Inward Light

“Bulletin” and “Lincoln”

Bulletin from My Nursing Home

My world both shrinks and grows.
One day, a glorious god’s-ray
aimed directly at my heart; 
then a declining, dying Dodo.

Little brown birds peck on my deck.
A Flicker steals their seed.

Another country bombed by robots.
A man-god waves at cheering crowds.

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Steel to Flint

“For the last time, I am ordering you to depart the grounds of Griffiss Air Force Base or you will be subject to arrest.” On a crisp spring morning in 1984, I came to realize – in a hands-on, hand-cuffed kind of way – that I was not just a participant in conflict; I was also its student. The tension in the air that day was as taut and clear as the bright blue line demarcating the base.

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Elizabeth Gurney Fry: A Quaker Mess

Friends are doing a lot of reevaluation these days, reexamining our past and our venerable Quaker ancestors. In some cases, when moral inconsistencies emerge into the open, reexamination means that some iconic Friends are losing their luster. In other cases, stories of early Friends’ messy lives help us to see their humanity, which can lend greater depth and nuance to their spiritual writings.

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Dielectric

Here is a strange simile: God is like the parallel plates of a capacitor, and we are the molecules of dielectric between them.

A capacitor is formed from two flat sheets of metal; they do not contact each other, but are connected through a source of power. Electrons from one plate move to the other, impelled by the voltage across the plates.

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Listening During Meeting: An Apologia

The ear listens, the mind translates. How many times during meeting for worship have I gotten it backwards! I listen with my mind. I ask a question or mull over a problem inside my head and hope God will hear me and answer back, inside me. Then if a worthy thought emerges, I stand to speak. Or if nothing, I’ll blame hearing the bus rumbling down the street, so loud and distracting.

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