Articles

Author(s): Vickie Aldrich

Dear Western Friend: In the time since I wrote the article about my frivolous filing penalty with the IRS, there have been some new developments. I would like to share the end of the story. I thought it had ended in August of 2012 when I agreed to pay a $500 penalty instead of the $5000 penalty. I was blue about this, but did feel that it was the best decision considering the situation. It turned out that the $500 had already been taken along with an extra $200 from our daughter's college... Read more.

Author(s): Barbara Christwitz

Dear Editor: I am on page 12 of the May/June issue of Western Friend, and already my husband, Edwin, and I feel the challenge. I inherited some money recently and this issue of the magazine is helping me to ask how I can invest in the 7th generation rather than just our own comfortable retirement. “Leap into Wings” is a great model for limiting transportation and electrical use. Edwin and I have a long ways to go, but slowly and with some kicking and screaming we have been following a few of... Read more.

Author(s): Jerry Peterson

The Failure of Success by Jennifer Kavanagh

Reviewed by Jerry Peterson

Probably few Quakers would be surprised by the idea that Western society is immersed in a culture of success and celebrity. In this book, Jennifer Kavanagh takes a deep look at the meaning and implications of success in our culture – what it is, how it is measured, and the meaning of failure. She explains how success is generally understood today as the achievement of something... Read more.

Author(s): Dorothy Blackcrow Mack

Feeling Light Within, I Walk: Tales, Adventures & Reflections of a Quaker Activist

by Peg Morton

Reviewed by Dorothy Blackcrow Mack

The city of Eugene, Oregon, just presented the Turtle Award to Peg Morton for “sticking her neck out” during her lifetime of service to the community. Peg has devoted her whole life to efforts for social justice – bearing witness that one person can make a difference. The key to Peg’s effectiveness is persistence. This book... Read more.

Author(s): Diana Forsythe

At the time when Quakerism began in the seventeenth century, the expression “plain speech” had a particular meaning for Friends. The plural form of the second person in English (you) was used to address someone of distinction or higher social status. The singular form (thee) was used to address one’s peers. George Fox and his Quaker followers chose to use the singular form to address everyone, reflecting a firm belief that all are equal in the eyes of God. The grammatical distinction has... Read more.

Author(s): Mary Klein

Dear Friends:  Nobody ever taught us to pray, “Give us this day our stockpile of bread with a shelf-life of forty years.” Hoarding resources for private gain is a course of action that despoils the Earth and obstructs our right relationship with God. Humanity today consumes resources 50% faster than the Earth can replenish them. In the United States, we consume them 400% faster. (See footprintnetwork.org.) Habitat destruction and other factors caused biodiversity to plummet by 30% across the... Read more.

Author(s): Joe Snyder

Since biblical times, humanity has lived by an ancient contract: We the first party (animals) give you our wool, milk, hides and meat, draw your plows and carriages, guard your houses, control your vermin, and fertilize your fields.  We the second party (humans) promise to keep you safe from predators, bind up your wounds and treat your diseases, provide you shelter from the elements, feed you even in times of famine, and provide you with a quick and humane death.  Our own human relationship... Read more.

Author(s): Carol Bosworth
Considering Water:
     I settled deep into my body
           feeling my way into prayer
           for the waters of Japan.
     And the waters there, so injured
          by the radiation they have absorbed
          while helping humans harness atomic energy
to power all manner of uses,
                 both good and of dubious value,
           echoed my prayer for their healing
                 back to me, still... Read more.
Author(s): Kyle Chandler-Isacksen

The way of love is not a subtle argument,

The door there is devastation.

Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.

How do they learn it? 

They fall.  And in falling

Are given wings.

--Rumi

In a recent meandering conversation with a friend – about consumption, simple living, sustainability, cultural transformation, why more people don’t take the “obvious” actions they feel are right for their lives – my friend asked, “What would you... Read more.

Author(s): George Schaefer
1
Walking the labyrinth in June
Birds sing one onward
Ants see no obstacle in bare feet

2
Two roads to freedom
The beggar and the scholar
One takes the other gives away

3
By the waterfall’s chorus
Orange Kimono butterflies mate
Droopy redwood sapling

4
Fluttering in dappled sunlight
Tender green shoots
We conspire where it is cool

5
The swaying timbers
Wooden temple chimes announce
A loftier breeze

6
Burning sage... Read more.

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