Friday, December 30, 2011

Elevator Speech

RantWoman's recent holiday procrastination party was well covered. Enough people braved seasonal torrents which began just as travel was needed. Friends and people from SHARE who sleep on our floor at night and random other friends of RantWoman's had cheerful conversation. Some brought or wore T-shirts with funny stories. Conversation was relaxed, comfortable. More than one Friend commented afterward that it was nice just to gather without any heavy agenda. RantWoman has also stored up some other voices thinking a quarterly Ministry of Potluck would be wonderful thing. Hold that thought.

RantWoman once threw a party, invited guests of her choice, and had different clumps of her guests all say afterward "we were nice to THOSE people but we would never talk to them anywhere but your house. So please don't invite us to the same events anymore." Fine. RantWoman stopped inviting most of them anywhere. Fine.

This time, RantWoman knowingly, willfully, with intent aforethought included in her invitee list, some combinations of people for whom RantWoman thought it possible she might hear analogous requests. RantWoman invited Mr. and Mrs. Friend with the Remarkable Story. RantWoman invited a few people she knows from their work lives. RantWoman was thinking about her past party story when one of those she invited emailed RantWoman his procrastination / why he missed the party story: he was on a plane because of some form of airline procrastination.

RantWoman looked at the latest job title in this person's email and realized he might, for work reasons, be in a position to have heard of the Friend with the Remarkable Story. RantWoman has been thinking about the possibility of this coming up in conversation. RantWoman found herself thinking of elevator speech angles. RantWoman did NOT find herself thinking of any clear elevator speech except "Guest, this is Friend with a Remarkable Story. Friend with the Remarkable Story, this is Guest who works in...." RantWoman thinks this Guest would handle things with equanamity. Thanks to the airline, RantWoman gets to procrastinate about opportunity to make any such introduction and find out.

At one point in all the cheerful party chatter a Friend asked RantWoman about something from the most recent Business Meeting which also indireclty referred to the Friend with the Remarkable Story. Urk! RantWoman and Inquiring Friend were seated at a table full of people from RantWoman's life outside Meeting including RantMom. RantWoman SO wanted this to be her party. RantWoman SO had no interest in "Ooh! There's a (Friend with a Remarkable Story) at my party" conversations. RantWoman so did not have any clear elevator speech in mind about any of several topics which might need conversational attention. RantWoman so wanted it to be her party and so felt no obligation to go on at length about the Friend with the Remarkable Story. RantWoman to Inquiring Friend, "How about I call you about that?"

Nevertheless, RantWoman is making a list of topics about which good elevator speech soundbytes are apt to be needed:

Restorative Justice

Alternatives to Violence

Sex Offender Treatment

Sex Offender Registration and Notification.

and on the Victim / Survivor side:

Effects of traumatization

Trauma Recovery
(RantWoman in telling too much of the Truth mode currently has a sense that everyone thinks they understand these last two because Meeting has been discussing the Safest Sex Offender on the Planet for a gazillion years. Guess what the Telling too much of the Truth point would be.)

Quaker PR for Dummies. Okay, RantWoman realizes she is already in need of the remedial course of this, but onward in the Light anyway!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

God in DC

RantWoman has been seasoning thoughts related to some blog bits about our nation's capital. If RantWoman were to pose her reflections in terms of queries, RantWoman would say "How is one called to live in the light and power... among the gifts and obligations inherent in a specific place?"

Micah Bales

Jim Wallis

On the other hand, if RantWoman were to offer responses, albeit unsolicited to such queries:

RantWoman feels no call to offer Jim Wallis advice during his sabbatical. RantWoman considers the opportunity to interact with the Sojourners community unquestionably an attraction about living in Washington dC. Rantwoman especially appreciates prayer centered on God in connection with much that seems broken in our nation's polarized political paralysis.

Two words: prayer breakfast. RantWoman has NO clue about the protocol for securing invitations to such. RantWoman just knows that there are options.... Where two or more are gathered in my name...

The gift of hospitality: being located in the nation's capital guarantees endless opportunities to help different categories of people connect with overnight lodging: visiting Friends, people who come to town for FCNL events, people who come for other lobbying reasons, as well as demonstrations. One need not overdo hospitality in one's own home to have an endless stream of visitors and opportunities for dialogue, shared tourism experiences, other entertainment.

Staying in touch with your home state: RantWoman's experience is that one never really stops being from somewhere. Sometimes this means one is both blessed and called to interact on that basis. RantWoman has the impression that every state probably has some kind of a club for people from that State. When RantWoman lived in DC, she went with an old family friend to a couple events for people from her natal state. RantWoman ALWAYS met interesting people and had interesting and unexpected conversations she might never have had otherwise.

Mostly, RantWoman thinks, trust your Light also about when it is time to stay in one place for however long one is led to do that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


RantWoman needs to hold two stories of the World's Most Irrepressible Nephew and weaponry. RantWoman is thoroughly rattled on her own behalf by the second weapon tale, about which PERHAPS separately. In the meantime, is one a completely Bad Friend if one heaves a monstrous sigh of gratitude because blow guns are now on Time Out at Irrepressible Nephew's house for ALL of Christmas vacation?

The first weapons story: there was the time a couple years ago when Irrepressible Nephew was expressing typical holiday STUFF desires. He was especially interested in swords and may even have wanted to forge something. RantWoman is unclear about how the fantasy forge was to get fired up; RantWoman just remembers it being a theme one time at Little Sister's house.

Also a theme: oh, Quaker Auntie, YOUR nephew wants to make weaponry. Would you please talk him out of it?

Mind you, the household is bathed in television and permissible movies are heavy on "hero saves the world" themes where a certain manly mastery of weaponry is part of the ambiance. Auntie does not get asked about this. Auntie does not necessarily entirely object and even manages to be a little broad-minded, respectful of Nephew finding his own path and more understandings--unless Quaker Auntie also gets called in for emergency sword persuasion.

RantWoman at the time of that request looked the Nephew up and down. RantWoman thought of the story about George Fox and Ben Franklin and the sword. RantWoman looked at nephew. RantWoman assessed her own capacity (NOT) for telling the story. RantWoman assessed a very high probability of Irrepressible Nephew's, Little Sister's, and RantMom's eyes all glazing over so hard even RantWoman could tell. RantWoman said a prayer and was answered with...RantDad, aka Nephew's RantGrandad.

RantDad performed in the sort of Renaissance ensembles that, a time or two, drew fans from the local Society of Creative Anachronism, medieval re-enactors not generally known to brave the thresholds of the kinds of venues (churches) where the Renaissance ensembles performed. The SCA types admitted to admiring the music. RantWoman is wondering whether some of them also admired the weaponry.

The weaponry? RantDad had a truly awesome and formidable arsenal of medieval mayhem inducement prop weaponry--generally made of cardboard and tinfoil! There were swords, daggers, a battle axe or two, a mace... RantWoman spun the best tale she could of all this and Irrepressible Nephew...immediately lost interest in everything to do with forging weaponry in the living room!

This year, Nephew has been wanting to make himself a bow and arrow. RantWoman admits to admiring archery herself in the abstract, where eyes function well enough to get arrows somewhere near a target. RantWoman is unclear about the presence of actual bows and arrows in Nephew's household. RantWoman IS aware that Irrpressible Nephew is now computer literate enough to fantasize with the help of search engines. The most recent object of these fantasies: blow guns!

A couple weeks ago, the First Day shared RantFamily bus run to our separate houses of worship featured much commentary about blow guns. Irrepressible Nephew regaled Auntie in great detail of different options for tips and scenarios for using the different tips. RantWoman had not previously thought even to need such information, but Irrepressible Nephew was waxing enthusiastic with elan. No one had thought of blow guns when RantDad was assembling his Renaissance arsenal so there was no chance mention of heritage would cause Irrepressible Nephew to lose interest.


Instead, Irrepressible Nephew had a bad day on the playground at school on Friday. It was the kind of bad day where Mom gets called in the middle of the morning and must go meet the assistant principal. It was the kind of bad day where nephew was immediately contrite and remorseful. Nephew is responsible for his choices and cooperative, and the situation most definitely needs remorse!

By the sounds of things, Nephew is blessed with a wise assistant principal: Nephew has grown A LOT in recent months and wise principle recognizes that sometimes one's body grows faster than one's mastery of what new forces can do. Nephew also has professionals in his life with different letters behind their name, parents and a grandmother who faithfully noted five behaviors Nephew is to work on. Quaker Auntie requested but so far has not received a copy of the behavior list; maybe Quaker Auntie gets simply to quiz Nephew at some point. Quaker Auntie actually wants to quiz Nephew about responsibility, about forgiveness and restorative justice practices at his school but this weeks's bus ride was not the place! Nephew is suspended for 3 days! And the blow guns are on TIME OUT for all of Christmas vacation!


So prayers needed all around.

RantWoman wants to root for the boy growing, learning his own limits! And RantWoman is praying about puberty on the horizon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UnChristmas UnBirthday Holiday Procrastination Party

It’s an Un-Christmas, Un-Birthday
Finally Getting Around to Admitting I’m 50
Holiday Procrastination Party.

You and anyone you want to bring are invited.

Wednesday December 28, 2011
4:30-8:30 pm
University Friends Meeting,
4001 9th Avenue NE, 98105

I will supply popcorn, spiced cider and other beverages.
I hope my guests will supply:

--potluck supper, 6 pm: leftovers are fine with me

--singing! There is a piano and some song books. Other instruments welcome. I know lots of people from different parts of my life who like to sing. Enough said

--confessions and exclamations about something you have not gotten around to this month, this year, this lifetime.

Ice-breaker Theme: Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt.
Please wear a favorite T-shirt and be prepared to tell and listen to T-Shirt tales.

Children are welcome. Singing and storytelling are intended to be all-ages. Children might also want to bring a small item to amuse themselves.

Please DO NOT Bring Alcoholic beverages!

I just want to have a party and gifts are NOT required! However I have not gotten around to letting others help celebrate a half century of my life and I am definitely old enough to be persnickety. If people want to offer gifts for the occasion I am shamelessly offering clear instructions about things I want / need.

-- If you want to spend less than $5, I would love to have bulk spices or favorite salsa, teas or chocolate, in increments costing $5 or less. I also need some new mugs and have not gotten around to checking out options at Goodwill.

--If you want to spend $5-10, I really need a couple items that cost more than this but I would be happy to help people collaborate.

--If you want to spend $10 or more or want a tax deduction, please write a check to the UFM Building Fund.

Look, I know the party starts during work hours for some people. It’s cold and dark and wintry and some people in my life turn into pumpkins early. This party will likely include guests interested in digital inclusion, accessibility, language access, walkability and pedestrian life, transportation, social services, health care reform, and a host of other topics. So tell the boss it’s networking, and if you are the boss…

There is parking on the north side of the building. There is also a paid lot on the east side of 9th Ave NE, slightly north of the Friends Meeting

Send a note if you need more detailed walking directions from nearby bus stops than you can get off the trip planner

The ACCESS stop is on 9th Avenue NE near the level section of the entryway that is most wheelchair accessible.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hit the Hallelujah Button with Mormons at the Bellagio

Here is the perfect riposte to all those tiresome, dull as paste, Christmas every day, fly into a lather about worldliness Quakers: the Hallelujah chorus, sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in time with the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

RantWoman really, really, really likes this. RantWoman could be OVER the Hallelujah Chorus already thank you very much, but there is something so over the top about trying to squeeze the Mormon Tabernacle Choir out of computer speakers!

But check out the Daily Hallelujah your own darn selves and see.

The Final March out of Iraq?

Dear President Obama,

RantWoman appreciates the concern for our returning troops embodied in the words below. RantWoman means to do the best she can to pen an appropriate welcome home greeting, but so far all that is coming to mind is tirades about matters RantWoman does not consider our returning troops first in line to be responsible for dealing with.

RantWoman also apologizes. RantWoman has been attending to this month's processions of punditry about our troops departing Iraq. RantWoman keeps finding herself thinking of a certain famous photo of your predecessor in office standing on an aircraft carrier under a "Mission Accomplished" sign. RantWoman notes tartly that our troops are coming home because the Iraqi government declined them further invitation to stay. RantWoman also notes that our country is leaving behind the largest US embassy in the world, staffed by more of the unaccountable contractors who have caused so much trouble to our nation's image already.

RantWoman will now shut up and and pray, discern, seek Light and in the meantime....

Good afternoon,
After nearly nine years, our war in Iraq is ending.

In recent days, many of our troops have come home and been reunited with their families for the holidays. Over the next few days, a small group of American soldiers will begin the final march out of Iraq.
This moment of success is because of their sacrifice. More than 1.5 million Americans have served in Iraq. More than 30,000 of these brave men and women were wounded. Nearly 4,500 gave their lives. America’s military families have borne a heavy burden.

As we mark the end of this war, we need to show our veterans and their families that they have the thanks of a grateful nation.

Take a minute to look back at the moments that brought us to this point, then share a personal message of gratitude with those who have served.

Part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it. It's not enough to honor our heroes with words; we must do so with deeds.

That's why we've worked to send 600,000 veterans and family members back to school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill. That's why one of Michelle's top priorities as First Lady has been to support military families and why she's worked with the private sector to get commitments to create 100,000 jobs for those who've served and their spouses. That's why we worked with Congress to pass a tax credit so that companies have an incentive to hire vets and have taken steps to help veterans translate military experience to the private sector job market.

In America, our commitment to those who fight for our freedom and our ideals doesn't end when our troops take off the uniform.

You can be a part of this effort to honor our heroes.

Help mark this moment. Write a quick note that troops and veterans all over the world will be able to see:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

God, Spam, Wal-Mart, A White Rose

RantWoman thinks she has previously confessed to a reflex left over from a long ago spell of employment in tech support to treat all items such as the one below as CHAIN LETTERS, evil cycle- and storage-sucking menaces to electronic productivity. You try explaining this to RantMom. Plus, before that, it came from a church friend of RantMom's who as far as RantWoman knows ALWAYS needs prayers. So...

One more thing: Drive safely. NEVER Drink and Drive. God has plenty to do and does not need more tasks like thi.

Still another thing: this blog post BETTER count as passing it along, okay!

Isn't God Great? If only we all had the Faith of this child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was walking around in a WalMart store, when I saw a cashier hand this little boy some money back. The boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old.

The cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll.'

Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him, ''Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?''

The old lady replied, ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.''

Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and
I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.'

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all, and not to worry.

But he replied to me sadly. 'No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.'

His eyes were so sad while saying this, 'My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.''

My heart nearly stopped.

The little boy looked up at me and said, 'I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.' Then
he showed me a very nice photo of himself. He was laughing. He then told me 'I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me.'

'I love my mommy and I wish she didn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.'

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. 'Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll!''

'OK' he said, 'I hope I do have enough.' I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said, 'Thank you God for giving me enough money!'

Then he looked at me and added, 'I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll,
so that mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me!''

'I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.''

'My mommy loves white roses.'

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket. I finished my shopping in a totally different state of mind from when I started.

I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.

Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little
girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the

Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away.

I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest.

I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine, and in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

Now you have 2 choices:
1) Send this message to others, or
2) Ignore it as if it
never touched your heart.
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno, 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to the other, and with the threat of swine flu and terrorist attacks: Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

For those who prefer to think that God is not watching over us delete this, for the others, pass it on!

God Bless You!

Dear God,

The person reading this is beautiful and strong.

Help them to live their life to the fullest in Your service.

Please promote them and cause them to excel above their expectations.

Help them shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love.

Protect them at all times, lift them up when they need You the most, and let them know when they walk with You, they will always be safe.

Now you're on the clock!
You need to tell 9 friends you care for them. Go!

For Jip

Jip and John are a couple who lived in limbo between University Meeting and South Seattle as the new Meeting formed and Jip lived with MS. Our Meetings are a little erratic about doing memorials when someone is not a member or status is in transition. In Jip's case, both Meetings did a joint memorial minute, read in Business Meeting on Sunday.

Jip before her illness was a nurse and a social worker with an international focus. Jip was from Thailand. When she was first diagnosed with MS, doctors advised her to avoid warm climates such as her native Thailand. At some point it became clear that Thailand was a better place for her to be for lots of reasons. She died there last summer after a long and debilitating struggle with MS. Two phrases stood out besides the biographical details in her memorial minute:

Watering the seeds of joy

It (MS) will make me a better Buddhist.

RantWoman is in no position to evaluate the concept of better Buddhist so she will digress briefly, to matters of Buddhism in European languages, one inquiry from email about French, Braille and accessible dictionaries, one in a movie review about reincarnation in Italy, perhaps with the note that it's an interesting theme during Advent.

Jip's memorial minute said hardly anything about her husband John. Perhaps that is because he helped write the minute. Perhaps it is because he is already way beyond tender about how difficult her illness made Jip sometimes. Business Meeting was clear that Jip's memorial minute should include special appreciation of John's care and devotion.

Jip stopped seeing years ago and probaby never learned Braille, and I think they were vegetarians, but since this poem showed up in my inbox, it's offered here dedicated to John.

Except for the poem here, the book is only available in Braille. RantWoman is unclear about legalities and options to turn E-Braille back into text. To be honest, RantWoman wants to savor the poem and think about that question another time.

The Poetry of Everyday Life
This is a collection of 20th and 21st century poets, handpicked by JoAnn Becker and Diane Croft. These are frank poems about young passions and old love, nature and nurture, work affairs and love affairs. This is not your grandmother's poetry - see Sharon Olds's poem below. As Emily Dickinson wrote, "When I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."

Fish Oil

One midnight, I got home from work
and the apartment reeked of fish boiled
in oil. All the windows were shut,
and all the doors were open - up
from the pan and spatula rose a thick
helix of cod and olive. My husband
slept. I opened the windows and shut
the doors and put the plates in the sink
and oodled Palmolive all over. The next
day I fishwifed to a friend, and she said,
Someone might live with that, and come to
savor the smell of a fry. And that evening,
I looked at my love, and who he is
touched me in the core of my heart. I sought
a bottle of extra-extra virgin,
and a recipe for sea fillet in
olive-branch juice, I filled the rooms with
swirls of finny perfume, the outlines
in the sand the early Christians drew,
the loop meaning safety, meaning me too,
I remembered my parents' frowns at any
whiff of savor outside the kitchen,
the Calvinist shudder, in that house, at the sweet
grease of life. I had come to my mate
a shocked being, agog, a salt
dab in his creel, girl in oil,
his dish. I had not known that one
could approve of someone entirely - one could
wake to the pungent day, one could awake
from the dream of judgment.

- Sharon Olds

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gay Rain and....

RantWoman is seeking LIGHT about a personnel matter in her life outside Meeting. RantWoman is SUPPOSED to be one of the responsible adults in the picture. RantWoman is leaving to her readers' imaginations speculations as to which cheery themes from RantWoman's ongoing yucky topics festival the following items constitute a welcome levity break. RantWoman also would ALWAYS prefer that such items come with BOTH closed captioning AND video description enabled. RantWoman is just a demanding bitch, except someitmes when she forgets to check. Or when the material comes from the army and you don't get to need accommodations and stay in the military or ...!

Look, okay, RantWoman LIKES to laugh. Sometimes RantWoman even laughs at things that most assuredly are problematic.

Not your average take on sexual harassment.

A gaythering storm of people terrified about gay marriage, school lunch, and...

Warning: RantWoman has altruistically viewed the entire video to verify that it is vulgar and disgusting and contains frank language about body parts. So you do not have to look and RantWoman will shortly be washing her brain out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trauma Struggle Recovery

From Today's Blogroll, oddly linked in RantWoman's mind by factors tempting RantWoman to focus only on individualism instead of shared struggle:

A quote at

Without the context of a political movement, it has never been possible to advance the study of psychological trauma. The fate of this field of knowledge depends on the fate of the same political movement that has inspired and sustained it over the last century. In the late nineteenth century the goal of that movement was the establishment of secular democracy. In the early twentieth century its goal was the abolition of war. In the late twentieth century its goal was the liberation of women. All of these goals remain. All are, in the end, inseparably connected.
-- Judith Lewis Herman, M.D., in

from Judith Herman's bookd Trauma and Recovery

RantWoman means no disrespect at all to the liberation of women, but RantWoman finds boiling all the technological and ecological concerns of the late twentieth century down to this sentence a little disconcerting.

Despite the shared / overlapping struggles theme, RantWoman's individualism temptation here has to do with reading, time, needing to steep herself in the right community of people who have read and interacted with the book. WHINE.

Given the wine above about direct unmediated interaction with the text above, RantWoman has a lot of darn nerve even commenting in the specific case. In general, when RantWoman reads some kinds of trauma recovery literature, RantWoman has more than once come away very grateful for practical insights and also hungry for some spark of sustaining spirit.

RantWoman is unclear that Clothe Yourself in righteousness and get spiritually naked is what she has in mind.

RantWoman appreciates:
--a healthy sense of confession, a concept RantWoman finds more chimerical among Friends than, say, among the baptists of her youth

--The more radical than thou search for self-definitionof thinking youth in every generation.

RantWoman is a little fussy about:
--dissing people who take in Bosnian refugees because doing what one is called to often proves transformative for those so called.

--it's one short video but again rantWoman misses a more explicit connection between the individual and the community, realizing that of God in relations among people, that stuff about peacemaking that is really hard and that RantWoman could barely even think of undertaking in her youth despite obvious and persistent need for same.

Okay, okay, RantWoman has only been doing spiritual striptease all over her blog for awhile now, not obviously to social effect but still.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PTSD Tweeted

RantWoman needs to promote another increment of conversation. One Friend says "I would like to know more about the experience of abuse survivors. Maybe.... would help." This Friend is not the only voice suggesting the second part of this comment, but one thing at a time.

The point is, it's been quite awhile since RantWoman's Meeting talked in an organized way about many topics that got spoken of when the Safest Sex Offender on the Planet first came to us. Many newcomers were not around for these conversations. Many things have evolved in our national and interpersonal culture. RantWoman has detected signs that others around her besides the Friend who asked...are also fuzzy in awareness. Plus this is the sort of information RantWoman might think to dump into a paper or online informational notebook to support topical ministries. So....

RantWoman is posting this item just to remind herself of some terms connected with PTSD to dump into a search engine for better materials. RantWoman also hopes to seed conversations and recruit some eyes to screen material.

RantWoman notes the nexus of returning war veterans, PTSD, and the experiences of others who have suffered different kinds of traumas.

RantWoman also includes this interesting item about sleep and trauma recovery.

RantWoman is not used to articles which scream like AM radio when the topic is results of scientific study. However, RantWoman stumbled across this one by messing around in the bad visual design eccentric disaster preparedness Twitter feed on her other blog, RantWoman is for now just going to start with what she has.

It's not all burning bushes?

Ashley W, from the blogroll

At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.) Exodus 4:24-26.
I don't have a nice little homily about this story. We didn't learn it in Sunday school. I don't remember ever hearing a sermon about it (and I have heard a lot of sermons).

I really only have two things to say about it:

1. It's not all burning bushes and parting seas.
2. The Bible has a lot of stories about people interacting with God and some of them are just plain weird.

Oh Dear.

God quite frequently delivers messages to RantWoman in some other idiom besides nice Quakerese. RantWoman's life is particularly rich in thoughts that take form in either the Feminazi Bitch or just the Excessively Plain English subdialects. When RantWoman is being a GOOD Quaker she seasons these messages, occasionally for years, until God delivers Quakerese. RantWoman is not waiting around for Quakerese here.

RantWoman laughed for 10 minutes about item 2.

RantWoman, though, has some suggestions:

--RantWoman herself is not a particularly perspicacious student of Jung, archetypes, psychoanalytic theory, semiotics, or some associated schools of literary criticism. If RantWoman were even a slightly better student of some of these theories, RantWoman would definitely bang away at the symbolism and cultural history of both the passage and Friend Ashley's comments some more and see where the "weird" leads.

--As far as never hearing a sermon about this exact passage, RantWoman notes that lots and lots of pastors are male. RantWoman knows LOTS of men who wince when talking about neutering their pets. Even among people who believe passionately in everything associated with circumcision, it also has a gigantic wince factor. So RantWoman is unsurprised that this passage has not yet leapt to the fore as the basis for a sermon. But is Friend Ashley perhaps called to be the first to deliver such a sermon?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Salt, Light, Blindness

Tonight RantWoman is called to reflect on two pieces from the study guide for the World Gathering of Friends that speak about blindness. Please bear with God and the RantWoman metaphor manglement service:

RantWoman has briefly been seasoning a leading to go all literalist about the Biblical linking of darkness with blindness. Doesn't GOD know that what adds up to non-seeing is only in rare cases total blackness. RantWoman has written in extravagant detail elsewhere of her own peculiar experiences in matters of seeing. She would not in the least mind if SOMEWHERE in the Bible there were references to blurred vision, double vision, fog stabbed by bright flashes, and numerous other distortions in what one sees.

If Christ is going to be removing spiritual blindness, RantWoman thinks it reasonable that he remove or ameliorate the right things. Of course the fact that RantWoman cannot see but things happen might be part of the point, but RantWoman may have to cavil and quibble and complain about it awhile longer before she sees.

RantWoman is really touched by the man carrying a light he himself cannot see. RantWoman has had that experience a time or two.

RantWoman is also amused by the compunding of a flammable gas, sodium, with chlorine, which in pure form would be lethal to make salt which when dissolved in our bodies has the power to carry messages throughout the body.

RantWoman still seems to be discerning what kind of lampstand can hold up to her Inner Blowtorch.

Próximamente en español, posiblemente.

RantWoman probably is NOT going to offer translations of her own posts into Spanish even though in terms of equal participation and all voices being linguistically present in the conversation, RantWoman wishes that the English and the translations were all available at the same time. RantWoman wishes this regardless of a number of practicalities including the work of translation AND the question of who has access online or in print n the first place.

RantWoman most assuredly feels called to uphold the work of translators and interpreters for the World Gathering. RantWoman also actually expressed willingness in some contexts...if way were to open for one of the open spaces. RantWoman would probably prefer that way open to make sure as many Friends from the global south as possible can attend. RantWoman feels plenty to do in her home community. And RantWoman still would not object if way were to open.

An Apology for True RantWoman Blog Tagging and Vocabulary

RantWoman supposes it might sound tighter and more literary if God delivered from her keyboard tidier parables, but RantWoman is a Friend in progress.

RantWoman is not in a position to comment about whether her readers care about the logic of some of RantWoman's more obscure blog tags. In case anyone besides RantWoman does,

Salt and Light Machine: the most recent addition. RantWoman's tag for refletions specifically related to the upcoming World Gathering of Friends.
en español
en español

Compost: RantWoman's processing of a number of matters involving God, mentors, and occasionally actual compost. RantWoman apologizes but she still has not gotten around to the Composting Quakerism podcast.

Charm School: RantWoman branches out from reflections on one Friend to utter Charm, eloquence, and possibly telling too much of the Truth about workings of God, numbers of Friends and a specific prottracted conflict exercise.

Fufferings: RantWoman knows that the term originally is a typography presentation of the word Sufferings, usually in reference to early Friends sufferings for Truth. For RantWoman, Fufferings tends to refer to some kind of ailment or other difficulty of the corporeal sort.

Safest: RantWoman's commentary about her Meeting's walk with a low-level sex offender who has worshipped among us for a number of years. As of this writing, the tag includes items related specifically to this individual, survivor stories of various sorts, informational items about experience in other Friends Meetings and lately a few links about what other denominations' websites say about the topic. RantWoman probably should make this tag into some distinct categories but RantWoman does not promise to do so.

Remarkable: Items related to another member of RantWoman's community.

There are a number of other tags which probably need commentary. RantWoman invites her readers to ask.

Somatics Trauma, and Social Justic Intensive: APPLY NOW

Somatics, Trauma, and Social Justice Intensive in Seattle!

*Applications due Dec. 11th*

The Capacity Project and Generative Somatics areexcited to announce the upcoming Somatics, Trauma, and Social JusticeIntensive
Jan. 20, 21, 22,9am-5pm,
Central District/Seattle,

*application required*

This course will introduce somatics as astrategy for addressing the impacts of individual and collective trauma, whileorganizing for sustainable social change. This body of work was developed byStaci Haines, author of The Survivor’s Guide to Sex and co-founder ofGeneration Five, an organization committed to ending the sexual abuse ofchildren within five generations.

Members of the Generative Somatics teaching team will be facilitating this training as a part of the ongoing somatics and social justice work that The Capacity Project is building in this area. This is a unique opportunity to engage with this work in Seattle, and we hope that you will consider joining us!

This intensive will introduce you to:- a somatic understanding of how trauma andoppression impact individuals and communities- body-centered practices for accessing resilience, experiencing mutual connection, boundary setting, centered accountability, and being present amidst deep emotion and transformation- processes for transforming trauma andoppression in individual and collective bodies through somatic awareness,skills-building and bodywork

More about somatics: From the Generative Somatics orientation, theaim of healing is to create more choice, more well-being and the ability to take more powerful and effective action in our lives and in the world.  We don’t see healing as separate from our participation in our communities, the world, and social change, but rather as an essential part of it.

While somatics as a discipline hashistorically been used as a vehicle to bring increasing resilience and capacity to the individual body - we believe that this framework can also be used inprinciple and in practice to inform a deeper understanding of systemic traumaand collective social change, and increase the holistic effectiveness of community organizing and movement building. We recognize that this framework is not only powerful for individuals and groups working on themselves, but has the potential to be a transformative framework for individuals and groups working to change relations of power in the world.

Logistics:This intensive will be held January 20th,21st, and 22nd from 9am-5pm in the Central Districtneighborhood of Seattle (exact location TBA).

Participants must attend allthree days.

Participation is limited and application is required. The fee for this training is on a slidingscale, from $150-450. We hold a strong commitment to making this training financially accessible, and we will not turn anyone away for inability to pay. Solidarity funds are available for up to the full cost, as needed. Low-income and workingclass folks are encouraged to apply. To apply, please email a request by Sunday, Dec. 11th. Please include your name in the subject line of your email and feel free to email with furtherquestions.

(RantWoman apologizes but she is unable just to attach the application she received.)

Facilitation:The lead trainers for this intensive will be Generative Somatics teaching team members, Vassilisa Johri, Elizabeth Ross, and Liu Hoi Man, with assistant trainers Briana Herman-Brand and Nathaniel Shara. This training is being organized by The Capacity Project, which worksat the intersection of personal and social transformation to build the capacityand sustainability of individuals, collectives, and organizations doing social movement work. We do this by offering individual and group-based politicized healing work, political education/consciousness raising workshops, and transformative justice education and organizing. For more information about The Capacity Project or to request a copy of the application form , email

Friday, November 25, 2011

Disabilities Awareness Item du Jour

Here is a really fun radio broadcast from awhile ago and replayed today to help keep RantWoman out of trouble for Black Friday.

It's a great interview by Steve Scher of two relative newcomers to the Seattle Disabled community, Laura Obara Gramer and Peggy Martinez. Fun things to listen for:

Perspectives they assume many people share regardless of disability

What language the two guests favor for different issues: yes, for them it's fine to use the word disability. It's fine to use the word "see" around a blind person....

Lots of different stuff about weather.

Lots of different experiences dealing with "the built environment" and getting around the city.

Various comments about disabled communities working together even when there are different needs.

Comments about service dogs, bad assumptions, hidden disabilities

The daily diet of curiosity, lack of awareness, clueless insensitivity

RantWoman has cut back on her mass eldering campaign about disabilities awareness, but the blog as filing cabinet / apology for the true RantWoman reality / journal and travelogue through the RantWoman spiritual compost heap is stil definitely in force. RantWoman decided she had to give up on trying to listen to her screen reader and just, gosh dang it, try to do ONE THING AT A TIME.

Not quite just one: First RantWoman gathered up several months of empty prescription bottles to throw away. RantWoman DID find the new bottle of eyedrops which somehow had gotten into the empty bottle pile instead of into RanWoman's usual place for things she is using. RantWoman HAS to be grateful for the circumstances that ensure she has a comparatively easy path to steady supply of needed medications. RantWoman is also feeling nostalgic: the RantDad used to use a lot of old prescription bottles to store oboe and bassoon reeds. RantWoman would not mind knowing someone who might continue the tradition.

Then RantWoman did a healthy increment of banging around her kitchen. RantWoman also decided she could attempt the visual task of locating a specific page of notes written in her own handwriting and lying somewhere in the piles on her desk. RantWoman found LOTS of other things and evn threw some out but did not find the exact item she was looking for. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Queries for Adult Education November 27

How can we as a community and as individuals support UFM members and attenders experiencing economic difficulties?

Thoughts and queries which may help guide our discussion:

From Pendle Hill pamphlet number 259, Stewardship of Wealth by Kingdon Swayne: “The concept of stewardship as I use it here goes far beyond its common use as shorthand for charitable giving. It expresses both the notion that what is mine legally is not really mine, and its corollary that my custody of wealth imposes on me an obligation to use it responsibly…ultimately , none of us owns anything.”

Swayne paraphrases John Woolman: “Be content with a small income and conveniences that are not costly, to lead a life free from “much entanglements”. Look to the sources of conflict and oppression in our possessions. Turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of universal love.”

From Faith and Practice (NPYM): Mutual Care: “Our need for love and care, and our response to this need in others, make up a rich part of our lives. In an exchange truly grounded in love, each of us is both giver and receiver, ready to help and accept help. Neither pride nor fear keeps ups from the unconditional love and care of God manifested through others. Let neither comfort nor self-centerdness blind us to need of others.

We listen to one another with openness of heart and in good faith, aware that greater wisdom than our own is required to meet our human needs. We lift up our hearts to the Source of all wisdom and power.

Are we charitable with each other?

Are we sensitive to each other’s personal needs and difficulties and do we assist in useful ways?”

Other queries:

How can (or does) UFM model John Woolman’s statement: “…Of all we call ours, we are most accountable to God and the public for our estates: In this we are but stewards, and to hoard up all to ourselves is great injustice as well as ingratitude.”

With limited resources, how can UFM best discern how best to use our resources?

Can you think of examples in which stewardship at UFM seemed Spirit-led?

How can we better serve those in our community in financial need?

RantWoman feels endlessly blessed with prodigious capacity to rant and ramble, but RantWoman is doing the best she can to post the queries unadorned and to wait until after Sunday to inflict upon the world what churns up out of her own practical and spiritual compost heap

Seattle Occupied

From this week's bulletin:

Peace and Social Concerns Committee asks that Friends hold the Occupy movement, our police and our elected officials in the light. We hope that a common ground of love and humanity will enable young activists and others to invigorate our democracy, give voice to the real concerns of American people, and to discern a way forward.

Friday evening November 24, from 6-9 pm Susanna Kromberg of Salmon Bay Meeting will be serving as "chaplain" at the Interfaith tent at the Occupy Seattle encampment at Seattle Center Community College.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holding Space

This item about Quaker practices around listening absolutely falls in RantWoman's put it in the blog as filing cabinet column, and not just because it is on the internet instead of in some dusty pamphlet for RantWoman to sneeze over:

RantWoman is interested in both the theological language used to formulate the eldering or spiritual support discussed and the process elements involved in the meeting described here. RantWoman, of decidedly not straightforward faith admits to a certain program evaluator's reflex about "does it work?" But if one thinks of RantWoman's recent "this I know experimentally" item, what do we mean, "does it work?"

RantWoman also notes with care the convenor's acknowledgment of his need to care for himself spiritually. RantWoman has no official training in counseling, spiritual direction, pastoral attention to the life of a community. Instead RantWoman keeps stumbling into situations where such gifts are highly topical, where something in RantWoman's experience speaks to the situation EVEN when what speaks to RantWoman is a sense of being out of her depth, needing more care than can be had with only superificial increments of time.

Scratch that: RantWoman may be out of her depth, but RantWoman of late frequently also hears others about her even more at sea than RantWoman, at sea to the point they cannot even interact with RantWoman's points. RantWoman is meditating about"we are all ministers of God" and how we are called to care of each other with or without any specific academic or cultural credentials, with or without a tradition of some in a community being recognized for seeking and achieving training in specific areas.

RantWoman so wishes she felt like George Fox on Pendle Hill about all this. RantWoman would even settle for clarity about how to proceed among her own Meeting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Restorative Circle Workshop December 3

Restorative Circle workshop Sat, Dec 3 in Seattle

Dear friends,

Please join me at this Restorative Circle facilitation workshop on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 9:30 - 5:00 in Seattle (at the Center for Spiritual Living).  Registration is open at:

I have been studying Restorative Circle practice for the last year and a half and very inspired by how it compliments our Compassionate Listening practices.  It provides a structure of shared leadership and empowerment for a community - whether a small family to a large organization.

It empowers everyone, keeping all parties out of the triangle and into self responsibility and mutual understanding. The deeper one's practices and skills of Compassionate Listening, the deeper the healing and transformation in the Circle process. I hope you will join us and learn more!

Here is some information:

Are you interested in greater harmony in your community, family and organizations? Can you imagine engaging conflict in a way that builds relationships?

Would you like to learn about Restorative Circles, cultivate compassionate communication, and practice restorative justice?

Is your family, organization or neighborhood interested in Seattle Restorative Circle Pilot Project, a project of the Compassionate Action Network?

A "Restorative Circle" is a restorative justice practice that empowers communities to deal with conflicts in a way that efficiently and effectively meets the needs of those involved and deepens connections among its members. Restorative Circles (RC) harness the generative wisdom and shared power of community. The facilitated RC process supports people to step into important and bold conversations with safety and provides a mechanism for vibrant, ongoing, community-based restorative justice systems.

Developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter, this practice is used in a wide range of groups, organizations, schools, court systems, communities, workplaces, and families around the world and is beginning to take off in Seattle and surrounding communities. In the immediate aftermath of a Seattle police officer's fatal shooting of John T. Williams, a First Nations wood carver, a Restorative Circle was held between Police Chief John Diaz, top department officials, and the grieving family.

Now we are engaged in a Pilot Project to create a restorative justice system in Seattle based upon Restorative Circles. See the CAN website:

The workshop on December 3rd will allow you to explore the Restorative Circle practice for yourself and, if you like it, consider participating as a leader in establishing restorative systems in your own communities. It provides participants with the experience and support to embrace conflict in a way that deepens connections, empowers all individuals, and builds strength of community. In this workshop, we provide foundation for the elements and purpose of each part of the restorative circle process, and create a supportive environment within which participants engage in hands-on facilitation. We also guide participants in considering the adoption of restorative circle systems in their own communities.

Please register for the workshops at or in person at Center for Spiritual Living Seattle.
COST: $75 per person if registered by November 27 at 9pm, $95 after. DISCOUNTS to $55 per person for early registration of groups of two or more.**

Mark your calendars! A future Restorative Circles Facilitation Workshop will be held on March 10, 2012 9:30 - 5:00 and a deepening workshop will be held May 5, 2012.

The December 3, 2011 Restorative Circles Facilitation Workshop will be facilitated by Andrea Brenneke and Susan Partnow.

Andrea Brenneke is a passionate advocate for justice and facilitator of individual and community healing and empowerment. She practices civil rights and employment law at MacDonald Hoague & Bayless in Seattle and is a certified mediator.  She also serves as a licensed practitioner with the United Centers for Spiritual Living, Seattle. Andrea has been offering facilitation in Restorative Circles and working with communities to build restorative justice systems using Restorative Circles since 2010.

Susan Partnow is a community builder, mediator, organizational development and training consultant. She serves as a catalyst for positive changes through workshops, retreats, and coaching. Co-founder of Conversation Cafes and Let's Talk America, and former advisor to National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation, Susan facilitates processes to transform conflict and promote co-intelligence in ways that expand collective capacity, such as Open Space, World Cafe and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a Sr. Trainer and co-creator of the Advanced Training and Certification track with The Compassionate Listening Project. As founder and Executive Director of Global Citizen Journey she has led delegations to Ghana, Nigeria and is training Peacebuilders in Liberia in Compassionate Listening and Restorative Circle practices. A former teacher and speech pathologist with B.A. and Secondary Credential from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. from Northwestern University, Susan wrote Everyday Speaking for All Occasions and currently works as Sr. Organizational Development consultant for Swedish Medical Services.

For more information about Restorative Circles and the work of Dominic Barter, please visit his website:

Questions? Feel free to contact Andrea Brenneke at or 206.696.1843 or Susan Partnow at or 206.783.8561.

** Because a restorative circle works best as part of an established and ongoing restorative justice system, we encourage two or more individuals from a community or organization to take the workshop, learn to facilitate, and support one another in the establishment of a system that works for their own community

Susan Partnow
Sr. Certified Facilitator, The Compassionate Listening Project
4425 Baker Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
tel. 206-783-8561
fax 206-782-7786 Partnow Communications, Organizational Development, Consulting & Facilitation Founding Director
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"When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other." --Margaret Wheatley

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Santa Claus

Dear Santa Claus,

First of all, if you need to argue about whether or not RantWoman has been a good girl, it's going to take either a long prickly phone conversation or really a lot of email. Between Charm School, the continued fermentation of RantWoman's spiritual compost heap, and RantWoman's well-documented capacity for telling WAY too much of the truth, RantWoman regrets to inform you that you are not even first in line to argue the matter.

Second, RantWoman really does not recommend crawling around her building's ventilation system trying to deliver presents anyway. As usual, RantWoman is really going to need some Divine presense for the season regardless, so unless you and the reindeer need some serious psychodrama, how about you and I together figure out how to help some kids struggling with too little of something have enough for at least one day?

And by the way, could you please deliver us all from TOO many opportunities to overdose on

--holiday cavils and complaints, especially by almost everyone in RantWoman's circle who needs stern reminders of all we have to be grateful for.

--too much angst, anguish, ennui, aggravation....

Peace and love


Oh wait, you wanted to hear from the Real RantWoman.

I will not offer irreverent comments about other people's spiritual practices.

I will not offer irreverent comments about other people's spiritual practices.

I will not offer irreverent comments about other people's spiritual practices.

I will not offer irreverent comments about other people's spiritual practices.

Wait. Let's begin with tidings of great joy throughout the land: Meeting for Business took less than 10 minutes to decide that on Christmas day we can bear the thought of the Safest Sex Offender on the Planet worshipping with us at 9:30, at 11:00 and throughout any post-worship socializing as long as he has one or more chaperones.

The Safest Sex Offender on the Planet has more chaperones listed with the Department of Corrections than any other sex offender in WA. Ensuring that there are chaperones about should not be difficult. RantWoman may have to beg off if Sensible Auntie has the World's Most Irrepressible Nephew n tow, but RantWoman is getting ahead of herself.

Business Meeting got eldered by a newcomer on multiple grounds, some of which RantWoman unites with. Sex offenders get one level of public fixation; other people who commit crimes of violence or substance abuse qualify for MUCH less supervision and post-release support. Second, in Friend Newcomer's "home" Meeting, somewhere in Philadelphia, Christmas is just a day like any other. Yeah, thought RantWoman, in terms of taditional Quaker custom we're definitely heterodox on that point. Christmas falls on Sunday this year anyway and a really good party is always a blessing.

After being eldered, Business Meeting had to consider logistics of accommodating The Safest Sex Offender's rules for himself about not being near children: it is the Safest Sex Offender...'s practice to move to another sectionin our worship room if a child sits in the same section where he sits. One Sunday, a young newcomer who did not know of the rule sat in the Safest Sex Offender...'s section; next a friend of the young Newcomer also sat in the same section and felt awkward when the Safest Sex Offender moved. On Christmas day, there tend to be more children than usual; Business Meeting agreed that any adults who are able will surround the Safest Sex Offender so he does not have to move.

--What with Ambassador Thwack and RantWoman's fabulous inate capacity for centeredness and Inner Blowtorch, it's all RantWoman can do many days to keep herself out of jail and we won't even talk about her proclivity occasionally toward civil disobedience. The point is, RantWoman is happy to be a chaperone but the Safest Sex Offender... is the one ultimately responsible for keeping himself out of jail.

--RantWoman is conscious that the Safest Sex Offender's obsessive fastidiousness about rules including things to do with children is partly his way of dealing with fear of public overreaction and hyperventilating, some of which has absolutely no relationship to the Safeest sex Offender...'s actual behavior. RantWoman is seasoning a leading about whether some of the new support and accountability committee's "support spiritual growth" activities might aim for different discernment in this area. Dear Friend, LOTS of us believe in you. We trust our chaperone practices. Even if one person goes off the deep end, there are LOTS of people around to...."

--Similarly, recently RantWoman spent part of her day's highly constrained quota of print consumption scraping her eyeballs over The Safest Sex Offender...'s conditions from the Department of Corrections, the document assembled from Meeting minutes, and especially the paragraphs about chaperones. RantWoman found helpful advice for everyday non-dating non visit in household situations like "everyone must remain clothed. Oh thank heaven! RantWoman is all for people being comfortable with their bodies. "Legally decent in the state of WA" also leaves more latitude than ANYONE needs to explore for this conversation anyway, but that seems like a pretty basic starting place.

--Then there is the point about not doing anything "irresponsible." Okay, RantWoman can make some guesses but how the heck is RantWoman necessarily supposed to know what constitutes "irresponsible" for the Safest Sex Offender....?

--The Department of Corrections / treatment program part of the conditions next mentions ...."civil penalties," assuming any lawyer is undeterred by RantWoman's utter lack of anything worth suing for, files a claim. In other words, we are still back to moral center and sense of social contract, and probably for a LONG sequence before any external levers would kick in.

--Next the conditions documents tell chaperones to report violations to Oversight. There has never been a violation that would get the Safest Sex Offender... barred for the specified month. In fact, even though some of the conditions seem muddled to RantWoman, the only things that have happened or not happend have to do with what different parts of our Meeting do about telling newcomers about this ministry. That topic is worthy of its own rant.

--RantWoman is new to the chaperone thing. RantWoman also cannot necessarily see either children the Safest Sex Offender wants to move away from or clear paths to move away. This makes for interesting dance about the Safest Sex Offender....'s rules for himself, which are stricter to begin with than either the Department of Corrections or the document in Meeting. This point is part of what is behind RantWoman's leadings. So RantWoman seasons....

--RantWoman's other problem: any children who might bump into a fully-clothed Safest Sex Offender... in connection with Meeting for Worship are as of the current situation MUCH lower on RantWoman's Fret about Chidren list than a whole bunch of other categories including:

--the world's most irrepressible nephew, for obvious reasons. Not that RantWoman is anywhere near the front of the line about who is expected to deal, but....

--baby gangbangers, the VERY occasional entanglement with sex trafficking, and general adolescent oblivious among fellow bus passengers. RantWoman rides in the front of the bus a lot. She cannot just shut off her ears. Dealing with that topic in a sensitive, centered way is a very big part these days of how RantWoman is called to live the peace testimony. For this reason, RantWoman is VERY glad to know of Project Safe Place. RantWoman thinks others in her Meeting might also appreciate this nugget of info but so far except for people who might read RantWoman's blog and not admit it, RantWoman keeps forgetting to say anything.

--Any child in or around RantWoman's Meeting who might, God/dess forbid fall into the zone of a comment RantWoman has made a couple times aroudn her Meeting "When RantWoman was a teenager, if anyone in the RantFamily had been willing to talk, say to SOMEONE at her house of worship, there would have been things to hear." RantWoman spent a whole HOUR in Business Meeting awhile ago speaking about things she keeps hearing as "shut up." RantWoman anachronistically posts the actual minutes. "Shut up" got edited out.
RantWoman has said several times several ways that she needs to speak in a different place than Business Meeting about all the things on RantWoman's mind. RantWoman freely admits she wants ways to check her own ferociousness about the topic in context of some concerns she has based on her experience of others' awareness and engagement. RantWoman is also not clear about what actions might make sense. However, RantWoman considers just being told "go talk to your counselor" insensitive at best. RantWoman is pointedly omitting the title of the Friend who made that comment and RantWoman is going to try AGAIN off-blog about a whole bunch of themes tied up with the topic.

--Next in ine for frets, not that RantWoman has ANY capacity to do anything about it, children who might bump into the digital inclusion volunteer RantWoman has written of previously with the, um, radioactive taste in porn. RantWoman has every indication that Digital Inclusion volunteer himself and the computer lab wher ehe works are attentive to issues of responsible behavior, but RantWoman feels like fretting a little anyway.

--and finally the well-watched tykes of our community who might cross paths with the Safest Sex Offender on the planet in worship on Christmas day.

Okay, okay, RantWoman is aware that holidays can bring all sorts of expectations about socializing with people who trample the boundaries of adults and children around them. RantWoman thinks it would be at least sporting to offer some kind of resource for coping with such.

Possibly topical, though RantWoman will try to do better and will post if delivered of such, on forgiveness and reconciliation:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seattle Unoccupied

RantWoman is really energized merely by the existence of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

RantWoman has also been feeling herself VERY humble and grateful to have a warm dry place to sleep and a cat to herd her to bed. RantWOman has so far felt NO call to do overnights but has walked through a time or two.

Once RantWoman made a specific effort to impart a concern which had crackled over bus radio while Metro was riding downtown; RantWoman was glad that the message sseemed to e holding afew days later when RantWoman visited again and happened to think to ask.

Crusty Activist friend "The Occupy people seem to be struggling about process. I think we old-timers could teach them a thing or two and maybe they need help."

RantMom to RantWoman "Honey, you could give them lessons."
RantWoman to RantMom "Mom, they seem like they are doing just fine without me."

Really Good Questions Friend: "We were down there visiting and I am amazed about the decisionmaking process. It feels just like Business Meeting to me."

Sunday November 20, Friends from our Meeting will hold Meeting for Worship at 2 pm at the multifaith tent at Occupy Seattle. RantWoman was glad to sign up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

December 9-10 Talking about Race Event

I would like to invite you to the Seattle Race Initiative that will held on December 9th and 10th at Mount Zion Baptist Church. It is designed to help us have everyday and nonthreatening discussions about race. To assist with this, the Initiative has a remarkable Master Facilitator, Dr. David Campt, known as the Race Doctor (  ).

Friday evening will look at race through the lens of the arts, looking at ways that artists explore race through literature, dance, music, the spoken word and visual arts. We'll be led in a fun discussion about how we perceived the art then have Q and A with the artists. During the day on Saturday we will work in groups based on our work and/or interest identities. This is a great way to ensure that participants start with something important in common. The groups will have members of different ages, life stages, races and ethnicities, neighborhoods and experiences with race and racism.

While one weekend cannot change how Seattleites speak to each other, taking conversations about race out of the realm of blame is a great start. I hope to see you, your friends and family there!

Location: Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634-19th Ave, 206.322.6500,
Cost: FREE
Meals: Provided

Thank you,
Lora-Ella McKinney

Sunday, November 13, 2011


RantWoman is meditating about the phrase "attend Meeting for Worship just like everyone else." RantWoman COMPLETELY supports that.

RantWoman is also finding herself grateful that Meeting for Business has interacted with big circumstances in the life of the Friend with the Remarkable Story. RantWoman heard summaries of extensive and very positive evaluations before the Friend with the Remarkable Story was released from prison. RantWoman learned that the Friend with the Remarkable Story is being notably open with his neighbors, even some who post hateful and alarming things on neighborhood blogs. RantWoman heard much that is positive and not a single negative thing about the Friend with a Remarkable Story.

RantWoman heard one Friend grumble "Why does this even need to come to Business Meeting? It's apples and oranges in important respects from the Safest Sex Offender on the Planet." RantWoman and everyone else who spoke said it's an important story and it's important to speak Truth and to be strong in the story.

RantWoman is collecting some items off the internet. RantWoman is clear that a number of people in her Meeting currently have both the capacity to look things up on the internet and enough information to know why one would look things up. RantWoman learned today that some in her Meeting did not have to look things up. Elders may think the blogosphere is a big echo chamber full of middle class people and their computers, but younger families plugged into neighborhood email lists have decidedly other views.

RantWoman is glad that information and inquiries have now come to Meeting for Business. RantWoman is still feeling surprisingly fierce about some points she is seasoning what to do with, but RantWoman would feel fierce about these points with or without the Friend with the Remarkable Story.

RantWoman is clear that many more conversations are probably going to need to happen. RantWoman is clear about her own views, and RantWoman is praying for centeredness as conversations unfold and Light about where to go next.

RantWoman wrote the rest of this earlier including the blog as file cabinet listings. RantWoman does not feel called to edit out the anachronistic elements.

If Quakers ever write an etiquette book RantWoman would be glad to help about a chapter on whether or not it is a social gaffe, if one is not feelng centered enough for where a conversation might go, to "forget" to introduce two people who need to meet, the Safest sex Offender on the Planet and the friend with the Remarkable Story. RantWoman has to be VERY frank: despite being in a unique position about the matter, RantWoman herself is easing in very slowly. RantWoman is clear in her own discernment that immediate reaction is NOT needed about some issues. Rantwoman is also clear that others may not share her view or may need thoughtful discernment to get there.

The Friend with the Remarkable Story introduced himself again during announcements after worship last week. That happens to be one of the weeks each month when the safest sex Offender on the Planet worships at 11:00. The Friend with the Remarkable Story is quite forthright about having just gotten out of prison and about being part of the Monroe Worship Group. At this point in our Meeting's life, there exactly two people attending regularly besides the Friend with the Remarkable Story and his wife who participated in the Monroe Worship Group, RantWoman and.... and only RantWoman was present.

So,when the Friend with the Remarkable Story introduced himself during announcements, RantWoman felt called to rise also. Despite pleas from parents of squirming children for brevity in announcements, RantWoman spoke of the Monroe Worship Group, of how LOTS of Quakers are involved with Alternatives to violence in prisons, but the Monroe Worship Group is unique in terms of inmates getting out and continuing to worship among friends. RantWoman also specifically said she is glad to have the Friend with the Remarkable Story and Mrs. ... Remarkable Story worshipping among us. Neither the Friend with the remarkable Story nor RantWoman have so far felt called to say more of what RantWoman knows there is to say. Thinking more about that problem a day or two later, RantWoman was led to ...the search engine of her choice, and to some links to follow from what turned up!

Understand, in the world of RantWoman and e-torrents, if it's all over the internet, sooner or later either someone else in Meeting is going to notice or someone is going to turn up and ask. Either way, let's hope it's God, not just RantWoman trying to mix PR and centered community discernment.

The nub of the matter, if a set of topics which evoke a whole range of thoughts in RantWoman and about which many in RantWoman's Meeting have so far had no or very little occasion even to think about can be called a nub:

RantWoman never has trouble holding couples living through great challenges in the light!

Sex Offender Registration with various informational links.

A bit from the local Fox news affiliate. Rantwoman cannot locate any content except the picture but thinks there musht be some.,0,

A blog entry with a range of comments ranging from, to RantWoman's ear, vehement ranting to sensible thought.

An important appellate case about treatment programs that encourage offenders to acknowledge offenses they cannot be prosecuted for and whether or not those admissions can be cited as aggravating factors in sentencing.

An OLD Letter to the Editor of The Stranger, a local newswekly whose stylebook most assuredly does not eschew the F word and which regularly curls the hair of many readers:

The original article about Tamara Menteer and the Whitestone Foundation:

A book review:

and as previously mentioned:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eid el-Adha / Kurban Bairam 2011

The headine "80,000 Muslims pray on the streets of Moscow" caught RantWoman's eye. The visuals and the text about need for more mosques also caught RantWoman's eye. Without further comment:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quakers and Sex Offenders

RantWoman's Meeting has a lovely library. As previously posted, RantWoman is unclear whether material there about sex offenders is useful and current. That is a whole conversation in its own right. In the interest of RANTWOMAN being in a position to speak from topical Light, more items for the blog as file cabinet, with the proviso that one should also check the search engine of one's choice for newer material

RantWoman would like to have more of a separate info stream, beyond the items RantWoman has been collecting, about matters specifically to do with survivors. Stay tuned.

In the meantime:

Nice 2003 item from Quaker Life, FUM

Sex offenders are people too from Friends Journal

FGC library about Rochester MN MM l

Tim Newell on Circles of Support and Accountability, also a PDF to download from a Swarthmore Lecture.

Search Engines, Sex Offenders, Congregations

RantWoman has truly ODD taste in after hours reading. Tonight RantWoman has been led to see what the internet is serving up about religious congregations and sex offenders.

"But RantWoman," someone will say, "Quakers are DIFFERENT." RantWoman really does not care. The point is that LOTS of congregations deal with sex offenders. Does our Meeting have anything to learn from others' experience? Who knows, but RantWoman is not ashamed to consider the question.

The Unitarian Universalists: a couple different situations and articulation of some general points about each situation being unique. Also, lots of links.

Another great checklist:

Really interesting Christianity Today article about practices at different churches, also Circles of Support and Accountability

last page of article above with multiple links

A 2007 item from Good Morning America about a UCC congregation. The audio starts automatically which I found annoying. The reporter is kind of gushy. The pastor talks about Safe Church practices.

The United Methodists:

Faith Trust Institute:

Really frank about sex offenders already among congregations and about congregations as part of accountability system.

Part 2 of the above: don't forgive us so quickly

ELCA page with multiple PDF's

The ELCA page:

Something from Agape Resources

The google search string:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=bdf357a7f2cc5c4d&biw=1680&bih=786

Monday, November 7, 2011

Who is Steve Jobs to You

RantWoman is meditating about her call to post this in her blog both in terms of how much the blogosphere needs more reflections about Steve Jobs and the circumstances behind this item coming to RantWoman.

This item arrived via email from Sentimental Classmate. Sentimental Classmate was one of the handful of classmates who appeared in photos on every section divider in the high school annual. RantWoman thinks she and Sentimental Classmate were in Calculus together but seating was alphabetical and our last names are far enough apart we interacted little, or more correctly barely talked in high school. This classmate, like RantWoman moved far away from high school. Unlike RantWoman, Sentimental Classmate has not been back at all; Sentimental Classmate also has a life path pretty different from RantWoman's. However, in connection with a major year reunion neither of us attended, Sentimental classmate asssembled an email list and most of the time RantWoman is finding herself surprisingly grateful for what arrives via the list.

A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve JobsBy MONA SIMPSON

I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people.

Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.
By then, I lived in New York, where I was trying to write my first novel. I had a job at a small magazine in an office the size of a closet, with three other aspiring writers. When one day a lawyer called me — me, the middle-class girl from California who hassled the boss to buy us health insurance — and said his client was rich and famous and was my long-lost brother, the young editors went wild. This was 1985 and we worked at a cutting-edge literary magazine, but I’d fallen into the plot of a Dickens novel and really, we all loved those best. The lawyer refused to tell me my brother’s name and my colleagues started a betting pool. The leading candidate: John Travolta. I secretly hoped for a literary descendant of Henry James — someone more talented than I, someone brilliant without even trying.

When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif. We took a long walk — something, it happened, that we both liked to do. I don’t remember much of what we said that first day, only that he felt like someone I’d pick to be a friend. He explained that he worked in computers.
I didn’t know much about computers. I still worked on a manual Olivetti typewriter.

I told Steve I’d recently considered my first purchase of a computer: something called the Cromemco. Steve told me it was a good thing I’d waited. He said he was making something that was going to be insanely beautiful.

I want to tell you a few things I learned from Steve, during three distinct periods, over the 27 years I knew him. They’re not periods of years, but of states of being. His full life. His illness. His dying.

Steve worked at what he loved. He worked really hard. Every day.
That’s incredibly simple, but true. He was the opposite of absent-minded. He was never embarrassed about working hard, even if the results were failures. If someone as smart as Steve wasn’t ashamed to admit trying, maybe I didn’t have to be.

When he got kicked out of Apple, things were painful. He told me about a dinner at which 500 Silicon Valley leaders met the then-sitting president. Steve hadn’t been invited. He was hurt but he still went to work at Next. Every single day.

Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was.
For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them. In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church. He didn’t favor trends or gimmicks. He liked people his own age.
His philosophy of aesthetics reminds me of a quote that went something like this: “Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.”
Steve always aspired to make beautiful later.
He was willing to be misunderstood. Uninvited to the ball, he drove the third or fourth iteration of his same black sports car to Next, where he and his team were quietly inventing the platform on which Tim Berners-Lee would write the program for the World Wide Web.
Steve was like a girl in the amount of time he spent talking about love. Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him.
Whenever he saw a man he thought a woman might find dashing, he called out, “Hey are you single? Do you wanna come to dinner with my sister?”

I remember when he phoned the day he met Laurene. “There’s this beautiful woman and she’s really smart and she has this dog and I’m going to marry her.”

When Reed was born, he began gushing and never stopped. He was a physical dad, with each of his children. He fretted over Lisa’s boyfriends and Erin’s travel and skirt lengths and Eve’s safety around the horses she adored.

None of us who attended Reed’s graduation party will ever forget the scene of Reed and Steve slow dancing. His abiding love for Laurene sustained him. He believed that love happened all the time, everywhere. In that most important way, Steve was never ironic, never cynical, never pessimistic. I try to learn from that, still.
Steve had been successful at a young age, and he felt that had isolated him. Most of the choices he made from the time I knew him were designed to dissolve the walls around him. A middle-class boy from Los Altos, he fell in love with a middle-class girl from New Jersey. It was important to both of them to raise Lisa, Reed, Erin and Eve as grounded, normal children. Their house didn’t intimidate with art or polish; in fact, for many of the first years I knew Steve and Lo together, dinner was served on the grass, and sometimes consisted of just one vegetable. Lots of that one vegetable. But one. Broccoli. In season. Simply prepared. With just the right, recently snipped, herb.

Even as a young millionaire, Steve always picked me up at the airport. He’d be standing there in his jeans. When a family member called him at work, his secretary Linetta answered, “Your dad’s in a meeting. Would you like me to interrupt him?”

When Reed insisted on dressing up as a witch every Halloween, Steve, Laurene, Erin and Eve all went wiccan.

They once embarked on a kitchen remodel; it took years. They cooked on a hotplate in the garage. The Pixar building, under construction during the same period, finished in half the time. And that was it for the Palo Alto house. The bathrooms stayed old. But — and this was a crucial distinction — it had been a great house to start with; Steve saw to that.

This is not to say that he didn’t enjoy his success: he enjoyed his success a lot, just minus a few zeros. He told me how much he loved going to the Palo Alto bike store and gleefully realizing he could afford to buy the best bike there. And he did.

Steve was humble. Steve liked to keep learning.
Once, he told me if he’d grown up differently, he might have become a mathematician. He spoke reverently about colleges and loved walking around the Stanford campus. In the last year of his life, he studied a book of paintings by Mark Rothko, an artist he hadn’t known about before, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of a future Apple campus.

Steve cultivated whimsy. What other C.E.O. knows the history of English and Chinese tea roses and has a favorite David Austin rose?
He had surprises tucked in all his pockets. I’ll venture that Laurene will discover treats — songs he loved, a poem he cut out and put in a drawer — even after 20 years of an exceptionally close marriage. I spoke to him every other day or so, but when I opened The New York Times and saw a feature on the company’s patents, I was still surprised and delighted to see a sketch for a perfect staircase.
With his four children, with his wife, with all of us, Steve had a lot of fun.

He treasured happiness.

Then, Steve became ill and we watched his life compress into a smaller circle. Once, he’d loved walking through Paris. He’d discovered a small handmade soba shop in Kyoto. He downhill skied gracefully. He cross-country skied clumsily. No more.

Eventually, even ordinary pleasures, like a good peach, no longer appealed to him. Yet, what amazed me, and what I learned from his illness, was how much was still left after so much had been taken away.

I remember my brother learning to walk again, with a chair. After his liver transplant, once a day he would get up on legs that seemed too thin to bear him, arms pitched to the chair back. He’d push that chair down the Memphis hospital corridor towards the nursing station and then he’d sit down on the chair, rest, turn around and walk back again. He counted his steps and, each day, pressed a little farther.
Laurene got down on her knees and looked into his eyes.
“You can do this, Steve,” she said. His eyes widened. His lips pressed into each other.

He tried. He always, always tried, and always with love at the core of that effort. He was an intensely emotional man.
I realized during that terrifying time that Steve was not enduring the pain for himself. He set destinations: his son Reed’s graduation from high school, his daughter Erin’s trip to Kyoto, the launching of a boat he was building on which he planned to take his family around the world and where he hoped he and Laurene would someday retire.
Even ill, his taste, his discrimination and his judgment held. He went through 67 nurses before finding kindred spirits and then he completely trusted the three who stayed with him to the end. Tracy. Arturo. Elham.

One time when Steve had contracted a tenacious pneumonia his doctor forbid everything — even ice. We were in a standard I.C.U. unit. Steve, who generally disliked cutting in line or dropping his own name, confessed that this once, he’d like to be treated a little specially.

I told him: Steve, this is special treatment.
He leaned over to me, and said: “I want it to be a little more special.”

Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a notepad. He sketched devices to hold an iPad in a hospital bed. He designed new fluid monitors and x-ray equipment. He redrew that not-quite-special-enough hospital unit. And every time his wife walked into the room, I watched his smile remake itself on his face.

For the really big, big things, you have to trust me, he wrote on his sketchpad. He looked up. You have to.

By that, he meant that we should disobey the doctors and give him a piece of ice.

None of us knows for certain how long we’ll be here. On Steve’s better days, even in the last year, he embarked upon projects and elicited promises from his friends at Apple to finish them. Some boat builders in the Netherlands have a gorgeous stainless steel hull ready to be covered with the finishing wood. His three daughters remain unmarried, his two youngest still girls, and he’d wanted to walk them down the aisle as he’d walked me the day of my wedding.

We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.

I suppose it’s not quite accurate to call the death of someone who lived with cancer for years unexpected, but Steve’s death was unexpected for us. What I learned from my brother’s death was that character is essential: What he was, was how he died.

Tuesday morning, he called me to ask me to hurry up to Palo Alto. His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us.

He started his farewell and I stopped him. I said, “Wait. I’m coming. I’m in a taxi to the airport. I’ll be there.”
“I’m telling you now because I’m afraid you won’t make it on time, honey.”

When I arrived, he and his Laurene were joking together like partners who’d lived and worked together every day of their lives. He looked into his children’s eyes as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze.
Until about 2 in the afternoon, his wife could rouse him, to talk to his friends from Apple.

Then, after awhile, it was clear that he would no longer wake to us. His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before.

This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it. He told me, when he was saying goodbye and telling me he was sorry, so sorry we wouldn’t be able to be old together as we’d always planned, that he was going to a better place.
Dr. Fischer gave him a 50/50 chance of making it through the night.

He made it through the night, Laurene next to him on the bed sometimes jerked up when there was a longer pause between his breaths. She and I looked at each other, then he would heave a deep breath and begin again.

This had to be done. Even now, he had a stern, still handsome profile, the profile of an absolutist, a romantic. His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude. He seemed to be climbing.

But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.

Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times. Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. Steve’s final words were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.

Mona Simpson is a novelist and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. She delivered this eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs, on Oct. 16 at his memorial service at the Memorial Church of Stanford University.