Monday, December 21, 2015

A Dwelling Place ~ Norfolk, Cambs & Hunts Quarterly Meeting

"As to our own planet which God has given us for a dwelling place, we must be mindful that it is given in stewardship. The power over nature that scientific knowledge has put into our hands, if used in lust or greed, fear or hatred, can bring us to utter destruction. If we choose life we may now feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick on a world scale, thus creating new conditions for spiritual advancement so often till now prevented by want. Many of our resources – of oil, of coal and of uranium – are limited. If by condoning waste and luxury we overspend the allowance God has given us, our children’s children will be cheated of their inheritance. Limited too is the annual bounty of nature. The material foundation of our life is the tilling of the earth and the growing of food… We must conserve the goodness of the soil and not exploit it.

We must guard, too, the abundance and variety of untamed nature, and not forget the spiritual resources available to us in the continued existence of unoccupied lands. Modern civilisation perpetually threatens our awareness of the true nature of our being which in the presence of the wild we can more easily retain or at length recapture. Year by year silence and solitude are growing more needful, yet harder to obtain, and contacts, by this means, with the mind of the Creator more tenuous. To conserve nature is thus again a contribution to the fuller life of mankind."

Norfolk, Cambs & Hunts Quarterly Meeting, 1957

More at

Artwork from Mariann Johansen-Ellis

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas in Prison ~ Richard Scatchard

"The festive season is upon us, the shops full of all sorts of expensive gifts – ‘things that one has always needed’! It is supposed to be the season of happiness and joy for everyone. As we know much of it is unreal, an opportunity for commercial exploitation. For many people, it can, in reality, be a period of great sadness, loneliness and strife. You can look at Christmas in a number of ways: one could say that it is people’s own choice to spend large sums of money; or, one can see it as a time when parents/individuals are left in an impossible situation – so much pressure to buy ever more extravagant gifts and food and drink. So much of twenty-first century Christmases seems to be at odds with the Quaker testimony of simplicity.

‘Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?’

.......So, in reality, life in prison at Christmas can vary a lot. It often comes down to which prison one is in; but, much more importantly, it’s down to the attitude and the state of mind of the prisoner. To some prisoners, Christmas is still the best time of the year, something different and something to look forward to and remember. To others, it is the worst time of the year; one to get through as soon as possible – dying for things to get back to ‘normal’, the standard, predictable, daily routine. It obviously has to be remembered that the vast majority of prisoners spending Christmas behind bars are there because of their own actions – it is not society’s fault. Sometimes in prison it is easy for prisoners to start feeling sorry for themselves, rather than remembering or taking responsibility for the extra pain and distress they have put their families, friends and victims through – something felt even more so at Christmas time."

~ Richard Scatchard

More at (Well worth reading).

You can also try the video of this fine John Prine Song!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Measured by Money ~ John Ruskin

“What right have you to take the word wealth, which originally meant ''well-being,'' and degrade and narrow it by confining it to certain sorts of material objects measured by money.”

~ John Ruskin

More at

Artwork by the very talented Dee Nickerson

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One Chance ~ Jimmy Carter

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

~ Jimmy Carter

More at

Artwork from Aijung Kim

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Connection ~ Dean Ornish

 "In short, anything that promotes a sense of isolation often leads to illness and suffering. Anything that promotes a sense of love and intimacy, connection and community, is healing."

~ Dean Ornish

More at

Artwork from Clifford Harper (If you know nothing about him it's worth taking a look.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mending and Tending ~ Roger Scruton

"It is one of the joys of country life that you are immersed in a culture of mending and tending. There is something ungrateful in the habit of throwing things away. You also feel more at home when you support the world that supports you and tend to the needs of things that you need."

~ Roger Scruton

(PS Please don't assume that I agree with all Roger Scruton writes ~ I positively don't! HQ)

More at

Artwork from Unknown Artist

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Way that I Work ~Tom Walsh

“Look at it this way—before any of this wood became parts of the shelves or the desk or the chair, all of it was in pieces—just pieces of wood. But the wood was full of potential. It could be shaped into anything that a carpenter wanted it to be shaped into, turning it into a beautiful finished product. Now, not all carpenters are equal in skill—you know that. If a piece of wood is shaped by a poor carpenter, the finished product will be lacking somehow, in some way...But if that wood is shaped by a master carpenter, then that piece will fit into this world precisely as it’s supposed to fit, whether it be a desktop or a cabinet shelf or a doorstop. And the way that I work wood is the way I try to work with people—with love and attention and caring—so that the wood and the people can reach their potential. And if someone lets you teach them, and is open to what you have to teach, then how can you go wrong?”

~ Tom Walsh

Artwork from John Everett Millais

Friday, November 27, 2015

Must I really have this? ~ Richard Proenneke

“Needs? I guess that is what bothers so many folks. They keep expanding their needs until they are dependent on too many things and too many other people... I wonder how many things in the average American home could be eliminated if the question were asked, "Must I really have this?" I guess most of the extras are chalked up to comfort or saving time...Funny thing about comfort - one man's comfort is another man's misery. Most people don't work hard enough physically any more, and comfort is not easy to find. It is surprising how comfortable a hard bunk can be after you come down off a mountain.”

~ Richard Proenneke

More at

Artwork from unknown artist 19th century (if you can tell more please let me know).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Quiet Joy ~ Willis D. Nutting

"The opportunity for real, soul-satisfying work, so rare in our day, is found abundantly in rural living. Here a man can make long-range plans and can carry them out without exploiting his fellow man; for the things that he uses are things that exist to be used: soil, plants, animals, building materials, etc. he can live a whole life of work without once using another man as a mere means for carrying out his plans. And neither does he become a tool of someone else. With the materials at hand he can employ the splendid coordination of mind and hand to create something of value for his family. He can fulfill his real nature in real work. And this work is much more joyful than any mere recreation. As a matter of fact this work carries with it its own recreation, so that the man who works does not have to worry about how he is going to have his good times. The work itself is a good time even though it be hard. There is a joy in toil which the football player knows not. It is a quiet joy that comes from the knowledge that one has accomplished something, something of real value, and that the accomplishment is his own."

~ Willis D. Nutting

More at

Artwork from Adrian Feint

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bearfoot on the Grass ~ Kristen Boye

"Throughout history, humans have always had regular unfiltered contact with the earth. We walked barefoot, slept on the ground, wore animal skins for warmth, tilled fields, hunted and foraged, fetched water and spent the majority of our lives outdoors.....It wasn’t until recently we adopted a mostly indoor lifestyle. We work in tall buildings with windows that don’t open, wear protective footwear, drive around in cars with WiFi, buy our groceries from the store, live in air-tight homes, sleep on mattresses above ground and constantly “pound the pavement,” so to speak...Have you ever noticed how your quality of sleep improves during a trip to the beach? How about the natural relaxation, ease and decompression that comes from walking barefoot on the grass? Or how time spent digging around in the dirt or making mud pies creates a natural calm in children?"

~ Kristen Boye

More at

Artwork from Ed Wade

Monday, November 16, 2015

Work ~ Tom Walsh

“It seems that the more we learn about our work, the easier and the more interesting it becomes to us. Tasks that used to be tedious now make sense, and we see how they're related to other elements of our jobs. Plus, they're easier to take care of now, so they don't bother us nearly as much when we need to do them. When we know more about our work and its ramifications, we can see the connections between what we do and the effects that those things have on other people.” 

 ~ Tom Walsh

More at

Artwork from Margarethe Havemann

Friday, November 13, 2015

How are You? ~ Hannah Heinzekehr

"There are a myriad of ways someone can answer the simple question: How are you? Often this question is sort of asked as part of a basic exchange of pleasantries or as an aside while two aquaintances pass in the hall. Sometimes I even find myself asking the question without even really listening and/or waiting to hear the answer, which is perhaps part of the problem in and of itself..... Ask someone how they are and 95% of the time (I’m not being scientific here, but you get the point) they’ll reply with some variation on the theme of, “I’m good! Busy, but good,” or “Crazy busy! But it’s all good stuff."...Somehow busyness has become a middle class marker of a good life. It means that your time is put to good use, you are in demand and you are by no means underworked. If it’s your boss asking, it makes it clear that you are working hard for the money. Or perhaps it shores up our sense of self and helps us to feel popular and in the know...

But what happens when we are busy, even with good things, and we lose our sense of connectedness to this very core of our being? What happens when we simply become what we do and our whole sense of self-worth is wrapped up in those things rather than the core of who we are? What happens then when there is nothing left to do? Or maybe the very idea of there being nothing left to do is far-fetched enough that it’s not even worth considering. So I commit myself to two things:

  • No longer asking “How are you?” as a throw away question. When I ask, I want to be have the time and energy to invest in listening to and fleshing out the answer that comes.
  • No longer answering that question with “busy” as my default answer. I want to stop making busyness a mark of prestige, popularity and/or personhood."
~ Hannah Heinzekehr

More at (Well worth regular visits)

Artwork from Richard Scarry (You knew that didn't you?) 

Out of Context ~ Miriam Toews

“Mennonites formed themselves in Holland five hundred years ago after a man named Menno Simons became so moved by hearing Anabaptist prisoners singing hymns before being executed by the Spanish Inquisition that he joined their cause and became their leader. Then they started to move all around the world in colonies looking for freedom and isolation and peace and opportunities to sell cheese. Different countries give us shelter if we agree to stay out of trouble and help with the economy by farming in obscurity. We live like ghosts. Then, sometimes, those countries decide they want us to be real citizens after all and start to force us to do things like join the army or pay taxes or respect laws and then we pack our stuff up in the middle of the night and move to another country where we can live purely but somewhat out of context.”

~ Miriam Toews

More at

Artwork from the Goshen College exhibition of Mennonite and Amish quilts

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Natural Paradise ~ Edward Abbey

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.....Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us--if only we were worthy of it.”

~ Edward Abbey

More at

Artwork from Alexandra Buckle

Monday, November 9, 2015

Not to Eat it ~ Helen Nearing

"When you are faced with food that has been sterilized, fumigated, hydrogenated, hydrolyzed, homogenized, colored, bleached, puffed, exploded, defatted, degermed, texturized, or if you don’t know what has been done to it, the safest rule is not to eat it.......The preparation of food has become a form of mass production where it was once an individual craft. Hundreds of homesteaders we know are raising their food and saying, “Don’t buy it; grow it. Use what you have instead of buying what you don’t need.” But the ads blare out: Buy our easy foods. Here it is: all cleaned and cut up, sanitized, colored, flavored, fortified, dehydrated, treated to last: “breakfast foods, milled, grilled, baked-up, dried-up, puffed-up, roughed-up, packed in cardboard, kept for months, and sold at the pistol point of publicity campaigns.”

~ Helen Nearing

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Not Afraid to Think ~ Suzy Kassem

“A truly good person will speak truth, act with truth, and stand for truth. A truly good person is not afraid to think from their heart; therefore, allowing nonconformist decisions, viewpoints, and perspectives to lead their life. By following their heart, they stand with their conscience, and only with God.” 

~ Suzy Kassem

More at

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Skills and Craft ~ Gene Logsdon

“Sustainable farms are to today's headlong rush toward global destruction what the monasteries were to the Dark Ages: places to preserve human skills and crafts until some semblance of common sense and common purpose returns to the public mind.”

Gene Logsdon

More at

Artwork from Sybil Andrews

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Two Steps from the Dirt ~ Kristin Kimball

"Maybe most important, farm food itself is totally different from what most people now think of as food: none of those colorful boxed and bagged products, precut, parboiled, ready to eat, and engineered to appeal to our basest desires. We were selling the opposite: naked, unprocessed food, two steps from the dirt.” 

~ Kristin Kimball

More at (in fact so much more, Kristin and Mark's blog is outstanding)

Artwork from Stephen Alcorn

Monday, October 19, 2015

That's Rough ~ Maya Angelou

“It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.” 

~ Maya Angelou

More at

Artwork from Balas Volodymyr

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Piece of Land ~ John Seymour

The 'owner' of a piece of land has an enormous responsibility, whether the piece is large or small. The very word 'owner' is a misnomer when applied to land. The robin that hops about your garden, and the worms that he hunts, are, in their own terms, just as much 'owners' of the land they occupy as you are. 'Trustee' would be a better word. Anyone who comes into possession, in human terms, of a piece of land, should look upon himself or herself as the trustee of that piece of land - the 'husbandman' - responsible for increasing the sum of things living on that land, holding the land just as much for the benefit of the robin, the wren and the earthworm, even the bacteria in the soil, as for himself."

~ John Seymour

More at

Artwork from Sally Seymour

Monday, October 12, 2015

Way of Living ~ Madeleine L'Engle

“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.” 

~ Madeleine L'Engle

Friday, October 9, 2015

All the Time There is ~ Arnold Bennett

"Which of us lives on twenty-four hours a day? And when I say “lives,” I do not mean exists, nor “muddles through.” Which of us is free from that uneasy feeling that the “great spending departments” of his daily life are not managed as they ought to be? Which of us is quite sure that his fine suit is not surmounted by a shameful hat, or that in attending to the crockery he has forgotten the quality of the food? Which of us is not saying to himself — which of us has not been saying to himself all his life: “I shall alter that when I have a little more time”? We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is."

~ Arnold Bennett

More at

Artwork by Charles W. Hobson

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Plain and Functional ~ J.D. Belanger

"It's not a single idea, but many ideas and attitudes, including a reverence for nature and a preference for country life; a desire for maximum personal self-reliance and creative leisure; a concern for family nurture and community cohesion; a certain hostility toward luxury; a belief that the primary reward of work should be well-being rather than money; a certain nostalgia for the supposed simplicities of the past and an anxiety about the technological and bureaucratic complexities of the present and the future; and a taste for the plain and functional."

~ J.D. Belanger

More at

Artwork from Mark Herald

Appropriate Boldness ~ Gary Snyder

"Practically speaking, a life that is vowed to simplicity, appropriate boldness, good humor, gratitude, unstinting work and play, and lots of walking brings us close to the actual existing world and its wholeness."

~  Gary Snyder

More at

Artwork from Cath Read

Monday, October 5, 2015

Self-Renewal ~ Boris Pasternak

“Reshaping life! People who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. They look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be moulded. If you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.” 

~ Boris Pasternak

Artwork from Anthony Russo

Friday, October 2, 2015

Making Puddings ~ Charlotte Brontë

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

~ Charlotte Brontë

Artwork from Fritz Eichenberg ~

That Kind of Thing ~ Rhoda Janzen

“When you're young, faith is often a matter of rules. What you should do and shouldn't do, that kind of thing. But as you get older, you realize that faith is really a matter of relationship - with God, with the people around you, with the members of your community.”

~  Rhoda Janzen

More at

Artwork from Don Swartzentruber

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Most Un-Quaker-ly Person~Wee Dragon

"I am probably the most un-Quaker-ly person you will ever meet.  I am loud, you know when I am in a room, and I am at many times filled with fight and avarice.  I am always thinking, always planning, rarely stopping either my body or my brain.  I am always hatching a new plan.  Quiet and silence is a struggle for me.  As I plow through my life like a bull in china shop, I throw things at problems like flaming arrows, often making them into catastrophes.  Then, I run bloody murder from the destruction. It is exactly because of this that I know that I am called to the Society of Friends.  This girl needs silent worship, a simplified life, a view that G-d is in all….a path and a way that opens to the Divine instead of calling it down with demands and force.  Most of all, I need a testimony of Peace."

~Wee Dragon

More at (scroll back to the early posts and read forward to get the full flavour of this wonderful blog)

Artwork from Chris Dunn

Monday, September 28, 2015

See Each Thing ~ Kallistos Ware

“In our spiritual vision we are not only to see each thing in sharp relief, standing out in all the brilliance of its specific being, but we are also to see each thing as transparent: in and through each created thing we are to discern the Creator.”

~ Kallistos Ware

More at

Artwork is a German woodcut about which I can find no additional information. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tasks of the Present~ Elise Boulding

"For most of us, the great enemy of the Kingdom is Today. The trap of dailiness catches us, and makes cowards of us all. For the train leaves for the office in five minutes; if the beds aren't made and the dishes washed now the house will be a mess all day. The baby is crying for his bottle, nobody can find any clean underwear this morning, and the editor of the Meeting's Monthly Bulletin must have information about all the committee meetings to take place next month within an hour. It is not only that these things can't wait today, it is that the same things recur with the same immediate urgency day after day after day. It is not as if we could work up an extra burst of speed, finish our tasks for once and all, and then be free to do "God's work." The more we long to be doing other work, the more overwhelming the tasks of the present seem, until they sap our courage and our strength. Or we may respond to the pressure by a complete about-face, and come to feel that these tasks are after all the only ones that matter. Then we are in danger of finding all our security in our daily routine, and will fear anything that might change it.
Should we leave our daily tasks then? Should we leave the plow standing in the middle of the furrow to follow Him? There are some people whose special gifts require them to do just this, and no man should hinder them. But God does not call most of us away from the plow; he would rather have us shift bosses, since it is after all His acre, and start plowing the field for Him. ..... For those of us who know that it is right for us to stay where we are is it possible to avoid the trap of dailiness? Can we transform our homes and offices into advance outposts of the Kingdom?......I am too tired to be patient, too tired to pray, too tired to make our home "a place of friendliness, refreshment and peace, where God becomes more real to all who dwell there and to those who visit it." And all the time that I have been telling myself this, I have been turning my back on the one Source of refreshment that I needed! If we keep our backs turned to God, His Kingdom gets to seem more and more unreal and impossible, and we come to expect less and less of ourselves in the way of service."

~ Elise Boulding

Much more worth reading at

Artwork from Victoria Stanway

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Job you Really Want ~ Monica

"I often think of being a parent as getting this job you really want. You've watched others do the job, you know what you would do, or what you would do differently. You aren't sure what your strengths would be on the job, or what will be your weaknesses. You only know that you've seen some people who are great at it, some who are not, and you can do better than the worst and aspire to be the best.
When you are hired, everyone asks how you like your new job. You answer, "I love it!" because you do, and you've only been there a week. A couple years go by, things start getting intense. You have a bad week, and no one asks how you like your new job anymore. They just tell you how lucky you are to have it. Little by little you figure out your strengths, and the things you just never seem to get right. Yet, you can't delegate your weaknesses, and you can never resign. There is no Human Resources office. Trust me, I would have called for back up by now."

~ Monica

More at (you will want more than one visit!)

Artwork from Cathie Bleck

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Working in the Hiddenness ~ Evelyn Underhill

"The leavening of yeast must have seemed to ancient men a profound mystery, and yet something on which they could always depend. Just so does the supernatural enter our natural life, working in the hiddenness, forcing the new life into every corner and making the dough expand. If the dough were endowed with consciousness, it would not feel very comfortable while the yeast was working. Nor, as a rule, does our human nature feel very comfortable under the transforming action of G_d, steadily turning one kind of love into another kind of love–desire into charity, clutch into generosity, Eros into Agape. Creation is change, and change is often painful and mysterious to us. Spiritual creation means a series of changes, which at last produce a Holiness, G_d’s aim for us."

~ Evelyn Underhill

More at

Artwork from John S De Martelly

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Abundant Joy ~ Jana Llewellyn

"It’s great to share your beliefs, practice, and faith with others. But too many Quakers spend a lot of time talking to other Quakers about what it means to be Quaker. (Feel free to read that sentence again.) We can’t continue to worship the institution rather than the Spirit. When a person has a deeply personal relationship to God, and if she has found the Light within her, it spreads. People feel it. She (or he) has the capacity to inspire. I have grown very weary of hearing Quakers talk about the semantics of history and theology, or focusing on the “Quaker view” of the many problems in the world. We should be focusing more on Light instead of dark. Pessimism is easy. It’s harder (but much more rewarding) to spread the light, find the good, listen, create, be in tune with the universe. An intimate relationship with God does not manifest in dourness and solemnity, but in abundant joy."

~ Jana Llewellyn

More at

Artwork from Bridget Farmer

Monday, September 21, 2015

We are of the Same Stuff ~ Oakleaf Mennonite Farm

"Maybe it is the connection between our bodies and the soil. Scripture tells us that this tie is more than intimate.  We are made from earth, it says.  We are of the same stuff. So when we work in the soil and get it under our nails and all over our clothes, there is good reason that we recognize the link.  It’s not imaginary, it’s really there. When we tend the garden, we are tending to another part of ourselves and when we grow food for the sake of others we are loving them as God loves us – creating for them, providing for them, for our neighbors, our brothers and sisters."

~ Oakleaf Mennonite Farm

More at

Artwork from Rob Barnes

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Glorious Wonders ~ Charles E. Kellogg

"Nature has endowed the earth with glorious wonders and vast resources that man may use for his own ends. Regardless of our tastes or our way of living, there are none that present more variations to tax our imagination than the soil, and certainly none so important to our ancestors, to ourselves, and to our children.” 

~ Charles E.  Kellogg

More at

Artwork from Tessa Newcomb

Friday, September 11, 2015

Step by Painful Step ~ Faith Baldwin

“I have learned over a period of time to be almost unconsciously grateful--as a child is--for a sunny day, blue water, flowers in a vase, a tree turning red. I have learned to be glad at dawn and when the sky is dark. Only children and a few spiritually evolved people are born to feel gratitude as naturally as they breathe, without even thinking. Most of us come to it step by painful step, to discover that gratitude is a form of acceptance.”

~ Faith Baldwin

More at

Artwork from Mark a Pearce!/home

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Many people ~ Primo Levi

“Many people — many nations — can find themselves holding, more or less wittingly, that ‘every stranger is an enemy’. For the most part this conviction lies deep down like some latent infection; it betrays itself only in random, disconnected acts, and does not lie at the base of a system of reason.”

~  Primo Levi

Friday, June 26, 2015

Great Value ~ Chellie Pingree

"There's great value to knitting or digging up your garden or chopping up vegetables for soup, because you're taking some time away from turning the pages, answering your emails, talking to people on the phone, and you're letting your brain process whatever is stuck up in there."

 ~ Chellie Pingree

Artwork from Clare Leighton

Cross the Road ~ Henri Nouwen

“We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another... There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the road once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might indeed become neighbors.”

~ Henri Nouwen

More at

Artwork from Anita Laurence

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nothing Else ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”

~ Nikos Kazantzakis

More at

Artwork from Carol Lander

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Early Quakers in Russia ~ Roger Bartlett

"The first Quaker attempt at contact with Russia dates from their earliest years. The principal founder of Quakerism, George Fox, sought to take his message to all the great and good of his contemporary world, and in 1656 and again in 1661 he sent an epistle to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich: ‘Friend!’, he wrote in the first, ‘The Most High rules in the affairs of Men, the Lord God of the spirits of all Flesh’. Unfortunately, the rest of the texts is lost; no English Quaker travelled to Russia at that time, nor is there any record of the ‘pious tsar’ responding to this unorthodox approach.
Nevertheless, the term ‘Quaker’ soon found its way into Russia......Polemics about religious‘enthusiasm’, the belief in direct divine inspiration, were common in Europe in the late seventeenth century, and the label ‘Quaker’ was often slapped on people accused of denying proper authority in the name of their own religious experience. The English author of the polemical pamphlet The danger of enthusiasm discovered, in an epistle to the Quakers (1674) was attacking the actual Religious Society of Friends in England; but a group of ‘so-called Quakers’ who became the subject of ecclesiastical investigation in Swedish Riga in 1688 were Protestant radicals of a different variety who, like Kuhlmann, were tarred with the Quaker brush. ‘Enthusiasm’ was essentially subversive, since it set alleged direct knowledge of the will of God above any authority of prince, priest or parliament. In the end, Kuhlmann was burnt at the stake in Moscow.....
To conclude: in conformity with the assumptions of their times, the early Quakers sought to make an impression in Russia by addressing its rulers, and in their relations with Russia, as everywhere, they combined social activism with evangelical religious fervour. From the late 19th century onwards the emphasis shifted more to relief and social work among the Russian people, religious faith expressed less through piety or evangelism than through humane practice. In both the later Imperial and, especially, the Soviet periods practical concerns were joined to the challenge of pacific relations and reconciliation with a country broadly viewed in the UK as hostile or belligerent, and which militantly proclaimed a competing set of values." 
Much more in an excellent article at

Friday, June 5, 2015

Scattered, in Pieces ~ May Sarton

“There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.”

― May Sarton,

More at

Artwork from Dee Nickerson

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Everything has Changed ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

“These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves -- they're good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder

More at
Artwork Sybil Andrews

Monday, May 25, 2015

Things that are Good ~ William Penn

“But agriculture, says he, is especially in my eye. Let my children be husbandmen and housewives. This occupation is industrious, healthy, honest, and of good example. Like Abraham and the holy ancients, who pleased God, and obtained a good report, this leads to consider the works of God, and nature of things that are good, and diverts the mind from being taken up with the vain arts and inventions of a luxurious world.”

~ William Penn

More at

Artwork from Walt Curlee

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cultivation and Perfection ~ Masanobu Fukuoka

“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

― Masanobu Fukuoka

More at

Artwork from Andy English

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Let Them Grow ~ E. Nesbit

"All round the year the changing suns and rains
Beat on men’s work—to wreck and to decay—
But nature builds more perfectly than they,
Her changing unchanged sea resists, remains.
All round the year new flowers spring up to shew
How gloriously life is more strong than death;
And in our hearts are seeds of love and faith,
Ah, sun and showers, be kind, and let them grow."


More at

Artwork by the painter, and friend of Nesbit, Hugh Bellingham Smith, about whom the internet tells us little.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Foolish as Much as the Wise ~ Walt Whitman

“I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise,
Regardless of others, ever regardful of others,
Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man,
Stuffed with the stuff that is course, and stuffed with the stuff that is fine, one of the nation, of many nations, the smallest the same and the the largest”

~ Walt Whitman

More at

I cant track down the artist of this linocut, but am on the case!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pride in Revealing ~ Daniele Varè

“The verb 'to darn' is explained in my pocket dictionary as follows: 'To mend by imitating the texture of the stuff, with thread and needle.' But this definition does not correspond to the work accomplished by good Chinese housewives. When they mend a sock, they do not try 'to imitate the texture of the stuff'. Their art makes no attempt at concealment: it even takes a certain pride in revealing itself.”

~ Daniele Varè

More at

Socks did belong to Rachael Matthews, but I know nothing more about them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Daily Miracles ~ 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

More (Very well worth the read about Virginia Woolf's Quaker background )

Artwork from Restless Images

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