Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
RantWoman has been thinking of different adult figures in her life, parents, Safe Adults who set respectable and respectful examples even if they were not automatically people RantWoman would confide in or consult about something outside the content of Sunday school classes, and Trusted Adults, the kind of adults one can ask questions of. Bernie and Doris, who taught the junior high Sunday school class at the Baptist church of RantWoman's youth, were wonderful safe adults. RantWoman has especially been reflecting on the gifts of their presence because she recently learned that Bernie passed away in December at the age of 90.
RantWoman must first note the matter of what to call death. Bernie would probably laugh at "kicked the bucket." RantWoman thinks he would more likely prefer "went home to the Lord" or "was called home to God." Either way, RantWoman supposes it would have been good to say some of what has come to her before he passed away.
When RantWoman was in junior high, Bernie and Doris were middle-aged empty-nesters who faithfully appeared almost every week for the 6-8 junior high aged youth in RantWoman's age cohort. Not going to Sunday School was not really an option in the Rant household: there was one car. The RantFather had to go early for choir practice. The children were not to be left unsupervised, a point for which RantWoman as oldest child was actually grateful. RantWoman, oddly, remembers almost nothing of specifically Biblical content: the Gospels, Acts, the New Testament but not even any stories, just a generalized sense of what goodness was supposed to be.
Perhaps the Biblical content was not the entire point. Bernie and Doris genuinely loved each other though they clearly lived in two different realms, she a passionate gardener, he still active in his business and professional capacities. Feminism did not seem to have hit but it did not seem to matter: Bernie and Doris exuded an inate sense of equality and mutual respect that they both clearly were delighted with.
Bernie sold insurance. To someone with even minimal grounding in business, this does not necessarily sound like a revelation. RantWoman's family on the other hand had a number of twitches and dysfunctions about money, shellacked over judgmental Calvinist absolutism. For RantWoman, the concept that one could both interact with risk or scary eventualities AND believe deeply in God, in Divine mercy was a huge revelation. a wondrous breath of fresh air.
Equally liberating was Bernie and Doris' view of evolution. This came up in some mix of conversation about Genesis and the study of science.Doris just said, "who knows how long God's days were?" RantWoman realizes that some of rigidly scientific bent would be appalled; RantWoman on the other hand again found it extremely reassuring that there was room in the conversation both for the struggles and striving of scientific inquiry and for appreciation of the ineffable, the unknowable.
Here is Bernie's obituary
RantWoman is imagining a Divine pat on the head: well done, good and faithful servant; RantWoman also sends Doris heartfelt prayers.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
HUGE attendance. Well-gathered Worship, barely disturbed by late comers entering at 11:10. Serious glare zone sudoku weather for RantWoman's eyeballs, but neither full-on urge to do sudoku nor concise coherent Light to minister about the topic emerged. Worship continued to be gathered.
First message: Item from faroff news report about forgiveness among two families united by an alcohol-filled tragedy at a fraternity party.
Long deep silence
Ministry previously written of about not turning the other cheek and resolve to alter circumstances behind Serious Problem incident involving teenage daughter and another resident in that Friend's household. RantWoman has now turned the message over many times in her heart and the salad bowl of RantWoman's own experiences. RantWoman is STILL having trouble hearing a line between spiritual distress and "Help." More on that in a moment.
Another long spell of worship.
Thoughtful message about forgiveness sometimes requiring one to look into one's own soul. This message certainly speaks to RantWoman's condition; RantWoman's experience is that one cannot always interact with the point in crises--even if crises are sometimes when one most needs the thought!
Short spell of worship
(Somewhere in here, RantWoman later learned, Friend with Serious Problem Message left the room.)
MANY kids begin to enter room. More adults also seems to mean more kids. RantWoman is proud and grateful that many new families have come and keep attending notwithstanding the weekly announcement about The Safest Sex Offender on the Planet. Rantwoman also notes the conceptual space for Serious Problem message relative to one specific child but more on that in a moment. Sunday the waves of kids entering Worship also diverted RantWoman from ministry drawn out of her interactions with other media items.
Kids get settled with parents.
Message from adult: we have been talking about forgiveness. I wonder whether children have anything to say about this.
(Okay sure, sometimes prompting like this generates wonderful eye-opening words. Sometimes adults have done all they can with a topic for the moment and diverting conversation is helpful. RantWoman though has serious twitches about expecting kids to solve adult problems.)
Worship closes. Among many announcements, RantWoman decides it is a good time to explain to wonderful exuberant energetic children that RantWoman cannot really see them and does not want to trip and fall on them or spill hot soup on their heads or inflict any other unfavorable interactions with the laws of physics so would they please be careful
RantWoman did not immediately interact further with Serious Problem Message. Only later, when RantWoman was turning over thoughts about a different topic, did "WAIT JUST A MINUTE" crash into RantWoman's consciousness. RantWoman and the committee RantWoman serves on arguably are at least third in line to have caught the Serious Problem reflected in last Sunday's most gut-wrenching pastoral care message, but RantWoman appears to be the one who caught it first! RantWoman would so be glad to share the glory. RantWoman's efforts to articulate concern definitely did not show up connected with clarity as to any specific actions. After much seasoning, "shut up and pray" suggests itself for the time being," but more on that shortly.
Here RantWoman needs to sidestep one point about a key conversation involving multiple Friends. RantWoman has had other conversations involving similar themes and similar dynamics so the comments here may or may not refer to any specific body within her Meeting.
Naming the Problem: Specific legal language? Various ways to minimize or understate seriousness? Temptation to overanalyze based on incomplete facts? Weighing in with comments about different key members of the cast?
Clarifying the cast: in this case, this includes two different ended relationships, not just one as one observer thought.
Changing the subject: it's a difficult topic and we are unclear how to figure out what next, let alone what to do. So let's just change the subject.
Glowering at RantWoman for taking up space in conversation, demanding to talk about difficult topics, and generally being obstinate and short on perkiness and happy talk. One advantage of vision issues is that RantWoman cannot necessarily tell if people are glowering; RantWoman is just assuming based on frequent experience in this area...
RantWoman has now made other people ahead of RantWoman in line to catch the issue season the matter as thoroughly as can be done at this time. There are THREE people in Meeting connected to this pastoral care message. RantWoman and others have reached out to one; RantWoman has in mind to reach out to the other two as opportunity presents itself. There appears to be nothing more that can be done for the time being besides hold the problem in the Light and LISTEN.
RantWoman really does not want to, for instance, tell Friend with a Serious Problem not to bring vocal ministry about her spiritual distress to Meeting for Worship if led. RantWoman does sincerely hope the difficult situations get worked out without any more disturbing messages in Meeting for Worship.
RantWoman has articulated a difference between Serious Problem and Immediate Danger. The Serious Problem has been recognized; RantWoman hopes not to have occasion to need to work harder at evaluating the Immediate Danger issue. RantWoman hopes others besides herself can also listen with an open heart and walk alongside in a centered way as needed.
Meanwhile, RantWoman will resume obsessive interaction with other questions related to expanded participation in community life for the Safest Sex Offender on the Planet. RantWoman still does not know what she is supposed to do with what's on her mind about that stuff either, but RantWoman is versatile and sooner or later she expects her Meeting will find its way to what is needed.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Did the title of this post cause you to choke on your tea? The phrase in the title did lead to an actual tea party involving actual tea. To everyone's PROFOUND relief, the focus of the event shifted from rape and violence to gardening, but RantWoman's willingness to start where people were is one of the elements of conversational safety that helped find the right path for the situation.
RantWoman mentions this phrase, as well, because of a curious parallelism with an organizational artifact lingering at RantWoman's Meeting. After previous rounds of discussion about The Safest Sex Offender on the Planet, RantWoman's Meeting created something called The Subcommittee on Interpersonal Violence. In both cases, the problem to RantWoman's ear about the name of the concept is that RantWoman cannot necessarily tell from the title whether one is for, against or objective and neutral about the concept in question.
The Subcommittee on Interpersonal Violence was supposed to include at least one member each from Oversight and Worship and Ministry and maybe someone at large. The mission of this committee was partly to minister to The Safest Sex Offender on the Planet, partly to maintain resources and promote further conversation about abuse survivors and related concerns in Meeting. Ministry to and with the Safest Sex Offender... himself is mainly done a different way right now and RantWoman is meditating about some conversations she might like to have about that topic.
The Subcommittee lingers on our Nominating Committee list. During the initial round of discussions about the Safest Sex Offender on the Planet, the Subcommittee on Interpersonal Violence compiled the resource list mentioned elsewhere, developed guidelines for and convened some Listening sessions for individuals interested in being heard by a small group. However, the original members of this subcommittee all laid down their participation and directed Nominating Committee to find replacements. The Subcommittee... lingers in Friends' thinking but currently has no members and any conception of its role and activities is too nebulous for meaningful action. RantWoman is meditating about whether some of the previous activities such as listening sessions need to be revived--not to mention whether there is energy to do this, particularly in preference to many other ways to engage one's spiritual life and participate in community.
Meanwhile, as for the title, RantWoman needs to beg Quakerly indulgence even for bringing it up. RantWoman has written previously of her two former neighbors who are deaf-blind, one of whom is transgendered. The transgendered one favors Value Village formal wear--for weekdays. She also speaks of the many abuses she suffers among neighbors in terms of "rape." RantWoman would say there is a long way between "She used to be a guy," even if that is one of the more tactful comments RantWoman ever heard, and actual rape. Still, if that is the language and metaphor space RantWoman's former neighbor understands, RantWoman has absolutely no problem letting the term hold space in conversation. In fact, RantWoman would SO like it if others around her could arrive at similar centeredness about the topic!
Monday, January 24, 2011
The more interesting point RantWoman is presently pondering: when people deliver messages about matters of profound pastoral care concern, are they explicitly asking for help or are they simply placing a personal spiritual concern before the Light of those assembled? RantWoman fairly regularly spends Meeting for Worship working over some moral concern or other. RantWoman is much less often moved to do this out loud but feels she must leave room in her considerations for the possibility that others, perhaps less reticent than RantWoman, are turning over their own matters out loud.
RantWoman's meditations come from two messages. First, a Friend delivered a calm but focussed and resolute message about not being able to turn the other cheek for an event in her household which set off so many RantWoman alarm bells that more followup is needed offline.
RantWoman heard several things in worship that she needed to follow up. By the time RantWoman was ready to speak to the Friend who had shared this message, that Friend was already somewhere else. Now RantWoman has to figure out what needs to be followed up with and whether someone else has already done so.
RantWoman deeply believes that pastoral care concerns should have a place in Meeting for Worship. RantWoman also thinks pastoral care concerns in Meeting for Worship truly do need thoughtful nonjudgmental questions afterward as followup. RantWoman also, unfortunately, finds herself full of judgmental observations, inclinations to solve problems that have not been articulated and brazen inclination to make decisions or assumptions on others' behalf. That is RantWoman is afflicted to an outrageous degree with several tendencies she of late, in a total spirit of Love and Truth, has been railing against. URK!!!
The second message dates from awhile ago.
RantWoman today finally got around to following up with Friend Poet about an incident aboard a bus which Friend Poet mentioned several weeks ago.
RantWoman has been curious about more details after the three cop cars cliffhanger cutoff. RantWoman has not thought to try to intersect with Friend Poet by phone; past experience is that is unreliable at best. Today RantWoman got her act together while Friend Poet was present, simply to ask for more information.
RantWoman learned that events which showed up in the story as a cliffhanger with cop cars and disheveled clothing had an ending other than what one might expect. The other than one would expect ending: If one is faced with a cop making belligerent comments and threatening jail, apparently it matters if other bus passengers also confirm that one was exhorting one's fellow bus passengers to stay quiet and not say belligerant distracting things to one's bus driver.
Friend Poet said he had been doing something RantWoman has actually observed him doing: calming down some of the other passengers one is sometimes called to share a ride with. That day Friend Poet was speaking with a tall, young attitudinal African American youth, and somehow the conversation degenerated into the flailing limbs spoken of earlier. This week Friend poet supplied details about the sargeant at the scene as well as the point that no one got arrested.
To say the least, this sounds more like the Friend Poet RantWoman has heard a time or two over many years do something exactly on-point to clear up some or another busboard zone of confusion, rudeness, or inconsideration. RantWoman is grateful for the update and will resume her regular level of prayer and meditations on busboard peacemaking.
RantWoman feels very, very blessed sometimes to be able to find a seat facing forward a few rows back from the very front of the bus. This means RantWoman gets to ride with a lot less chance of having her feet walked on. This also means that RantWoman frequently cannot see people who are seated in front and does not know who is there until someone speaks. Friend Poet has this kind of windy way of speaking that sometimes just calms by diverting conversation, but his age also carries weight: people listen and stop what they are doing. RantWoman has been speaking to those in her Meeting who find Friend Poet's delivery vexatious: RantWoman keeps telling people, well, this is how it works on the bus. RantWoman is glad to have new facts to back up her point.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
RantWoman is collecting resources in connection with ministries at her Meeting and The Safest Sex Offender on the Planet. This item involves web content about a disturbing topic, a crime more serious than the one The Safest Sex Offender was convicted of, as well as several different moral zigs and zags. RantWoman is clear that this material is appropriate for her blog. RantWoman is clear that it is not appropriate for children and that many adults may want to skip it as well.
Feel free to click away NOW.
The following link is a This American Life segment including a segment about journalist David Holthouse's experiences of child rape and of its impact on his life.
RantWoman promises that, in the spirit of collecting resources RantWoman herself can interact with, she will get to some links related to the author's own experience of child rape. The program pointedly proclaimed the segment "not suitable for children." RantWoman imagines not every adult will want to go there either. Before including the media links though, RantWoman feels called to some navel-gazing about her Meeting.
One of the things that happened at RantWoman's Meeting as a result of The Safest Sex Offender on the Planet approaching us about worship among us was that a notebook full of resources related to sexual assault and abuse was created for our Meeting's library. RantWoman supposes that knowing the notebook exists and how to find it might be considered part of bare minimum tools for, say, new members of Worship and Ministry who might be called to help connect someone to resources.
Based on some conversations RantWoman has had in connection with current Meeting discussions, RantWoman notes that someone who really really needs the resources might feel a teeny bit hesitant about bouncing into the library and asking for help to find the notebook. Maybe RantWoman will just file that point for more conversation.
RantWoman thinks she has maybe seen the notebook. RantWoman may even have opened it and peered briefly at something. By the time the notebook was getting assembled, though, RantWoman's eyes were already doing various cloudy and foggy things. RantWoman was interacting only minimally with print. RantWoman was confident of her capacity to look things up on the internet and opted not to get in the faces of those assembling the notebook.
RantWoman further notes that The Safest Sex Offender.... appeared well into the electronic age. RantWoman, e-junkie that she is, completely sees the point of having things people can read without being plugged into the vast internet infoswamp. However, those assembling the notebook full of resources were definitely not oriented toward the internet. But it's a new day and RantWoman needs her electronic filing cabinet anyway.
The original article
The article about Holthouse's arrest for stalking
A statement from the District Attorney of Adams and Broomfield counties in CO not charging Mr. Holthouse with stalking because of lack of cooperation.
various items including several weeks of letters to the editor.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
• Since 2002 our worshipping community has included an individual who is a convicted, non-predatory sex offender. He has graduated from the treatment portion of the alternative sentencing program, continues treatment voluntarily, and remains under supervision by the Department of Corrections. We are a community working to provide a welcoming spiritual home for survivors of abuse as well as this offender. We are a safer place for both children and adults because of the awareness and education that this ministry has produced. He is with a chaperone at all times while on our grounds. He may be worshipping with us at 9:30 on 2nd and 4th Sundays and at 11:00 on 1st and 3rd Sundays. Beginning in February 2011 he may attend adult discussion at 9:30 on 1st and 3rd Sundays. When he is here at other times, the office will be informed 24 hours in advance and signs will be posted on doors to the meeting house. For more information about recent and possible future changes to these conditions see the minutes of Meeting for Business in October 2010 and January 2011. If you have questions we encourage you to ask a member of either the Oversight or Worship & Ministry Committee. For more information see yellow informational flyer on information table outside office.
• Survivors of sexual abuse working to support each other spiritually may meet in the Quaker House living room on 2nd and 4th Sundays following the rise of 11:00 meeting. To confirm schedule, call ....
• Contributions for support of this Meeting and its ministries are gratefully received in the office door.
• Need a footstool to worship more comfortably? Footstools can be found behind the side door of the cabinet next to the UFM office. Please return your footstool to the cabinet after worship.
RantWoman, being RantWoman has much else to say.
Every time our Meeting's walk with this individual comes up in public conversation with decisionmaking attached, RantWoman is DEEPLY grateful for all the different kinds of work particular individuals including The Safest Sex Offender... himself and our whole community have done, for deep sharing, for spiritual walks RantWoman probably has no basis even to imagine.
RantWoman does NOT want to say all the walks have been anything like a bed of roses. RantWoman for instance gets plunged deep into various Family Issues at some point during almost every Meeting conversation. Some of the Family Issues have specifically to do with bad communications, denial, and a whole spectrum of abuse issues. In other words, the themes are highly important and benefit from very thoughtful intentional communications. Unfortunately, the themes are also highly difficult AND it's even worse if one has abuse-related challenges about communications in the first place.
RantWoman has been dealing with a number of issues by email, sometimes lengthy and impassioned email. RantWoman is meditating about the suitablility of some puddles of her own purple prose for the blogosphere.
RantWoman is sparklingly clear that the personal journey aspects of what RantWoman's inner blowtorch has come up with about the various things our community has conversation about because of walking with The Safest Sex Offender... are perfectly fine grist for her blog; RantWoman is conscious of the need not to invest all her efforts in her blog at the expense of actual conversation
RantWoman thinks her readers should probably be grateful that RantWoman is reluctant to do a total emotional strip tease all over the internet. RantWoman is unclear whether more information about her personal emotional fire alarms would be helpful to the Meeting conversation. In fact, RantWoman is having all she can do to stay centered and find the right pieces to frame conversation.
RantWoman is so busy with her own fire alarms that she cannot necessarily detect and interact with the ways others have difficulty talking about this topic too. RantWoman thinks this is a little bit of a problem because she is currently wearing a certain "responsible adult" pastoral care hat in connection with service on a certain committee. On the other hand, RantWoman is pretty aware that some of her life experiences, while almost certainly informative, might turn out to be overwhelming if dumped into others' laps.
RantWoman's public is probably to be thankful that RantWoman is unlikely to have time to write down every lurch and shudder of what's on her mind.
RantWoman is exactly the sort of language geek who may try to walk some bridges between material on the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center website and the terms used in her Meeting.
RantWoman tends toward tasteless irreverence and is meditating about the suitability of a riff along these lines for one organizational artifact of our Meeting's walk so far with The Safest Sex Offender....
RantWoman is also clear that lurches which occur in public at Meeting for Business or other public events at Meeting have a place on this blog. RantWoman is seeking the right Light about which of these will best serve as breadcrumbs along the path of other Meetings that might be called to attend to this topic.
RantWoman thinks the conversation is probably owed some more explicitly spiritual content. RantWoman does not want to rush anyone's recovery, spiritual transformation, reconciliation, or simple presence. RantWoman even initially got annoyed about the juxtaposition of the word Forgiveness with something about the larger conversation. Upon reflection though, RantWoman thought of plenty of instances, for example when she is interpreting when she gets to apologize in advance that something might not be perfect. RantWoman has also been reading Barcly on Perfection and is happy for now just to hold all that.
But for now it is enough that we have a new announcement and if RantWoman thinks of it, she will try to check that the promised yellow flyers are where the announcement says they should be.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
RantWoman is, by Quaker standards, an embarrassingly enthusiastic consumer of fast foods. This means, for instance, that RantWoman sees before her very eyes the waves of quiet immigration measures rolling across the land: workers who have 90 days to prove their identity may not stick around very along if their papers are not in order. RantWoman has also noted that Spanish-tinged voices have, in the 'hood where RantWoman lives, been replaced by African American ones.
RantWoman is noting these points without comment, partly because of what she would say if she did comment: RantWoman would say that near slavery conditions in the fast food business may be only one of several realities calling Friends to radical prophetic witness. Even RantWoman is, unfortunately, not necessarily that prophetic.
RantWoman is happy to note several of her preferred chains are mentioned in the above item as having signed agreements about fair labor practices. Sometimes RantWoman takes her virtue in even small increments.
RantWoman thinks rather a higher percentage of Friends shop at supermarkets than admit to eating fast food. RantWoman commends to her readers efforts to get several supermarket chains to sign such agreements: can you say prophetic witness opportunity?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
RantWoman thinks this sounds terribly interesting: she also thinks the cost is giving her vertigo. However, RantWoman trusts deeply that either the retreat will fill with people ahead of RantWoman and able to pay or RantWoman will be led to work harder at attending:
Roots of Contemplation, Roots of Action: A Quaker Study Retreat
Friday, March 4th 5:00p.m. — Sunday, March 6th, 4p.m.
Shalom Prayer Center, Mt. Angel, Oregon
An Invitation: Find complete details on the web:
Take a deep breath and imagine quiet time apart from full or fractured days. Leave routines and bustle behind to root in one place, for one purpose, for an entire weekend. Nourish your deep connection to God in the peaceful, supportive setting of Shalom Prayer Center, in Mt. Angel, Oregon, 35 miles south of Portland.
Prepare to live more fully into your gifts, leadings and ministry.
Grow in faithfulness as you integrate inward and outward life in the Spirit, learning to be a well-rounded follower of Jesus. Strengthen your understanding of early Quaker witness to contemplation and action.
Spread deep, strong roots for courageous obedience to the Spirit. Stretch to "hear where the words come from" (John Woolman) with others from diverse Quaker worshiping communities.
We will take an experiential approach to spiritual growth through assigned readings and prayerful reflection in community. The program is inspired by and offered in dialogue with the School of the Spirit Ministry. We welcome Evangelical and Unprogrammed Quakers from the Northwest: members, attenders and others who feel aligned with this work.
Fees for the weekend: $345, if paid in full by February 15th; $370 for partial payments or registration after Feb. 15th; includes two nights’ lodging in a private room, all meals, meeting space, and associated administrative/staff costs. We do not offer day-only participation.
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 25th
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Anyone with a taste for Quaker telenovela, continuing revelation, Bad Friends, or RantWoman's entourage of alter egos is invited to continue reading.
If you made it this far and are still reading, it's YOUR choice. DO NOT say RantWoman did not warn you, invite you to come back at another time, attempt to ameliorate some downsides of electronic communications.... If you are wondering why the heck RantWoman is presenting things as she does, she promises a separate tirade about email.
About three days into a average Invasion of the Grandchildren, the Rev. RantGranddad would start to murmur things like "Go away so you can come back." RantWoman is at that point. What with multiple appearances of Bad Auntie and Worse Auntie, and various other seething family matters, RantWoman has had an especially festive spell of holiday restimulation, thankfully seasoned by now more than one "yucky topic, good conversation" event. Even worse, the bad economy and sundry upheavals mean Bad Auntie and Worse Auntie may be crashing on RantWoman's couch for awhile.
This is a problem. For one thing, RantWoman does not have a couch, and Sensible Auntie is likely to have her hands full if the entourage is underslept. For another, RantWoman has gotten so giddy with the extra few minutes / day of daylight each day since the solstice that she is kind of quaking in the corner murmuring over and over "I am to be true to the Light I am given." RantWoman is sparklingly clear she is to stay where she is, but is also quite clear that this may be a bumpy ride for awhile.
RantWoman got eldered the other night about use of email in connection with a Meeting role. RantWoman promises a separate tirade about email. RantWoman will do what she can in her blog, but even RantWoman has standards about what should or should not be public. That, along with a desire to SEASON material is one of the major POINTS of RantWoman's use of email in the first place. That and accessibility, but as RantWoman said another post may be in order.
The point is, RantWoman did not repeat some points she has previously presented in email. RantWoman did NOT promise not to use email. In fact, RantWoman THINKS she has been taking all kinds of steps to give people CHOICES about how to interact. RantWoman did not say what Worse Auntie thinks: if RantWoman gives you multiple clues as to whether something is urgent or not and multiple options to avoid getting sucked in immediately AND you still cannot interact with the measures RantWoman is offering, then DO NOT BLAME RANTWOMAN.
The conversation did not engage with any ofRantWoman's concerns and RantWoman did NOT unite with the predominant point of view. When Sensible Auntie is on the scene, RantWoman can hear the part about "we do not know how to deal." Unfortunately, when "we don't know how to deal," turns into "therefore don't send," "shut up," or "learn to season yourself" Worse Auntie crashes onto the scene and insists there are points that Friends NEED to deal with, that spiritual concerns do not always show up in tidy, already-seasoned bundles, and that it's the job of certain committees to season!
Here RantWoman must present other elements of her background. RantWoman, as previously mentioned, is a bit of a language geek. RantWoman is the sort of person who tests processes by for example punching the line to get customer service information in languages she speaks just to test that part of the customer service package.
There is a language test element of RantWoman's story. RantWoman in one of the offending emails mentioned a challenge in RantWoman's life: RantWoman very occasionally gets so upset she cannot talk and uses email instead. Those who know RantWoman in person may find this surprising. Those who know RantWoman only by the meditations of her heart and the torrents of words off her keyboard may wonder how it is that RantWoman could be at a loss for words. RantWoman herself is peculiarly grateful to have encountered enough trauma-recovery literature to have language for this problem: trauma reaction.
RantWoman can outline some of the whys, the dynamics of the issue, but functionally the whys are irrelevant, an unhelpful metaphysical question RantWoman gets to discuss regularly with a mental health professional. The point is the problem exists, and some circumstances can make it worse. RantWoman has been getting a lot of messages by email and in person that feel to RantWoman, when RantWoman feels heard at all, too much like "shut up" including several about the topics RantWoman thinks need attention. These topics exist in RantWoman's mind right next to the trauma reaction landmines. RantWoman has not detected anyone else in the vicinity with language to make the "trauma response" connection. If anyone else has made the connection....
RantWoman was all set to be thoroughly peeved about this problem--until that flock of guardian angels currently on duty showed up--AGAIN. Worse Auntie said, well, let people experience the reaction, with or without the language to deal: at some point the experience might prove useful if, say, they have the misfortune to encounter much worse trauma reactions. Sensible Auntie just says "Breathe, Breathe, now embrace it as another opening."
RantWoman apologizes to those who, even after 18+ years of worshipping alongside RantWoman do not realize RantWoman HAS trauma reactions. RantWoman is in fact DEEPLY grateful to her community for space to sort some of this out without having to talk. RantWoman does not know whether to blame / credit Bad Auntie or Worse Auntie for her leading to let others be present with the trauma reactions problem just now.
In any case, RantWoman must take the results as an opening, a way to come at some discussions about what does it mean to walk alongside survivors of abuse, what does it mean that we are all ministers of God? RantWoman finds herself meditating here about the difference in Quaker pastoral care terms between any ordinary friend and Friends with certain professional qualifications and letters behind their names: Friends with assorted letters behind their names are allowed to worship in reticence, not obliged in any direction. One of the miracles of RantWoman's experience with Quakerism is the heal inwardly / heal the world around you dynamic.
RantWoman has, a time or two in the past, been the sort of obstreperous civilly disobedient who has pointedly NOT promised, say to a federal judge to refrain from something the federal judge with power over RantWoman's life and liberty wanted her to promise.
Present-day RantWoman thinks two things about this, besides that it is indeed a Quakerly experience: almost any large-city Friends Meeting should have at least one person like RantWoman with similar experiences on its Worship and Ministry Committee. RantWoman suspects this frame of reference may not exactly be soothing to others on Worship and Ministry. RantWoman wants to assure all concerned that for the time being, RantWoman is REALLY grateful to be reading Barclay, helping with Popcorn Patrol at Meeting for Worship and cutting WAY back on obstreperous behavior before federal judges.
RantWoman is also VERY humble about the challenges of current peace begins right before our noses projects.
Happy Bleeping New Year to All!