Memorializing our loved ones who have passed on is part of our gratitude for their lives and continued presence among us. This is what the worship-sharing group RantWoman was called to at our Meeting's workshop on Death and Dying wanted the large closing worship to hold.
RantWoman would especially note that those being memorialized are not a one, known to anyone else in Meeting except their loved ones who came to RantWoman's worship sharing. RantWoman has no freaking idea what that memorializing is supposed to look like specifically in her Meeting. RantWoman is simply going to start with Blind Roommate and in passing, since Blind Roommate went and got run over by a bus on the late Rant Father's birthday the RantFather as well.
RantWoman, who seems really a lot of the time to experience God deeply in interactions among people, with human strivings as measure of Spirit is finding herself led in unpredictable directions about the topic.
First, Blind Roommate at the time of her death was a PhD candidate at Rutgers with a fellowship in gay studies. If RantWoman had wanted to get an early start on her annual spell of reflection on Blind Roommate, bus accidents, and other interweaving threads of life, certain events at Rutgers the beginning of the school year would have been plenty of reason.
RantWoman thinks Blind Roommate would probably find sex advice columnist Dan Savage as obnoxious as RantWoman sometimes does. However, in lieu of total funk and in solidarity with people young, gay, blind, RantWoman here presents the It Gets Better Project.
http://www.itgetsbetter.org/ not particularly crash-tested for accessibility issues and Blind LGBT Pride International
RantWoman expects both resources have gender balance issues but recommends starting there anyway. RantWoman also recommends that readers who want to come pick up some resources and not meander among RantWoman's peculiar reminiscences might at this point want to click back to other social networking or weightier Quaker options.
For some reason the following item also called Blind Roommate to mind. Aliens vs Predators defense of immigrants in public schools
Blind Roommate was a graduate of NJ public schools. Her father was an immigrant from Turkey. RantWoman thinks based on some of Blind Roommate's other views about oppressions, racism, sexism that she would likely be all over the issue of immigrant children in public schools. If not, RantWoman still thinks the nonviolent activism angle is highly topical.
Blind Roommate's first name is Sara. For eccentric reasonsRantWoman will probably keep using a pseudonym. Despite Blind Roommate's death predating the arrival of the worldwide web by several years, RantWoman was led to put Blind Roommate's full name into the search engine of her choice and was touched actually at what turned up, an obituary on her HS alumni site with college Princeton references and a tender comment from Blind Roommate's sister whom RantWoman remembers as very different from Sara.
Sara loved singing in the Princeton Glee club and went to way more Princeton sporting events than one would predict from her evolving politics. She had amazing mobility skills and other skills of blindness, but she hated trying to get around the parts of campus covered quaintly in cobblestone with her white cane, especially in the snow. Sara's work study job was at the Women's Center. RantWoman remembers helping with research assistance about the red hot question of whether or not to have a pro-life task force there. Uhhhh...? RantWoman also remembers the director of the Women's Center telling Sara once to "get some guys" from our co-op house to help move a television for some event. RantWoman knows exactly why Sara asked RantWoman and a male housemate now turned famous astronomer. RantWoman did not even complain very loudly: RantWoman is noticeably taller than Famous Astronomer and weight distribution in RantWoman's experience almost never works well when two people of different heights try to move something together.
Next RantWoman decided to subject a few topics near and dear to Blind Roommate to the search engine of choice:
Womyn's Braille press http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/scrbt014.xml
RantWoman supposes she just gets to be present with general crabbiness about various subpopulations such as Quakers and Gay / Lesbian / Feminist readers having to be very intentional about access others take for granted to books in forms accessible to blind people. Oh boy is RantWoman present with this, but RantWoman is also nostalgic.
Blind Roommate was a very big supporter of Womyn's Braille Press. In fact, at one point the press was going to change its name and drop the y. RantWoman happened to be passing through Princeton the summer this was being discussed. RantWoman and Blind Roommate spent a whole afternoon in the reference section of Princeton's Firestone library playing amateur historical linguists. Blind Roommate made a whole bunch of notes from what RantWoman read and sent them off: the press kept the y. Unfortunately, the Press folded a few years later for economic reasons, but RantWoman is grateful to read that materials can still be requested via the National Library Service of the Library of Congress through interlibrary loan.
References to Womyn's Braille Press showed up in two other channels with interesting content even though RantWoman is in no position to comment about accessibility issues for other interesting content from these sources.
Women in Print http://www.litwomen.org/WIP/
RantWoman is unclear why this item got noted here but is leaving it anyway: History of National Braille Press http://www.helium.com/items/1916754-history-of-national-braille-press
One example of Sara's political passions:
The Women's Pentagon Action Unity Statement, served up with links about counterterrorism and global security which RantWoman peculiarly imagines have in mind something different from the content of the WPA statement http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-75533465.html
Also, that great standby, the War Resisters' League
Singing was a huge passion for Sara and she had a wonderful alto voice. She favored a lot of folk music including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Phil Ochs and others. One of Sara's claims to fame was that she was the only or at least the first woman ever to win the Bob Dylan sound-alike contest a a club in NY called Folk City. Like the Womyn's Braille Press, Folk City lives on only in history: Gerde's folk city
RantWoman has no idea what Sara would have thought of Bob Dylan's spiritual evolutions. RantWoman herself remains colossally ignorant of "later Dylan" and is not feeling particularly led to remedy this gap. Instead RantWoman wants to mix in Edith Piaf!
Sara visited the RantFamily one Christmas; MT sounded much better to Sara than family issues in NJ. Sara and RantWoman did the Great Bowling Alleys of North Dakota cross-country road trip aboard Greyhound. Sara had been reading Abbie Hoffman's Steal this Book and was virulently allergic to paying to use the restroom. RantWoman is going to leave to her readers' imaginations the plethora of strategies Sara devised to avoid the need to do so. When at last we arrived, warmed up, washed away 3 days worth of bus grime, Sara and RantDad immediately connected about music. Sara always treasured an Edith Piaf album RantDad gave her before we headed back to college, and when RantWoman needs to describe Sara's voice, somewhere between Edith Piaf and Bob Dylan is what comes out.
The other memorable Sara and RantDad moment was a couple years after the Christmas visit. Sara and another classmate, Leo hitchhiked from NJ to ID to attend the Rainbow Gathering,
RantWoman pleaded work or insufficient zeal for that particular form of be-in or RantWoman is really not sure what. For one thing Hitchhiking did NOT sound like fun to RantWoman. RantWoman did volunteer the RantParents' front yard if the hitchhikers needed a place to camp and their travel arrangements aligned with the right interstate. When the travellers reached MT, their transportation settled on the northern route., by passing the RantParents. Sara called the RantParents to say thanks but no thanks. Sara's quote about the conversation "your father gave me such a lecture about hitchhiking that it kept me awake all the way across MT and that is a LONG time."
On that note, RantWoman will close for now. RantWoman is sifting through her firehose delivery of memorial minutia meditating about more focussed memorializing. RantWoman also needs to follow up on one moreexcursion to the search engine of her choice, but this posting is convoluted enough that for now RantWoman is just going to STOP and keep remembering.