Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hallowed Time. The Bus COUNTS

Reflections on hallowed time, prayer, worship, the bus.

RantWoman's mind is in a time warp. RantWoman's body is reluctantly back from vacation and Quarterly Meeting. RantWoman's brain most assuredly is still dawdling. Here: MODEST efforts to corral RantWoman's reflections on recent reading.

About making every moment holy and not apologizing when psychic "junk food" turns out more nourishing than one initially assumes.

About spending 10,000 hours to get good at something and in passing about Saturday plenary at NPYM annual session.

Digression alert? Prayer experiments

Does the bus count? At the moment, all roads, courses of Living Water, nearly hidden tracks in the woods, ALL Routes lead to the Bus!

Really? How about hold RantWoman and all those in the path of her emanations in the Light?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Signs? Rush Hour and

Ordinarily RantWoman does not really go for all that "threaten them with hellfire" stuff. However, in the interest of #saveMetroNow #keepusmoving, RantWoman is going to digress SOMEWHAT from her #disasterprep #npm2013 threads and work with some actually existing disasters, the actually existing hell that currently is Puget Sound traffic gridlock. The basic #disasterprep point: if traffic congestion in the Puget Sound is this bad under normal conditions, heaven help us all after an earthquake.

The picture below arrived in RantWoman's blog roll just as RantWoman has been trying to zero in on the high points she means to propagate in connection with the WA State Senate's Transportation Listening Sessions now occurring around WA.

Churchsign: "Keep using my name in vain and I will make rush hour longer." God

In particular, recently RantWoman was called to spend several hours in a room full of people deeply concerned about Roads and Transit.

There were Death by Powerpoint elements: LOTS of small pictures on a couple slides of MANY spots in WA in need of road repair, bridges at risk, etc. There were a couple slides full of more data than anyone wants to try to look at on a Powerpoint slide. Nevertheless, RantWoman will need to make a reasonable accommodations request that the slides be available for accessible consumption in connection with the rest of the hearigs.

The point that sticks hardest in RantWoman's mind right now though: RantWoman listened to LOTS of elected officials, members of chambers of commerce... talk about needed transportation projects. RantWoman listened to SOME voices talking about the importance of transit. Most important, instead of hearing that WA's highly regressive tax structure makes it really, really easy to recruit people for high-tech jobs, RantWoman heard several big employers talk about how traffic gridlock is killing productivity, traffic gridlock is a reason people keep TURNING DOWN job offers.

Hold that thought because RantWoman also heard people with high incomes clearly say they are willing to pay more taxes to have a transportation infrastructure that works! In particular, someone needs to say it: is the state of WA ready to admit that gas tax, MVET, tolls alone will not meet our transportation needs and we need to c-c-c-cons-s-sid-d-d-der an in-n-n-come t-t-t-tax?

RantWoman herself can attest: there was a time in RantWoman's life when RantWoman took more calls from technical recruiters than she does now. RantWoman more than once:

1. THANKED employers for not hiring her because RantWoman did not feel she could safely get from the bus stop to the front door of the workplace especially in the wintertime.


2. Suggested that if the recruiter was serious about engaging RantWoman and wanted RantWoman to commute across a certain large lake, the first thing that would need to happen would be to insert another 0 into the proposed salary amount.

Bus connections have improved SOMEWHAT since RantWoman routinely made such demands; now RantWoman also HAS TO leave the driving to other people.

Improved bus connections are a GOOD thing. The bus not only is RantWoman's car, the bus is the family car for RantWoman's entire extended family, RantMom at 75, Little Sister, Brother in Law, Irrepressible Nephew as well as RantWoman. We ALL for different reasons need to leave the driving to other people BUT the bus is still stuck in the same traffic gridlock as everything else!

But back to the sign. God in his / her infinite wisdom and grace has seen to attach the various RantFamily households each to our own house of worship. Remember, the bus is our car. We even manage to worship whether or not the streets are clogged with other traffic. RantWoman is not prepared to evaluate anyone else's use of God's name in vain but RantWoman REALLY, REALLY does not want to spend any longer on the road than absolutely necessary! Word!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pres. Obama, please meet with the President of IRan

RantWoman is enthusiastic enough about this petition simply to reproduce it here. Word!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Overseeing. Overlooking. Much Fog and Blur Over Something

RantWoman's Meeting is in the process of seasoning whether to rename the committee currently called Oversight and if so what to call it. Since Oversight is the name listed in organizational bylaws, if there is a change, the bylaws need to be amended too. In addition to multiple references to Oversight committee which would need to be changed, the bylaws also contain:

1. at least one reference to "Overseers" by which is meant members of said committee. RantWoman EXACTLY understands why the word Overseers is a problem. During the era of enslavement in the US, the overseer on a plantation was someone of African descent responsible for working the other slaves and keeping all the enslaved in line.

RantWoman is less clear about the word Oversight and whether it MIGHT be sufficient simply to replace "Overseers" with "members of Oversight committee" in the bylaws. RantWoman WISHES she felt any capacity to go all word nerd and quaker history geek on the problem. Instead RantWoman has raised the question in Meeting for Business and is interested to see what comes backin response.

2. two references to the word "overseeing" in the following contexts: "overseeing marriages" and "overseeing worship groups." In both cases, RantWoman in translator mode would reflexively change these terms to what she considers better Quakerese, something in the vicinity of the examples below.

"overseeing marriages" = "assisting couples in clearness for marriage and the Meeting in clearness to take marriages under the care of Meeting"

"overseeing worship groups" = "support and nurture of worship groups under Meeting's care"

RantWoman has a couple basic objections to the use of "overseeing" in the contexts above. For better or worse, Rantwoman does not hear the same resonance with enslavement in the word "overseeing" as with the word "overseers."

RantWoman DOES hear something she personally is HIGHLY allergic to, Quakers playing God, implying promises about more than it is humanly reasonable to promise..

RantWoman understands perfectly well that oversight has a more or less neutral administrative meaning. RantWoman understands this because "oversight" exists in RantWoman's mind with a cluster of other words like management, supervision, administration... which cluster and split different in English than the equivalent cluster of words in Russian. These words exist because the functions are needed, with full understanding of the limitations even of one's or one's organization's best efforts. Still, "oversight" gives RantWoman many headaches even without theology.

But when it comes to theology, worship groups are responsible for tending their own spiritual gardens; a committee of onlookers at best tends with a light touch. The phrase "overseeing marriages" even more insistently puts RantWoman in mind of a wonderful quote from George Fox about how we marry none but that is God's work.

THAT language,more than anything, is why RantWoman is allergic to the phrase "overseeing marriages." Furthermore RantWoman knows perfectly well that bylaws sometimes get read by people likely to have little interest in uniquely Quaker practices and this is exactly why RantWoman thinks it is quite reasonable to spell out the Quaker distinctives of the matter! In the world of translation, however much one strives for verbal economy, sometimes one gets to substitute a whole bunch of words for one word. RantWoman believes this is such a moment.

Alas, all of this is such Light as has come to RantWoman. RantWoman actually really, Really, REALLY wishes the bylaws changes would not keep coming to Business Meeting until RantWoman hears answers to her questions about history AND there is unity about what if anything to rename the committee in question.

So far, the bylaws changes keep showing up on the Business Meeting agenda but for various reasons not getting acted on. Wordsmithing bylaws in Business Meeting is one of those exercises in applied Quakerism that is either quite charming and educational or really tedious, but RantWoman thinks these suggestions need to be heard out loud and heard in separate Light from the question of what to call the committee now called Oversight!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Show your work: seasoning Oversight

RantWoman is trying to get herself centered for a busy week. RantWoman is not clear that opining about what to call Oversight committee should be on the critical path to Monday morning centering. RantWoman suspects she has enough to say for several blog posts; this contribution is an effort to triage one issue RantWoman needs help about. If you have opinions, links, text excerpts to contribute to this discussion, please leave a comment!

First, this issue has been vexing folks for awhile. Fixing the terminology should in no way be equated with dealing with sundry thoughts about privilege, manifestations of privilege, whether we ARE actually called to eradicate every whiff of privilege OR just to recognize when we have a whole darn lot to be grateful for... In any case, fixing the terminology CAN wait for reasonable seasoning.

Next, Dude, PLEASE show your work.

RantWoman's blog roll has presented her with two blog posts referring to discussion by NPYM Faith and Practice Committee about what to call the committee sometimes called Oversight or Ministry and Oversight. North Pacific Yearly Meeting is in the throes of its approximately once / generation effort to update Faith and Practice and Faith and Practice committee is struggling about how to refer to said committee. Coincidentally the question of renaming said committee is alive in the life of both Friend Blogger's and RantWoman's monthly Meetings.

The first blog post refers to a conversation on Facebook. RantWoman would be ever so grateful to know which Facebook group the discussion is taking place in. RantWoman would not in the least mind a few excerpts of the discussion to which Blogging Friend is reacting.

RantWoman specifically further takes issue with  Blogging Friend's view that the question of what to call the committee sometimes called Oversight is not important or is unreasonable to talk about. Blogging Friend refers to conversation in his own Meeting so RantWoman is happy to see whether that conversation addresses the unexamined privilege reflected in Blogging Friend's views.

The committee currently called Oversight in RantWoman's Meeting is the committee seasoning what to present to Business Meeting.  RantWoman wants that committee to consider points related to discussion in other Meetings and to the work of Faith and Practice committee about this very topic. In the process Gmail autofill added someone to the to list who weighed in forcefully about issues of unexamined privilege.

RantWoman has emailed the clerk of Faith and Practice committee and is confident that Faith and Practice committee is attentive to the importance of what this committee gets called. Faith and Practice committee has a meeting coming up and RantWoman is confident attention will be paid to concerns even though RantWoman does not unite with Faith and Practice Committee's desire to refer to this committee as "Pastoral Care." RantWoman promises to hold forth about what to call the committee and why or why not in a separate post.
RantWoman concurs with a point made in the first blog post: unless Faith and Practice committee discerns resounding unity about what to call said committee, RantWoman thinks it is Faith and Practice committee's job to articulate something about the range of views and ongoing discernment in individual Meetings / worship groups and then to suggest some descriptive shorthand for said committee while referring to functions usually performed by that committee. Again, based on email with the clerk of Faith and Practice committee, RantWoman thinks the new draft includes paragraphs speaking to this.
The second blog post suggests, to RantWoman's ears that the final Faith and Practice would benefit from including some history in its work. Um, how on earth is history supposed to be reflected if a blog does not provide comments and there is no way quickly to track back to conversation on Facebook?

RantWoman is aware that the NPYM website contains drafts revisions of many sections of Faith and Practice. RantWoman feels no need to go quote individual passages just now. However when discussing texts, it makes RantWoman's screen reader addled brain really happy if the chunks of text under discussion get mentioned in blog posts along with links to the whole document.

RantWoman is not sure that having conversations about this topic across multiple different media streams and modes of communications will lead to either great Light or simplicity, but RantWoman is called to aimfor both, preferably from multiple directions, with or without hyperlinks.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

John Howard Yoder, Theology, women

RantWoman sometimes becomes morbidly fascinated with challenges within other faith communities. RantWoman feels called to hold, to pray, and to admit that really messy moral tangles can be Soooooo intriguing.

In that spirit, a link from Young Anabaptist Radicals about a prominent Mennonite theologian, John Howard Yoder. This item includes many other links and learning more of the story is on RantWoman's mean to do list, but not necessarily RantWoman's guaranteed to happen list. For one thing, RantWoman as a person of faith particularly concerned about women in ministry, broadly defined, already has enough to do sorting through unexamined privilege of various flavors, psychic wounds, and the perils of her own spiritual compost heap without plowing into something orders of magnitude more  complex and disturbing. But just in case RantWoman gets time or anyone else shares this morbid fascination.

Friday, September 13, 2013

How to Kickstart World War III

RantWoman has NO problem recognizing that many readers will find the following item tasteless, offensive, slanderous to an entire generation....


In the meantime, for the rest of us:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Minutes on Climate Change and Transformations

RantWoman means to see whether coherent thoughts can be woven from the following items in terms of what is my Meeting / Yearly Meeting / my own soul called to do, to do next in the presence of Climate Change. But RantWoman is posting these items together unwoven thinking that others might feel called to weave faster than RantWoman will

An interesting minute arising from holding Meeting for Business every day during a workshop at Friends General Conference 2013

Closing statement from the World Gathering, the Kabarack Call for Peace and Ecojustice, findable via

The Overconsumption / Overpopulation Minute seasoned but never approved by North Pacific Yearly Meeting

2008 NPYM MInute on Climate Change

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Memorial because what else does one do?

RantWoman has little to add to the torrents of words already written about 9/11 and instead grabs some images in prayer.

A budweiser ad?
RantWoman does not buy the beer but does appreciate the ad.

WARNING: powerful, stunning, some will find upsetting!
A stunning reflection about all the people who jumped out of the burning towers.

And for a window into the spooky world of people trained and accustomed to thinking about what bad things might happen, a peculiar contribution to NationalPreparedness Month, #NPM2013, a History Channel item about RickRiscola, the Director of Security atn Dean Witter / Morgan Stanley and all of his drill practices.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Morning pages mid afternoon

RantWoman recollects Hurricane Katrina anniversaries, global climate change, and sundry world concerns while praying fervently along with radio updates that good sense holds as far as Syria and international supervision of chemical weapons.

By way of digression / distraction / reflection on what does or does not change, an interesting web based history snapshot via RantWoman's #NatlPrep tweet stream from the Presidential recordings program about Lyndon Johnson and Hurrican Betsy:

Presidents are required to show up at disasters and sound sympathetic; RantWoman always appreciates historians who can pull at all the other threads of motive and decision in such moments.

Warning, if you need one thought at a time, feel free to stop and to come back or not as led to read further.

RantWoman finds herself peculiarly grateful to have the time to reflect on Lyndon Johnson and digressive #disaster responses or the shadows of climate change in modern hurricane realities or the life-upending effects of earthquakes rather than, for instance to endure a barrage of breathless war-themed broadcasts.

Here, RantWoman does not even apologize to all her readers who wish she would do one thing at a time gosh dang it and have only simple messages and ... and... RantWoman IS trying to keep a handle on giant leaps but lately has been gratified to notice that other people have gotten that SOME things on RantWoman's mind are IMPORTANT. RantWoman is also grateful to get that RantWoman sometimes just trips over giant leap observations that take a lot longer for other people to come to. RantWoman has not necessarily gotten any more patient about this, but maybe appreciating the phenomenon is a good place to start.

In the rest of life, RantWoman is observing National Disaster Preparedness Month, seeing what kind of time commitment she can compress into meaningful daily messages. Besides #npm2013 #natlprep #disaster #preparedness #accessibility, be insistently but hopefully appropriately present in conversations goals, RantWoman has undertaken this effort just for the soul-purifying exercise of doing at least one blog post a day but TRYING not to singe her Meeting around RantWoman's Inner Blowtorch. Hold that effort in the Light.

Monday, September 9, 2013

O Syria

Dear World

1. RantWoman will dutifully communicate her distaste for Us military activity in Syria to her Congressional representatives.

2. RantWoman is faithfully praying for a mass outbreak of good sense among multiple parties in the Syrian situation. RantWoman is embarrassed to admit she has no clue what circumstances should change and in what directions for "good sense" to reign. RantWoman has to assume humans have some role in the desired outbreak of good sense but is generally having to leave things in bigger hands than her own.

3. RantWoman has been thinking about what measures would both convey international distaste with a dictator who gases his own people and MAYBE deter said dictator from doing so ever again. Again RantWoman is slightly embarrassed by the ideas that have sloshed out of RantWoman's spiritual compost heap. RantWoman presents the following in order of frequency / urgency in RantWoman's head:

--Send Congress to Syria. When RantWoman first saw this suggestion on Facebook, RantWoman initially demurred. Are we SURE we want to do THAT to Syria? But the idea has grown on RantWoman: "You want to gas your own people some more? How about you wait until we have another 3 zillion House votes to repeal Obamacare?"

--Send the NSA to Syria. RantWoman thinks that surely an entity with as much electronic finesse as the NSA gets credit for having should be able, say, to infest all the electronics surrounding chemical warfare munitions and keep it from going off ever again anywhere. What? You doubt this?

--Send Millie Cyrus to Syria. Can you say Porn Performance for Peace?

What are the odds that any of these offers will just make the Syrian government hurry up and gas themselves in lieu of accepting the offer?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thunderless Braille

Perhaps God(dess) was looking out for RantWoman last First Day during Meeting for Worship.

RantWoman dutifully picked up the weekly bulletin and another paper at the entrance to the Worship Room. RantWoman and others receive the weekly bulletin by email. For RantWoman who finds reading regular print torturous, this is an accessibility measure. For various reasons RantWoman still reflexively collects paper. RantWoman was peeved to realize she seems to have picked up an emanation from Worship and Ministry which she is not sure she has received by email and has no easy search string to check.

RantWoman immediately thought of the item from Friends Journal about children--and much older children--sometimes having trouble in Meeting for worship.

RantWoman was all set to have a fit in braille all over the offending document to calm her nerves and help her settle into something like the centered presence needed worshipfully to help interrupt the March to War of the Week.

In particular, Worse Auntie has been seasoning all sorts of contributions to the bedlam that is end of worship announcements right now.

--Follow the Bouncing Balls, all ages. Why should the little kids have all the fun with large stuffed animals? Let's get the great big, much older kids involved. Enough said?

--RantWoman has been considering whether to accept a promotion from Wing Commander, 907th Psalm, Airborne Paper Ministry Squadron to Supreme Commander of the same noble ministry. Initially RantWoman did not realize that the Airborne Paper Ministry Squadron has two formations, the Peace Crane formation and the Weekly Bulletin repurposed Avaition Team. So far, praise god the most merciful, beneficent...., neither formation has flown in for Meeting for Worship. So far.

To have a fit all over anything, RantWoman needs her braille slate. Look, RantWoman IS flamboyant, but does ANYONE really think RantWoman is just goind to write in fat pen big enough for any old snoop to read over her shoulder? RantWoman NEEDED her braille slate but RantWoman could not FIND her Braille slate.

RantWoman looked high. RantWoman looked low. RantWoman looked in her purse. RantWoman looked in the RantWoman bag of the day. RantWoman spent ALMOST enough time fiddling with her various pockets and fasteners to be thoroughly embarrassed. Almost. There were no Velcro noises. Finally RantWoman stopped and settled appropriately.

Worship as befits Friends Meeting while the nation and the world are trying to find routes past US militarism in Syria featured several messages on the theme of alternatives to violence. The children entered. RantWoman, all Meeting, had been seasoning a message on a different War and Peace theme but God gave the end of Meeting culminating colliding messages to others. RantWoman shook hands. RantWoman was called, surprisingly, to speak during announcements.

Then RantWoman moved her foot and saw a flash of yellow. RantWoman's braille slate had fallen out of RantWoman's purse! Thanks you God, RantWoman GUESSES, for both losing and finding.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Condolences; Thunderous Braille

Worse Auntie offers condolences of the sort needed a few months after death when the grieving are sometimes assumed to have returned to normal. These condolences occured in the context of Worse Auntie doing something, getting eldered, and offering one of her trademark "You're darn right and here's my side." responses. One of these millenia RantWoman / Worse Auntie MAY yet evolve into a more consistently presentable human being. Or the worship angel woven into our community's worship experiences MIGHT become more precisely verbal and less persistently vexed by throbbing non-verbal resonances.

Dear Friend seated near RantWoman during the same Meeting for Worship after which RantWoman was called to elder....

Thank you for bearing with thunderously loud braille Sunday in Meeting for Worship. I think I am supposed to be contrite; I am not and I do not even apologize but I do promise to TRY to keep some kind of grip on the behavior. As I said,

1. I got a new stylus that I really like. It works! So it is loud. Sigh.

2. I WAS scrawling tasteless comments wildly inappropriate in their raw form but which did in fact make it through RantWoman's spiritual taffy pull to a blog post.,

3. The theme of suicide turned out in undercurrents to touch even more people than RantWoman had initially noted. That theme needs continual holding in the Light.

4. Considering all the people around with hearing loss, Worse Auntie SEASONING a desire to tell anyone who complains that they should be glad they have enough hearing to be bothered--AND glad if that's the worst problem of their day. But you were sitting right next to me and RantWOman thinks it's good that neither of us so far has yet clobbered our hearing, for instance with loud music.

But seriously, It took me all meeting to get most of the way to a message about how we never stop loving someone even long after they died. I don't know how things are going for you about (your recent loss) but if that death is weighing too heavily, please feel free to stop.

Now the simple possibly more than you want to know request: my condolences on your loss. Please hold me in the Light about losses in the same month: RantDad, a friend who died in a comical fizzle of nearby fireworks, and another friend, all different years, someone killed in an awful bicycle vs dump truck death from 4 years ago, the mother of someone who suddenly spoke very differently about her after her death than while she was alive...

And when I Am Not Interested in Your Thought Processes Friend opens his mouth, I sometimes find myself less confident that God is speaking than that Friend himself is; I was definitely having that problem in principle about his ministry; I am aware that might be MY problem. Sigh.

And how does thunderously loud braille help? I am right handed. I slate left-handed. I still have to think about contractions and freaky braille contraction orthography rules. AND expending all that physical and psychic energy is ONE way to keep a handle on all the definitely not appropriate for Meeting for Worship language sloshing around in my head. If being in Meeting for Worship really helps but I cannot be there without... sometimes I just need to do that.

Anyway, if you have made it this far, thank you for reading and consider yourself still held in the Light about your recent loss.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Give us this day our daily...

RantWoman is THRILLED that the search engine of her choice yielded these two wonderful resources when RantWoman fet it Joan Broadfield's name:

Center on Conscience and War

RantWoman is terribly happy to realize this site exists because it encompasses acronyms RantWoman had lost track of and because what the heck kind of Quaker is it who cannot provide current resources about conscientious objection!

And from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting pastoral care resources, an interview about recognizing white privilege.

RantWoman finds herself delighted about several points in the delivery of this item:

--Paying attention to issues of privilege is considered pastoral Care!

--Recognizing White privilege is treated on par with helping people with other challenges remain connected with the Meeting community.

So what's not to like????

Look, okay, most readers are going to be happy to stop here, with positive, uplifting, centered, inspiring items like the two above.

RantWoman herself would be delighted to stop here.


Give us our daily "I didn't tell you about my day" opportunity to have a full-blown, froth at the mouth, lose all perspective on almost everything accessibility tirade!

RantWoman whipped out her search engine to get to the two items above because she had one encounter too many with Yahoo brand non-accessibility through Quaker.Quaker trying to read an item there by Joan Broadfield called something like Silent or Waiting.

RantWoman did her customary click on the link off her blogroll. Enough of the article flashed before RantWoman's eyes that RantWoman can tell it indeed is there and then RantWoman's browser did one of it's standard "this is too weird and I will phone home to the computer brand mothership but not take you where you want to go" messages.

RantWoman's computer does this nearly all the time when she tries to read things on Quaker.quaker, especially when JAWS, RantWoman's main screen reader is running. RantWoman has tried quaker.quaker with other combinations of operating system and software version. NOTHING works except sometimes turning off the screen reader. RantWoman is glad that is an option for her, in VERY limited increments.

RantWoman wishes she had the slightest desire to troubleshoot accessibility but she does not. In fact RantWoman has so much experience with people complaining about yahoo and very unevenly implemented accessibility that she is fine with just going straight to scorn and recommendation of other platforms.

RantWoman would, though, be undyingly grateful if anyone involved with quaker.quaker wanted to take up the issues of yahoo accessibility with someone from yahoo. RantWoman does not mind complaining herself, but RantWoman is likely to get around to this months down the line. But all the accessibility issues make it a big pain for RantWoman to interact with a big part of her community. Website accessibility issues mean the precious Yahoo brand around RantWoman primarily gets associated with negative experiences. And RantWoman really does not need any more practice feeling blessed to have so much to complain about!