Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Eid Mubrarak

RantWoman had to ask too: what are some customary greetings during Ramadan and the Eid right after.

During Ramadan
Ramadan Mubarak  or   Ramadan Kareem

For the Eid (feast) at the end of the month:
Eid mubarak

RantWoman notes all of the above along with this item from a rarely-viewed email stream about history of celebrating Ramadan in the US:

"Many forget that the first Muslims to celebrate Ramadan in America
were African slaves."
Ramadan: A centuries-old American tradition - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

RantWoman would like to have something literate to say about the procession of Ramadan around the year. RantWoman would like this but God and the rest of us are going to have to live with who shows up today.

The Kingdom within: blog as filing cabinet and the vexations of filing.

Snapshots from RantWoman's morning media diet / distractions / spiritual dipping gourd.

Iris Graville:
It will be a joy to hold Iris' new teaching effort in the Light. MAYBE RantWoman will get around to reading more of what is here. And we won't even talk about which parts of this are available in accessible formats or which parts RantWoman should just enjoy aloud because she will not have time to read the whole thing anyway.

How do you define your calling?

Viv Hawkins in the Facebook-based Friends' Spiritual Accountability Group
Today's daily meditation from Inward/ Outward of the Church of the Saviour in DC seems to me to apply to spiritual accountability and the plausibility structures an ongoing group can create to support faithfulness. Some might call it "taking up one's cross."

Going Up the Stream
"Because those who enter the kingdom must enter as individuals, the way to the kingdom is never the path of least resistance but a narrow, difficult and winding way. As long as a person is identical with a group consciousness, he or she follows the easiest road, inclining to those instincts, attitudes and mass movements that are the easiest to follow at the time. An individual set against the group consciousness, however, begins to swim up the stream instead of down and suffers the pain and difficulty of becoming conscious, no longer able to hide from anxiety in a mass identity. Anxiety is inevitable for those who enter into the kingdom."
John Sanford
Source: The Kingdom Within

RantWoman is unclear how well these items intertwine and is led to save them just in the folder of the day, along with reflections about time, different media streams and how we weave things among media streams through face-to-face sharing. But RantWoman has to hold this while trying to go back to work!

Who are we all called to become?


RantWoman again has trouble getting brain home from Quaker travels. Furthermore,  RantWoman muddles messages of Young Adult Friends plenary with literary titles:


Ivan Turgenev: Father’s and Sons

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Brothers Karamazov

Andrei Bely: Petersburg.

Anatoly Rybakov: Children of the Arbat


RantWoman repeats the message she was given during worship, with emphasis: find something to say yes to and wade into the Living Water. That’s how all those moldering elders did it. RantWoman is confident you can too.


RantWoman had conversations with one young adult Friend and one adult close in age to RantWoman. At the worship, Friends would stand to speak and the mike runner would apply further discernment as to whom to present the mic o. The mike runner was a young adult Friend.  RantWoman specifically spoke to the Friends she mentioned because they were not offered the mike. The Young Adult Friend can speak for himself. He used language RantWoman can unambiguously relate to. But RantWoman will get close enough with the words of her other conversation:?

“If you had been able to speak, what would you have said?”

Something RantWoman stored as “Love yourself fully so you are able to love other people.”

 RantWoman: I think it’s really nice to sit around loving ourselves but sooner or later I like to get some work done too.”

 RantWoman means no disrespect to those assembled. But thoughts that did not make it out of her mouth:

 Some people stay away in faithfulness to concerns about overconsumption.

 Some of the Friends in RantWoman’s Yearly Meeting doing the most credible witness about racism never come to Annual Session, partly because of cost, partly because of a sense that there is little there to feed them.

 RantWoman further ruminates:

We say we believe in continuing revelation, recreation of God in new memes to match neew times. Who are the John Woolmans of the day. Who are the abolitionists in danger of getting read out of Meeting? Who are we called to be? Who are we called to become?

Morning Gratitudes and self-care notes; yesterday's

Morning Gratitudes and Self Care.

Thank you God for the new laptop, all the new software, the irksome fact that Windows 8.1 plus RantWoman’s accessibility software plus several features of the laptop in question just are NOT playing well together. Thank you God that RantWoman is home with DSL instead of on the road and trying to get connecting to WiFI to the mix or feeling self-conscious about computer voices disturbing roommates when RantWoman kind of hates earphones. RantWoman nevertheless feels fully entitled to a technology themed meltdown and will try to get one scheduled promptly.


Thank you God for two Quaker gatherings in close succession. RantWoman almost skipped both of them on grounds of work obligations. RantWoman has been too psychically paralyzed to focus on work anyway and God decided RantWoman needed to put own oxygen mask on first. Thank you God that t0 and t1 and careful use of the blind copy function in the diection of someone RantWoman was pretty certain would be able to feed RantWoman back really helpful “I see” data without the “Go away” or “ meet our expectations and understandnings of the situation” baggage accompanying other “I see”’s.


Thank you God that the cat is so glad to see RantWoman that Kitty lid not seem to care that RantWoman half slept on her tail.


Thank you God for the container of zucchini stew in the freezer and the container of oatmeal prepared to RantWoman’s taste in the refrigerator.


Thank you God for the conversation, NOT at highway speeds about things the passengers both wish the driver would ASK FOR HELP about at highway speeds. Thank you God that both passengers were clear that not trying to have the needed conversation at highway speeds was a really good idea.


Thank you God that the driver received suggestions that someone’s Spidey sense of travel in the wrong direction. Thank you God that the driver fessed up that a drive out to the OR coast sounded more fun than the household transitionsa awaiting her at home. Thank you God that the driver  attended to RantWoman’s preference that those in car have a shared sense of what turns and road numbers would be needed and in what sequence. Thank you God that the driver pulled over and interacted with the GPS sufficiently that the designated navigator could actually navigate at highway speeds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NPYM Peace and Social Concerns Report annotated

RantWoman has NO desire to supplant the role of the NPYM webkeeper, but this showed up in email and RantWoman is wont to editorialize anyway so....

July 2014
As part of the Yearly Meeting restructuring process some years ago, a new Peace and Social Concerns standing committee was set up in 2009.It was to be composed of 5 members, serving terms of 2-year, with the possibility of serving a second term.  The committee experienced delays in getting going (health issues, non-availability of clerk), but members were able to pull together and begin to develop firm plans in early 2013, and soon were happy to welcome a new clerk.

Following is a brief listing of our work of this past year.
     -  Survey of 37 Meetings and Worship Groups in NPYM to learnabout peace and justice work being done locally.  In January 2014 theresults were put together and sent out to each group
(westernfriend.org/?  p=3286)
     -  Prepared an article for Western Friend by our member CimsGillespie, published in the July/August 2014 issue
     -  Sent messages to Meetings and groups in this area with background information on several issues and encouraging local groups  to take action on:
             1.  Authorization for the Use of Military Force
             2.  Torture
             3.  Drones
     -  Worked on developing a list-serve
     -   Developed plans to offer an Interest Group at Annual Sessionon:  "Spirit-Led Action for Justice and Peace in NPYM."

We have held two face-to-face meetings during the year, and 4
conference call meetings.

We have had some discussion about the ongoing work of this committee.

We would like to have more young people on the committee.  A question has been raised about being limited to six members.  Perhaps a range of 6 - 9 members could be considered, to allow more flexibility?

Also  a 2 year term may mean faster turnover than is useful.

Each committee member has been active and enthusiastic about seeing this work continue and expand.  We plan to update the Survey each year, and seek out other ways to facilitate and encourage work for peace with justice in the Pacific Northwest.

Kate Hunter, Clerk, Vashon Island Worship Group
Tom Ewell, Whidbey Island Meeting
Cims Gillespie, Eugene and Multnomah Meetings
Rose Lewis, Salem Meeting
Steve Willey, Sand Point Meeting
Ruth Yarrow, University Meeting

RantWoman comments:
RantWoman recognizes all the names here except one. RantWoman knows that everyone whose name she recognizes is well past 60. RantWoman appreciates the offerings of everyone present but STRONGLY encourages approval of a recommendation to increase the size of the committee and to 9-12 members, with specific direction to nominating committee both to aim for younger people and to encourage this committee to think about how it might draw younger people into its work.

RantWoman notes that:
    --Many young adults could benefit from internship experiences.
   --Other Friends have talked about short term internships to help with the work of planning annual session.
   --Other organizations such as FCWPP have talked about a similar need for interns who can do short-term stints.

RantWoman ardently wishes that people thinking about short-term internships for different Quaker organizations could put our heads together, figure out what is needed in general terms as far as meeting academic requirements,providing people short-term learning opportunities, and then work out a framework that individual organizations could adapt for their own purposes.

The list of issues the committee engages about are not the issues most urgent in RantWoman's thinking. However, in reading State of Society reports, RantWoman has formed the impression that lots of Friends are active in their communities. Is there value in this committee helping Friends with shared concerns connect with each other?

RantWoman thinks that if one wants to recruit younger participants it might be nice to have a sense of what younger Friends are interested in and working on and how that might mesh with  the committee's work. RantWoman is in Make it So mode, not Please sign me up mode but RantWoman does have the same concern about mutually meaningful involvement of opeople younger than herself in Friends Committee on WA PUblic Policy though and might be interested to think about possible synergy.

RantWoman thinks it is fine and in fact positive if this committee explicitly mentions its connections with or alignment with other Quaker organizations and encourages the committee to think about both communicating connections that exist and communicating its own identity. RantWoman wonders whether it would be useful to look at the websites of other Yearly Meetings to see whether there are standing Peace and Social Concerns committees and if so, how do they present their work.

RantWoman would probably sign up for a notices-only listerve as long as notices included contact info and specific asks Friends might further engage in.

RantWoman would be interested to hear whether these thoughts resonate with others.

RantWoman is also interested in live conversations about this report or other's Light on it.

Oh Weighty Friend, How does thee prefer to be Eldered?

Oh Weighty Friend,

First, please bear with RantWoman. It's zucchini season or soon and RantWoman seems to want to vine all over the place.

Second, please forgive RantWoman if mentioning the teensy little tiny possibility that thee might EVER need to be eldered distresses you and just in case, bear with RantWoman about the following.

How does thee prefer to be eldered? In person? By email? In a box? With a fox? In a blog? On a log? Oh wait, should we leave Dr. Seuss out of here?

RantWoman remembers a conversation some time ago about service dogs. The conversation was not only about service dogs and you had been on RantWoman's list of people she MIGHT have spoken to of other pieces of the story. But the real problem is that you said "But we have allergies." RantWoman is sorry you have allergies and does not want to minimize the problem.

At the time though, RantWoman's brain was too full of other pieces of the story to ask you in person obvious questions: "Why should your expectations about service dogs be different at Quaker gatherings than elsewhere?" or "What can others do to help make the situation manageable for everyone?"

RantWoman is aware of and grateful for MUCH faithful work specifically about service dogs. This includes well researched information , including points findable on RantWoman's other blog if needed. RantWoman hopes if you have encountered service dogs at Quaker events you have found the experience manageable ?

RantWoman's own life abounds in service dog stories and can ALWAYS us holding in the Light about the topic. RantWoman also wonders whether others among us might need holding in the Light about something or other just to enjoy and participate in large gatherings?

For instance, at places like Annual Session small dogs on leashes with their humans in places like dining halls fry RantWoman's nerves. Sometimes poorly trained dogs do not know how to deal with Ambassador Thwack the badly behaved White Cane. A person with even less vision who uses a seeing eye dog can have worse problems. Sometimes dogs just bark so the blind person is aware of the dog. Sometimes unsupervised dogs are a serious nuisance and distraction for even the most well-behaved seeing eye dogs.

Sometimes Ambassador Thwack is just being indolent and lounging folded up in a RantWoman bag and shirking his "don't say I did not warn you duties as far as reducing RantWoman's odds of unintentional collisions with everyone and everything.
Sometimes RantWoman is knowingly wilfully not wanting to deal with Ambassador Thwack on top of food and drink and sort of appropriate exhortations like "Accept Help Dammit."
But since RantWoman is having thunderous leadings about people waring too many hats and trying to find many heads who know how to wear some hats, RantWoman is just posting this to the blogosphere and thinking about how to encourage Friends to OFFER if they see someone who might need a little help of some kind. RantWoman is also serious about OFFER / ASK first though. RantWoman supposes it would be good to uphold, say, the Annual Session Planning committee in thinking about such issues systematically, but we still are all ministers of God

As an aside, PLEASE be cautious even about well-meant offers before RantWoman has connected with morning coffee and oatmeal.

And while we are at it, PLEASE ask before you go around hugging people. RantWoman knows that misguided hugs and even pats on the back cand cause thunderous pain for people with some kinds of joint or back issues. RantWoman theoretically gets to invoke her "Be glad to have only your own problems" clause about the issue of hugs and too much "Grab the Blind person and bless them." RantWoman usually LIKES hugs but definitely prefers to ask or be asked first!
Oh Weighty Friend, thank you for reading all this. Do we need to talk in person specifically about anything here?
In the Light,

Baggage, social media #NPYM2014

The short takeaway: Mleah. If RantWoman could change the schedule of plenaries she would.
If there were a 12-step program for compulsive event planners (Stop me before I plan again!) RantWoman could arguably be encouraged to sign up. RantWoman DOES NOT think changing the schedule this year is feasible but does need to post the rest of this as part of overall communications / time management / be true to her Light and present with the firy fringes of her spiritual compost heap strategy.

1. RantWoman will use the tag NPYM 2014 on this blog for items specifically related to the upcoming Annual Session. If RantWoman posts other things here on the same timeframe, chances are the post might contain further tips about Planet RantWoman and invitation to others to interact about what works for them.

2. RantWoman suggests that people who Tweet / twitter /etc use the hashtag #NPYM2014. If someone has a different idea, bring it on and let's connect.

3. RantWoman will encourage the clerk to post a way for people who blog and do Twitter to connect and follow. If you do not already know RantWoman's real name and want to know her twitter handle, leave a comment and RantWoman will oblige.

4. RantWoman really likes using the time when people are gathered to do incremental work on projects that can be worked on between gatherings. RantWoman has been given ferociously clear Light about some topics where she would like oo do this but is challenged about connecting with people who might be so led. RantWoman will try to speak to topics in plenaries but will separately post thoughts already on her mind.

5. RantWoman will try to observe in blog posts a standard that also makes more manageable email:
 --Use clear subject lines / titles.
--One topic per posting.
--Change the subject line when the topic changes: if trying to weave together several topics consider whether to use links to separate blog posts.
--RantWoman wil try to communicate suggestions for Annual Session processes through regular Annual Session processes BUT may use the blog for some trial balloon ideas. If they interest you either positively or negatively,  PLEASE comment. If readers disagree and there are no comments, please find RantWoman before flying off the handle and demanding immediate action.
--Hurry up and get tis item posted before it violates even more of the above standards than it already does.

6. RantWoman is used to public participation processes where things get discussed and sometimes hashed out by emil  / in electronic fora BUT the process is part of refining what gets brought to a live public meeting where decisions get made. RantWoman thinks that is a VERY good standard for things Friends might want to talk about at Annual Session.

RantWoman is perusing documents and assembling baggage in preparation for the North PacificYearly Meeting Annual Session. RantWoman proposes to pack at least some of it in blog nibbles.

RantWoman  proposes to do this for a few different reasons:
--RantWoman HUMBLY appreciates the clerk and others asking her some questions about what helps RantWoman participate in meetings; RantWoman's sense of fairness and transparency suggests that the whole world be offered the opportunity to experience many of the same opinions as RantWoman is inflicting on the Clerk. This does NOT mean RantWoman MEANS to speak every opinion that might get stashed in her blog. Nor will RantWoman be mortally offended by hostile review (Post away: I moderate comments.) but since one of the documents RantWoman is reviewing is about communications, RantWoman is more than happy to wade in with all the pluses and minuses of this particular medium and this particular medium in this timeframe. (Stay tuned: will anyone make a #hashtag ?)

--RantWoman this year has THREE electronic devices on which she might display notes, documents: one Kindle, one Smartphone, and one brand stinking new lenovo laptop vexing RantWoman's immortal soul with Windows 8.1  plus her usual legal pad. RantWoman is actually kind of tremulous about a whole room full of people with their faces in their devices, even when the devices are accessibility aids. So RantWoman is unclear what she wishes God and the Clerk would require on this question.

The electronic devices are also fussy, irksom, variably accessible, not counting earphones which RantWoman hates and knows perfectly well she should wear for others' sanity.  MAYBE with all that technology RantWoman will be able to keep thoughts organized enough that they make it out of her mouth in forms comprehensible on the first pass to others. After all, as far as RantWoman knows, we don't do clarifying questions. That just is not done among Quakers.

--RantWoman has various agendas and seekings that RantWoman would prefer NOT get swallowed up in business meeting gone awry.

So, after a respectful period of silence,

RantWoman's first opinion:


RantWoman loves an opening evening of Meeting for Worship, especially an event run by people younger than she.

RantWoman has not managed to find enough of a link easily to form an opinion of the Friends in Residence. Whoever they are, RantWoman would, off the block, like to start a day with Friends in Residence and then have worship sharing and THEN after lunch wade into Meeting for Business.

The first day schedule of plenaries as currently listed:
 Structure Evaluation Committee
Friends in Residence
Worship sharing, except for those overtaken by Meeting for napping.
RantWoman knows the structure evaluation is important, but yuck! RantWoman would SO like to get us started off worshipfully with the Friends in Residence and worship sharing and THEN wade into Meeting for Business. RantWoman can live with  the possibility that she is the only person who thinks this but she would be thrilled if that were not the case. RantWoman recognizes that this also adds the after lunch Meeting for Napping element to Structure Evaluation RantWoman recognizes this and would leave it in God's hands.

Humbly offered... Please hold in Light