Not the forest but the tree leaf

Are modern Friends still driven
+++by the nineteenth century’s social
+++gospel, that

worthy yet material world
+++oriented political drive,

standing in for waiting
+++worship and

Image: “Discernment,” by Mike Shell (12/15/2020)


1 comments On Not the forest but the tree leaf

  • Wendy Clarissa Geiger

    [It] seems, in the “modern” world of the United States, [that] Friends to encounter so many distractions to the disciplined practice of being Quaker in the world – inner world, outer world, inside our homes, communities, nations.

    Are we too easily embracing “easy” living, conveniences before convincements, and the “fundamental” living in “pursuit of happiness?” The last fundamental is oft interpreted as life in “pursuit of happiness” at any cost – whether or not other sentient beings are destroyed or subsequently prevented in their own “pursuit of happiness.”

    Quakers reduce our inner and outer enemies – often distilled to manageable, lovable portions in the stillness of waiting worship as we clean the window panes of our hearts.

    And, a Great Realization happens in being Quaker in the world through being Quaker with ourselves and other Quakers – in person and in readings, in loving and being loved: being Quaker is darn hard work. And, modern life of “pursuing happiness” means: make a living, dying, and carrying on as easy, quick, and painless as possible, perpetually.

    We are shamed if life is not easy, not instantaneous, and not painless. The shame of not being up nor keeping up with times. Friend Michael, your poem and your photo go so well together. They both convict my heart-mind of the fact that when I wait in worship, I’m expecting to understand [that] Friends of olden times WERE living the “modern” ways of their [own] times. [Those ways] were then – and are, now – often very difficult, yet [also] richly rewarding for our lives, singularly and collectively.

    Your poem abruptly ends. And, now, I want to arise and de-clutter for light, love, wisdom, humor, tears to flow more easily…in disciplined practice, so old yet so modern…at least for Quakers. Your poems are like the Quaker idiom of olden times: “…using the fewest words possible and the most words necessary….”

    Your gifts of writing and photography are blessings which bless us all, rippling out into the world, multiplying the blessings. I don’t comment often. Yet, I often return to bask in their radiance. Michael, you do have a Way with writing and photography. Thank thee kindly for honoring such gifts.

    Loving blessings to thee & thine.
    your far-away Ffriend

Comments are closed.

Site Footer

Verified by MonsterInsights