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River Magic “I started studying rivers pretty late in life,” says the ebullient voice of my mid-20s-research-technician-self. “Actually, I got a master’s degree in Forestry first.”

On Water (March 2019)

Appalling Content (1) Dear Editor: I am saddened by your increasing use of web sites for you publication. Like nearly half of Americans, I cannot afford a computer system and, as we age out, that number will increase. This is a new form of classism and exclusion. My understanding of Quakerism is to be in the world but not of it – and to strive for simplicity.

On Water (March 2019)

Appalling Content (2) Dear Friends: We needed to learn the struggle of Quaker Alice Herz, who died in 1965. Without warning, we are plunged into her story by the poem “Ten Days,” found in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Western Friend.

On Water (March 2019)

Council of Elders Dear Editor: I am part of the Council of Elders, a volunteer organization in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon, committed to promoting civil discourse. We started this organization after hearing about Better Angels (www.better-angels.org), a nation-wide organization that sprang up after the politically polarized  2016 elections. We invited them to do a workshop with us, which inspired my excitement and hope.

On Water (March 2019)

Water Camp On January 12, 2019, Western Friend conducted an interview with several members of the Quaker Oaks Farm (QOF) community. Located in the Central Valley of California, Quaker Oaks Farm is an environmental and cultural learning center that is supported by Visalia Friends Meeting. Since 2013, QOF has hosted annual service-learning camps, which have brought together youth and adults from Wukchumni, Mexican-American, and Quaker communities in the Central Valley and beyond.

On Water (March 2019)

A Personal History with Korea Like many Friends, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in my youth. The Peace Corps Act includes three goals for volunteers: do a job, introduce host country locals to a U.S. young person (usually young), and bring an awareness of the host country’s culture and history back to the U.S. Of those three goals, far and away the most difficult has been that last one. Family and friends typically enjoy hearing a few stories, seeing a few pictures (even a slide show back in the day), but any in-depth thinking about the volunteer’s host country is rare. I’ve used a number of venues to talk about my host country, Korea. Now, with the current political situation, I feel again the need to share my thoughts and what I’ve learned over the years. This is a task made much more difficult by the strongly negative portrayal of the northern part of Korea today. [pullquote]Please notice that I will not use the terms “North Korea” and “South Korea,” as no countries exist with those names.[/pullquote]

On Puzzles (April 2019)

Peace Teams for the U.S. Dear Editor: The articles in Jan/Feb 2019 issue, “On Weapons,” speak my mind and enrich my thinking, each in its own way. In particular, after reading Timothy Jarvis’s call for finding a way to work on moving our local police forces back to a “Serve and Protect” mindset and then Val Liveoak’s history of Friends Peace Teams, I found myself wondering if it is time for bringing the work of the Peace Teams to the United States. Perhaps this could provide a framework for Friends who are called to change the relationship between police and communities across this country.

On Puzzles (April 2019)

On Puzzles Organelles, cells, organs, organisms, families, cultures, planets – these bodies nest within each other in irregular concentricity, one within the next, each encased by its own semi-permeable boundary. In the jigsaw puzzle of incarnation, all the pieces slip and slide, expand and contract, ignite and extinguish, push, pull, infiltrate, and emerge. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Wondrous beings abound all around, in places where I am not.

On Puzzles (April 2019)

Prayer I don’t know if you are real and I don’t want to be fooled anymore, letting myself be born into beliefs that are both wrong and profoundly harmful – two-edged sword slicing my insides as it tears stranger into enemy.

On Control (July 2019)

From "Spacious" I carry time like a tune in my head A murmuring metronome of which I’m unaware – But once,Under deep anesthetic It grew silent And I awoke not knowing Quite what day it was.

On Control (July 2019)