I sing and celebrate garbage, the rejected, the refugee, The “wretched refuse yearning to breathe free.” I lift up in the Light those treated like trash, Those living in the junk yards of history. Out of blackened wood from a bombed out church, A black Southern artist made a mobile that took my breath away
God came to visit today. Took his skin off, changed his skeleton into a galaxy. Dressed himself in mists adorned himself with finches and stars, and joined me for a latte. Neither of us spoke much. What we shared was simple: A longing, a joy, a vulnerability
How peaceful it is to take an evening walk along Grand Avenue in Mancos, a little community of fourteen hundred people, nestled in the Mancos Valley of southwest Colorado! The sunset’s glow is reflected off the La Plata Mountains to the east, and shadows begin to shroud Mesa Verde in the west.
Some call this place the Holy Land. Some call it the Middle East, some Israel, others Palestine. At the Qumran archeological site in the West Bank, the chalk cliffs are steep and rugged. Yet the desert light brings out delicate hues – buff, pink, peach. The land shimmers in the heat, very much like the desert land of my home near Tucson, Arizona.
Most young adults hold little doubt that we were born into and continue to exist in a world where systems of domination – racism, classism, sexism, etc. – create hierarchies of worth and power that segregate our communities. These systems ground our experiences in fear and suspicion of others, and often, fear and suspicion of ourselves.
During clearness committees with people applying for membership to our meeting, we typically come to a point in the conversation when we ask the applicant, “What questions do you have for us about Quakers and the meeting?” At one such moment recently, the applicant hesitated, seemingly lost for words. Then she exclaimed, “I have one! What do you like least about being a Quaker?”