hecking

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Artwork by Annie Day!animalia/c1dg3

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Radical Change ~ Jon Krakauer

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future."

~ Jon Krakauer

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Artwork From Ethel Spowers

Friday, April 18, 2014

Be Sure to Keep It ~ Isaac Penington

"There is that near you, which will guide you; oh! wait for it, and be sure to keep to it…"

~ Isaac Penington

Artwork from the outstanding heritage of Alfred Bestall

Friday, April 11, 2014

Never Can Forget ~ Dinah Craik

“Forgotten? No, we never do forget:
We let the years go; wash them clean with tears,
Leave them to bleach out in the open day,
Or lock them careful by, like dead friends' clothes,
Till we shall dare unfold them without pain,—
But we forget not, never can forget.”

~ Dinah Craik

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Artwork from Hanneke Benadé

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Power to Sooth and Charm ~ Walter Rose

"It is in the workshop and at the bench that an insight into the soul of wood craftsmanship can be truly gained. There are tools, there is the wood – rude planks, ungarnished, their surface scored with the saw. Between them, and without which each is useless, must come the soul and spirit of the designer and craftsman; the deft hands prompted by an alert mind; the knowledge attained only through years of study and service; the creative instinct and ability that will, by the correct use of the tools, transform the mere plank into a thing of usefulness and beauty – possibly a joy for ever… It was at the lathe, when a youth, that I first realised the charm of line, the contour that flows continuously on, diminishing and enlarging, though separated by ornamental members… Those who have studied woodcraft for half a century find themselves still learning and quite unable to pack all their knowledge into a nutshell for the convenience of a beginner. The training is not that of the university; it is, however, quite as exacting in its own way and so merits equal recognition and respect, and it is encouraging to note that this idea is slowly gaining ground. The woodworkers of a century ago added to their carpentry the dignity of craft; this is why the examples of their handiwork that remain are treasured. Let it not be assumed that it is merely because such work is old that it is appreciated so highly. Even a slight study will reveal the artist mind that prompted the hands, the perception that had grasped the principles of design, the certain knowledge in its decisive finish. There is the secret of its permanent inspiration, its power to soothe and charm."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Vulnerable and Risky ~ Britain Yearly Meeting

"Our processes are precious but also fragile, vulnerable and risky. They take time, they can cause discomfort, and they can frustrate us. We sometimes make decisions without fully knowing where they will take us. Sometimes we get things wrong, and we must be willing to learn from our mistakes. Our struggles with discernment may not easily be resolved, but these very struggles can bring us blessings. We need not be afraid of confronting issues where the way forward is not clear or where Friends are not in unity. We trust in that Spirit which guides us into all Truth. Thomas Kelly describes this trust as 'walking with a smile into the dark'. "

Epistle from Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering 2013

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Good and Fruitful Account ~ Caroline Stephen

"The amount of solitude which is attainable or would be wholesome in the case of any individual life is a matter which each of us must judge for himself.…A due proportion of solitude is one of the most important conditions of mental health. Therefore if it be our lot to stand apart from those close natural ties by which life is for most people shaped and filled, let us not be in haste to fill the gap; let us not carelessly or rashly throw away the opportunity of entering into that deeper and more continual acquaintance with the unseen and eternal things which is the natural and great compensation for the loss of easier joys. The loneliness which we rightly dread is not the absence of human faces and voices — it is the absence of love…Our wisdom therefore must lie in learning not to shrink from anything that may lie in store for us, but so to grasp the master key of life as to be able to turn everything to good
and fruitful account."

~ Caroline Stephen

Artwork from Linden Dean


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Library ~ Larry McMurtry

“Today the sight that discourages book people most is to walk into a public library and see computers where books used to be. In many cases not even the librarians want books to be there. What consumers want now is information, and information increasingly comes from computers. That is a preference I can’t grasp, much less share, though I’m well aware that computers have many valid uses. They save lives, and they make research in most cases a thing that’s almost instantaneous.They do many good things, but they don’t really do what books do, and why should they usurp the chief function of a public library, which is to provide readers access to books? Books can accommodate the proximity of computers but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Computers now literally drive out books from the place that should, by definition, be books’ own home: the library.”

 ~Larry McMurtry

Monday, March 17, 2014

Every Hour of the Day ~ Old Order Mennonite Farmer

"I don't see beauty in expensive goods. I see beauty in woodwork. Woodwork to me is building barns and putting up anything in the old fashioned way....why I see beauty in these old timbers, all these old boards. I see beauty in each part of the barn here. I see beauty in the hay crop here and I even see beauty in the way the bales are stacked...I regret some of the beauties you don't see any more , like sheaves of wheat and straw stacked in front of the barn... every hour of the day there's beauty to think about being close to nature on the family farm."

~ Old Order Mennonite farmer quoted by John L Ruth.

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Artwork by Paul Gauguin

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

To Belong Within ~ Ann Barnes

"Perhaps I should be asking 'Why did it take me so long to find the Quakers?' For finding it has felt like a homecoming.I have found the beauty of silent worship - the silence where I may find my Inner Self and seek to listen to that deep, Inner, Sacred Voice.I have found the challenge and freedom of a form of worship that holds no dogma, creed, liturgy, ritual or clergy. And yet this has been no home-coming - rather a stepping out on a new phase of that most challenging of life's journeys, the search for Truth, for inner peace and for a better understanding of what it means to belong within the Christian faith."
 ~ Ann Barnes

Artwork by unknown artist (please let me know if you have that information).

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