Author Archive

Fire haiku

November 18, 2011

Bring the bitter boughs:

throw them on the fire of Love

until they burn sweet.

(Message that came to me during Meeting for Worship while visiting Chatham-Summit Meeting: a haiku version of an image that first came to me at a Powell House retreat on “Dealing with Difficult People.”)

Seated around a virtual campfire, we were asked what about ourselves we’d like to throw in.  My bitterness, I thought.  If I were to throw that in the campfire it would be a log heavy with bitter sap. But the campfire, the refiner’s fire, isn’t just destructive but transformative.  What began as bitter is broken down and made anew as sweet-smelling smoke.

Our Mother

July 7, 2008

I’ve been the silent partner in this blog, for the most part — I think the only posts I’ve made have been silly ones about Talk Like a Quaker Day.

Something suddenly prompted me to post the following prayer/poem, which I completed on August 18, 2007, at Powell House.  It seems to have spoken to both Christians and Wiccans of my acquaintance.  That’s what I was hoping it would do!

Our Mother

Our Mother,
who art among us,
holy do we name thee.
Thy home be here,
thy grace appear
in Act as it does in Spirit.
Prepare with us our daily bread,
and heal us of wrongdoing
as we learn to free those that wrong us.
Test us not beyond our ability,
but keep our souls from destruction,
for in thee is our home,
and our strength,
and our beauty,
now and always.

Completed at Powell House, August 18, 2007

More on how to celebrate International Talk Like a Quaker Day

September 30, 2007

So far, nobody has followed up on my call for Quakified ads to sponsor ITLAQ Day. I have, however, some further thoughts on appropriate ways to celebrate the day:

  • Have an ice cream firstdae
  • Wear Friend Size pantyhose
  • Post a video on TheeTube
  • Watch George Fox News
  • Turn off your computer and write with a Penn
  • When crossing the street, be sure to mind the light
  • Sing madrigals like “Now is the month of fifthmonthing”
  • If you hit your thumb with a hammer, affirm loudly
  • Then make like Barclay and Apologize profusely
  • Shop at Friend & Taylor
  • Sow some tame oats
  • Put plain dressing on your salad
  • As George Gascoigne wrote in 1575, anticipating Quaker values, “Do you, if you will follow my advise, eschue prolixitie and knit up your discourse as compendiously as you may, for breuitie (so that it be not drowned in obscuritie) is most commendable.” Or, in modern English, “Get to the point.”

…and, of course, BE QUIET if you have nothing inspired to say.

International Talk Like a Quaker Day – Sponsorship suggestions

September 26, 2007

In quakers: International Talk Like a Quaker Day, jeanne_d_arc wrote,

In the same vein as International Talk Like a Pirate Day and National Quaker Week in the UK, I have decided to declare October (Tenth Month) 24 (which just so happens to be United Nations Day and William Penn’s birthday) as International Talk Like a Quaker Day.

I think this is a splendid idea — so splendid, in fact, that we should consider getting corporate sponsors and placing ads on the site. My first suggestion for an ad is


I’ll ask Thy Friend John if he might wish to post an ad he designed a while back.

How about you? Anything to ad(d) to the Quaker Sponsor Prospects roster? (If it has anything to do with oats, it had better be good.)

Nonetheless, I fear I must Query one of jeanne_d_arc’s examples:

Friend, I’m afraid I must elder three for what thee said on First Day.

Before thee elders all three, please search thy heart to be certain that the other two bear equal responsibility for what one of them said. Eldering by association is not in keeping with Friends’ tradition.

Eldering three for the price of one also smacks of trinitarianism, which is not a traditional Friends’ testimony. If it were, we would have to use the acronym SPITE instead of SPICE as a mnemonic. While there may be extremely rare occasions in which that acronym might apply, it is Quaker tradition to ignore them.


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