I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) four months after I completed a 150-mile bike ride for the American Lung Association. I was thirty-one years old. Two years later, I had to stop working. Soon, I could no longer identify with anyone I knew. It seemed like everyone was either having babies or working. I was doing neither.
My first job at the American Friends Service Committee was in 1965, when Self-Help Enterprises was being created. This was also my first real experience working with white people, as opposed to working for them, although at the tender age of nineteen, I still did not realize that.
Recent research at the University of College Park, Maryland, has resulted in the observation of a form of matter that was previously only theorized. This discovery may open up a new basis for understanding the universe, while echoing ancient knowledge.
Presence is something I cannot fully describe or understand, informing my life and experience even though it is beyond words. It is a grounding, a solace, a push and shove, a challenge to the status quo. My call to dwell in Presence makes me one of the “peculiar people” and may set me apart even from others who call themselves Quaker.
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” – David Foster Wallace, This is Water (2009)
We gather the children, the tender and shy, the mischievous, lead them to a jagged beach to find their treasures of stillness while their own parents settle into the meetinghouse to gather Light. We let the children wander between piers, time dissolving into moistness. One boy with purple
As a young man, I joined the Peace Corps and served in Morocco for two and a half years. One day I found myself sitting in a café in Rabat, my mind in a swirl, as I looked at the equally swirling street scene. I was trying and trying to figure things out and just couldn’t. I sat there feeling lost and helpless, with a rising sense of panic.
Competition has a bleak reputation among Friends. It brings out extremes in people, and Friends are inclined toward moderation. For some competitors, the demands of adversity arouse a vile nature in them, and Friends would rather ignore our shadow sides. However, for most of us, particularly most children and youth, our most extreme selves also express the best in us.