Thursday, February 28, 2013

Parker Palmer in Seattle in July 16-18

RantWoman shamelessly reposts as much of email as she can figure out how to repost cleanly.

Parker J. Palmer in Seattle!
Healing the Heart of Democracy
Civil Community, Creative Conflict, and the Common Good

Are you frustrated with politics? Do you wonder if you can make a difference?

Bestselling author, internationally known educator and activist (and our founder) Parker J. Palmer will be in Seattle for three days in July.

With wisdom and wit, he'll share his commonsense approach that serves the common good. What you learn will transform the way you collaborate and create community.

Parker will spark our local civic (and civil) understanding about how we each contribute to a politics worthy of the human spirit. Mark your calendar!

Tuesday, July 16
Parker J. Palmer at Benaroya Hall
5:30 - 7 pm Sponsors Reception
7:30 - 9 pm Talk by Parker
$25 adults; $15 seniors & students

Wednesday, July 17
Half-day deep dive with Parker
8:00 - 11:30 am, St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill. $99

Thursday, July 18
Lunchtime panel with City Club
More details to come

Pass the word:

To participate or for more information contact: Terry Chadsey, Executive Director, , (206) 466-2055


Center for Courage & Renewal
1402 Third Avenue Suite 709
Seattle WA 98101

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Carry Sorrow?

RantWoman mental excursion during a recent Meeting for Worship:

"...Dietrich Bonhoffer writing about '..blessed are those who mourn' except Bonhoffer was translating from Greek to German using words which translate as 'blessed are those who carry sorrow.'"

RantWoman language brain:

...carry idioms in Spanish...

-- ...determinate and indeterminate verbs of motion in Russion, going straight from Pt. A to Pt B or wandering around in space and time...?

But what if it's not regret exactly and definitely not trying to fix, just carrying around, or in RantWoman's case, physically carrying from one place to another through the sheer physical accident of one's feet going from one place to another.?

RantWoman is thinking of Weighty Blind Friend. Toward the end of Weighty Blind Friend's life, a couple years before RantWoman's own  vision began obviously to melt, she invited RantWoman to join her Care Committee. In our Meeting care committees do different kinds of looking in on a person, helping them with details of life or loss or illness depending on need. Care committees are semi-formal with some discernment about who to ask to join, some practices to help all sides have realistic expectations. Realism seems to be a key element; at it's best, realism buoyed by tenderness.

Weighty Blind Friend asked RantWoman to join her care committee. RantWoman accepted and went faithfully to committee meetings. RantWoman found it easy enough to attend consistently because of living on the same bus route; RantWoman did not necessarily find it easy to visit more often: RantWoman could visit on her own way home by hopping off one bus, stopping for a visit, and getting a later bus home, but going round trip involved a tiresome underpass and some pedestrian backtracking. In other words Care Committee and time at Meeting were it.

RantWoman listened to life details and upheld the care of those who took Weighty Blind Friend shopping, gave her rides, to Meeting, and sometimes tracked other matters RantWoman did little else except also make sure to say "Hi" when someone else brought Weighty Blind Friend to Meeting. RantWoman would have been happy to call Weighty Blind Friend for periodic chats, but Weighty Blind Friend really no longer enjoyed the telephone and all felt much better connected in person.

In Weighty Blind Friend's case, part of tender realism had to do with the fuzzy boundary between managing independently and needing more help than a care committee can provide. Weighty Blind Friend's care committee did the best we could. RantWoman has previously written of Weighty Blind Friend here:

That is not the carry sorrow story on RantWoman's heart today.

A few years after Weighty Blind Friend passed away, RantWoman got to go to the state convention of the WA Council of the Blind. RantWoman's ineptness as a social butterfly has previously been noted but one night during the convention, RantWoman wanted into a meeting of the history committee. RantWoman heard details of history she is REALLY glad never to have previously interacted with.

Then RantWoman brought up Weighty Blind Friend's name. RantWoman was deeply touched to realize that she was in the room with a number of Weighty Blind Friend's former professional colleagues. Former colleagues no less than Weighty Blind Friend found it hard to go anywhere; some were more into the telephone than others but Weighty Blind Friend was not alone in being less than enthusiastic about it.In other words, never mind getting together or calling each other up. RantWoman was kind of it as far as sustained contact. RantWoman was further delighted to hear Weighty Blind Friend's colleagues' genuine gratitude for news, even sad news of care and community. This gratitude is one of the ways that knowing Weighty Blind Friend has given RantWoman courage. a sense of how small things, specific circumstances sometimes matter a great deal.

RantWoman previously had thought little about moments when one carries assorted sorrows but the carrying is carrying but not necessarily burdensome. Blessed are those who....

RantWoman was looking on this blog for something else and also came across an item about the passage above

Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidents Day Prayers and...

RantWoman, unfortunately as predicted, is NOT spending President's Day in Olympia loggying her soul out. RantWoman would more describe today's tasks as attempting to clone and multiply herself or as spiritual compost heap upturned again, anew.

RantWoman thanks her public radio station, KUOW, for regularly finding federal holidays occasions to air material requiring RantWoman to reflect on matters of race.

Today's theme is "emancipation" as in President Lincoln, the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation freed states only in the rebellious states, not yet in the ones who remained in the Union. General McClellan did not see anything to do with emancipation being in his military interest. At this point RantWoman's attention skipped. Oops, well.

RantWoman can definitely see that "emancipation" is the point of view of the dominant / white culture and that if one looks at things from the point of view of those getting emancipated, a more topical term might be "white people sort of kind of getting it or at least some of it." RantWoman thinks there should be a shorter phrase that encapsulates this point and is shaking linguistic trees seeing what might fall out.

Another segment of the broadcast was about President Kennedy and the Civil Rights movement. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson also had to be dragged along pretty directly. RantWoman makes no pretension to be able to expound in any more depth than that, but appreciates the opportunity to hold these realities.

RantWoman is interested by further broadcasts about Pres. Johnson inviting former Pres. Eisenhower sometimes just to run key meetings about the Vietnam war. When RantWoman wants to mix in threads of the era, she might go read sections of Matthew Brzezinski's book Red Moon Rising about how moments of the space race intertwined with moments of protest about civil rights matters. But that is not to be the tasks of today.

A memorial topical to race relations
Richard Triss Allowed himself to be a lightning rod.

RantWoman has never heard of this person but is posting this link to a remembrance to remind herself maybe to come back to the theme of Indigenous people and Christianity. RantWoman heard a little too much "spiritual warfare" language in the church of her youth and is REALLY energized by the thought of gatherings of people who both profess Christianity and hold drum circles in native American tradition.

RantWoman is also thinking of a native Hawaiian grandmother spoken of last time RantWoman visited the Baptist church of her youth. The wise grandmother recognized that church life was offering her granddaughter something the granddaughter needed and part of the story was of these two women's reconciliation over time.

(RantWoman also notes that going off to be missionaries to Native American communities appears, in the church of RantWoman's youth to have been something acceptable for powerful women to do; RantWoman has a sense of needing to research that point further and notes it here as a placeholder.)

In the realm of wrestling with the Holy Spirit, also perhaps themes to come back to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine hallelujahs

This post is dedicated to people who, for all kinds of reasons might observe Valentine's Day in the sense of watching other people, sometimes with deep delight, while their own lives are messier than hearts and flowers and lots and lots of lace.

Where RantWoman started MegChristian, The ones who aren't here

More Tatu, Monkey Zero

KD Lang, Hallelujah

Rhema Marvanne, Hallelujah v=AJ9VhDo1Ue4&feature=share&list=PL8B90CA37776EAF57

John Cale, Hallelujah

Rufus Wainwright, Hallelujah, with subtitles in Spanish

Ruth ... Seabia, Aleluyah in Spanish

Where to end up for now Rhema Marvanne, If I wrote a note to God

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Marriage Equality Ministry in Minnesota

This item is a wonderful blog as filing cabinet from The Good Raised Up about marriage equality one conversation at a time.

RantWoman is awed and deeply inspired. RantWoman finds the discipline of laboring with others a vexation, a trial, a pain in ....  In other words, RantWoman is still unquestionably a work in progress.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On your Mark. Set! Lobby! And Lobby with your whole self!

Reminder: Quaker Lobby Day is coming up!
Check out
for approximate agenda and signup information.

If simple directions are all you need, please stop here and go sign up. Do not worry yet about what to say. Just sign up and God or our excellent legislative advocate and policy analyst will provide in plenty of time before you meet your legislator.

If you think there is the slightest chance that another trip around more corners of the RantWoman spiritual amusement park will inspire or motivate more enthusiastic participation on your way to Olympia, read on.

Has RantWoman signed up?

Ummmmm ...

RantWoman's first embarrassing confession: RantWoman is equivocating about signing up. This is embarrassing because RantWoman is Recording Clerk for the Friends Committee for WA Public Policy. Recording Clerk gets recorded in the world of WA Quakerdom meets Secretary of State forms as "Secretary." RantWoman, thus is an officer of the organization. Fear not. They seem to be doing really well about handling RantWoman's occasionally peculiar gifts, at least so far. RantWoman also is proud to point out this makes three organizations RantWoman knows of where the secretary, the person doing minutes is blind, not counting obvious groups like local chapters of blindness organizations.

On one hand, RantWoman thinks she as Recording Clerk darn well OUGHT to sign up for Quaker Lobby Day. On the other hand, RantWoman's zeal for changing the world is so all encompassing, RantWoman's sense of the world needing more changing than Quakers are called to try to get done all by ourselves, that RantWoman's inbox is groaning with invitations to different Lobby days. RantWoman thinks probably ONE RantWoman visitation is all her legislators should be expected to appreciate and RantWoman is having trouble choosing among different options.

RantWoman's second confession: RantWoman is considering invoking her "just be a blind person" rule. Under this rule, RantWoman permits herself to lose all perspective.RantWoman abandons any superficial pretension of broadmindedness, and interacts with all issues, everything from the state budget to global climate change from the perspective of a blind person. Fortunately, RantWoman is lucky enough to have the experience of some vision so at least she has a concept rooted in physical reality of what perspective is.

"Just be a blind person" has some points to recommend it.
First, blind people in this state can pack a wallop when we really need to. A few years ago, the WA Talking Book and Braille library, WTBBL, became the responsibility of the WA Secretary of State, as part of the state library system. The WA Secretary of State headquarters are in Olympia and some people thought the library should move from a location in downtown Seattle very attractive on the real estate market to something more modest in Olympia.

One major problem with this idea: a large percentage of patrons live in Seattle. Even worse, supporters in Seattle provide over 400,000 hours of volunteer labor every year to help keep the library open. There was no way moving the library to Olympia could match that commitment. Blind people lurched into gear. We sent out alerts by email, in braille, on tape, by phone. Chapters of the two national blind consumer organizations, organizations who at times can barely coexist on the same planet experienced serious spells of actual collaboration and cooperation and WTBBL stayed in Seattle. RantWoman can think of several issues about which she WISHES blind people in WA were that unified this session. RantWoman  does not expect FCWPP to solve that but is meditating about what she herself might do in that direction.

The second reason just to be a blind person is to fight fiscal austerity. After multiple sessions of revenue shortfalls, budget slashing, paralysis and sneezing gasping allergy to raising revenues, state budget cutters are again threatening to cut a number of programs related to education, vocational rehabilitation services, and RantWoman thinks transportation where the state of WA gets several times the dollar amount contributed by WA taxpayers from the federal government.
In the case of vocational rehabilitation services WA is one of the states where services to blind people are provided by a stand-alone agency rather than folded into a much larger human services department. The stand-alone agency with minimal bureaucracy is thought to be one reason WA consistently outperforms other states in terms of employment outcomes, blind people employed and paying taxes rather than depending on social welfare support. WA can also get money back for investment in rehabilitation services any time a person works themselves off social security or social security disability. The word "stupid" is not particularly good Quakerese but RantWoman finds it very applicable to legislative efforts to slash away at things working comparatively well

The third reason just to be a blind person is, drum roll please, a brand new, freshly elected totally blind legislator, Rep Cyrus Habib, D, 48th district. Rep Habib's colleagues also immediately elected him Vice Chairman of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee.
RantWoman knows that a number of Friends live in a legislative district where the newly elected junior representative is totally blind and has been so since childhood. RantWoman has read of Rep. Habib's career and is very impressed. Scratch that. RantWoman is a little bit intimidated. Rep. Habib sounds like wonder blind person. He is a Rhodes scholar. He listens to his screen reader even faster than RantWoman. He does teamwork really well and even knows to thank his staff for keeping him on time! Plus he did A LOT of doorbelling himself!

RantWoman is thinking about New Representative's career and education. Based on his own comments, he also is a big fan of WTBBL. Based on Rep Habib's age as well as comments, RantWoman thinks he and his family almost certainly benefitted from the Children and Families program at the Department of Services for the Blind. This program was founded by a now deceased member of RantWoman's Meeting, Weighty Blind Friend.

This program's very existence nearly made RantWoman cry with thoughts of "if only the Rant Parents living in other states had had..."  RantWoman soberly realizes that despite what has happened in middle age, the RantFamily conditions might mean in our youth we would barely have qualified for services, but the RantParents were at times so overwhelmed and overwrought that a helpful presence from a state agency would have been a godsend. RantWoman especially points this out because of the specialized services over a lifetime issue.

In case readers have not noticed, RantWoman is speaking of this progam in the past tense; the Children and Families program has not survived last year's budget slicing. Nor did a program that provided services for the likes of Weighty Blind Friend after she retired or for older people who lose vision late in life just as part of all the ways aging can clobber vision.
RantWoman's immediate point: Rep. habib's mother was a lawyer. Both of RantWoman's parents had college degrees and did different kidns of teaching and other work. Specialized services really mattered or would have mattered if available and RantWoman is not even beginning to think about families with fewer advantages going in!

RantWoman STILL hopes to get signed up for a lobby day, but if "just be a blind person takes over, RantWoman is hot about:

--If you get to meet Rep. habib, congratulate him!

--Meet our constitutional obligations under the McReary decision to adequately fund education. Raise taxes if we have to.

--Create a transportation package that includes funding for sidewalks and walkability, bikeways. More importantly this package should provide local jurisdictions with  taxing authority of some kind so that based on a simple majority vote, jurisdictions can hold elections and approve ways to tax themselves to meet their transit needs.Do this not only because it makes sense in terms of a livable built environment but also because it takes concrete steps to address pressures leading to global climate change.

--Fund health insurance and adequate services for low-income people.

--Make gun manufacturers liable for harm traceable to their products and make them discipline dealers through whose hands weapons tied to crimes can be traced...

RantWoman can probably keep going, but RantWoman needs to get out there and motivate some more of the people who share at least some of her concerns. RantWoman sincerely encourages everyone to talk of our interests, to SHARE, to network and to fill our hearts with workshops related to legislation at our Quaker gatherings!

Monday, February 4, 2013

UPDATED: White Privilege Conference Registration and Hospitality

We invite you to attend the 14th annual White Privilege Conference (WPC14) to be held this year in Seattle April 10-13, at the Doubletree Inn near the airport.

This year's conference theme is "The Color of Money: Reclaiming Our Humanity." In keeping with Friends' clear guidance to seek the brightest light in each person and our centuries-old work of challenging racism and inequity, we ask you to join us in this invigorating, timely, and engaging opportunity to connect with others who share that same path. Through the leadership of Vanessa Julye, Friends General Conference (FGC) is coordinating Friends' presence at WPC14, including sponsoring a hospitality room where opportunities for gathering, discussion and worship will be offered. FGC has arranged for discounted registration fees. Use this link to pre-register with FGC in order to receive our great discount:  Weencourage you to attend the conference, welcome Friends in the hospitality room, and/or--for those in the immediate Seattle area--to provide housing or transportation for Friends fromoutside Seattle.

Those willing to welcome, host, or provide transportation for visiting Friends should contact directly Merlin Rainwater at or 206-769-6549 or Gillian Burlingham at or 206-325-0152. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at WPC14! Merlin and Gillian

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day Time Travel

Look, okay, incisive analysis about Black History, Race relations, ... may be beyond RantWoman's Light, but RantWoman can always appreciate song and dance so RantWoman will make a point of some Black History Month Music and Dance. RantWoman is likely to rely heavily on Youtube and does not promise great scholarship about selections but does hope the offerings also speak to others.

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir

Eric Bibb, Shine On

Eric Bibb, I heard Angels Singing

Eric Bibb With my maker I am one

Bobbi Humphreys, from Blacks and Blues. 1973

RantWoman greatly appreciates YouTube because otherwise it probably would never have ocurred to her to dip her toes in here.

Blnd Boys of Alabama, Wade in the Water

Sweet Honey in the Rock, Wade in the Water

Sweet Honey in the Rock, In the Morning when I Rise

Enough for now, sorry, no groundhogs