To walk the construction of spoken thought,
the assumption of sentience
for presuming infinity
despite our measure of time
by Earth’s rotation round itself and the sun
instead of a galaxy’s turn
or the expansion of the universe.
Mournful, the passage of clay to steel.
Of the gas-drunk, bobbing silence of a weather balloon
and anticipation of another’s face,
of the heat between two foreheads,
to the switch-backed distance
between wire-tapped voices—
updraft of drier wind and unceasing array of lights—
We all have something to say about loss, because all of us have experienced it – yearning for what used to be, but is no more. And perhaps, as our years pass, we wrestle with the issue of loss even more, having chewed some of the gristle of life, as it were, not just the low-hanging fruit.
I had an occasion recently to hear some young Friends talk about ministry services they are performing on behalf of Quakers. I have nothing but heartfelt compliments for their generous spirits and their hard work in pursuit of making the world a more humane, just, and merciful place.
Two and a half years later, her voice still haunts me. From the other side of the fence, I hear her yell at her children as they play in the backyard. It’s a sunny day, and my wife and I are riding our bikes on a path that runs right beside this family’s home. We are enjoying a weekend vacation in Ashland, four hours south of our own home in Salem, Oregon.
I believe that we may – likely do – have new Friends, especially young Friends and Friends who live isolated or far away, schooled by the pandemic years, who have never attended a Quaker meeting for worship in person, but only online. Rather than simply rejoice that they found us at all, we need to invite such newcomers to attend meeting for worship somewhere, sometime, in person.