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Snowflakes

“I don’t want to think about that stuff and I’m not going to write about it either.” John grabbed his backpack and stalked out the door.  I had pushed too hard. It had happened in a moment, and he was gone.

On Insight (March 2017)

Resource on Friends and Politics

Dear Editor: How perfect! We are about to have a retreat here in Flagstaff with a focus on the question of Friends and politics. We were going to try to put together a compilation of quotations from “historic Friends” on this topic. And we have found on your website that you have done it for us. You are always so timely and in tune with Meetings in the West! I hope we can share with Western Friend what comes out of this retreat.

On Balance (May 2017)

Spiritual Reconstruction

The following text is an abridged version of a longer article found at westernfriend.org/media/spiritual-reconstruction-unabridged.

On Politics (July 2017)

Emancipation without Freedom

Racism and white supremacy, the malignant cancers plaguing America today, are a joint system destroying black and brown bodies. In the past, the Klan did that destroying. Today, statistics do. Those statistics amount to the erasure of people. The destruction of black and brown bodies is hidden in statistics on poor health, poor housing, inadequate schooling, over-policed communities, and mass incarceration. These social ills, which overwhelmingly affect black and brown communities, are ills that Friends can help to correct. With the realization of their whiteness and their dominant position within a racialized country, Friends have the power to define spaces outside their communities, as well as the opportunity to break the past and change the future of race relations.

On Politics (July 2017)

Who Left their Dishes in the Sink?

I began exploring my spiritual path through Buddhist meditation in my early twenties. Since that time, I have attended five weeklong, silent, Buddhist retreats. These were pivotal to my spiritual growth and developing self-awareness. My last one was in December, and I realized two things. First, to be in silence is a practice that gives me the space and grounding I need to seek authentic wholeness and to strive to align my life with a higher purpose. Second, I realized that because I knew no one at these silent retreats, I was essentially surrounded by strangers, and I left with unsettling feelings of emptiness. In the last decade, I have grown to love the continuous community of Quakers. Recently, I have been feeling more guided to keep my spirituality contained within Quakerism, as it is my home.

On Home (September 2017)

Fifty Years of Right Sharing

A few months ago, I visited a Friends church in Indianapolis. They have a tradition that, for the first few minutes of each worship service, the children go up to the front row for a brief lesson.

On Garbage (November 2017)

Women Doing Life

An interview with Lora Lempert

On Captivity (January 2018)

Towards a Quaker View of Love

[The author chose the title of this article to honor the ground-breaking 1963 pamphlet from Friends in England, Towards a Quaker View of Sex.]

On Expansion (May 2018)

Beyond Red and Blue

The creatures in the ocean were dying. An old woman sneaked up to the shoreline and quietly picked up a few emaciated fish – red ones and blue ones. She put them in her pockets and took them away. She nurtured them back to health in a clean pond where they thrived and propagated. When she had a large number of each, she took them back to the sea. Everything turned purple and flourished.

On Expansion (May 2018)