Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Horrors? Oops. Well. Care and Counsel!

The Bedbugs? (Put bedbugs into the search box to see what RantWoman is talking about) Have the Bedbugs hacked up another missive? The bedbugs in RantWoman's Meeting utterly disclaim and disavow any knowledge as to the provenance of the document below. In fact they are shocked, shocked, and also appalled even to appear in the same paragraph.

RantWoman herself handles the material with trepidation. RantWoman writes in a spirit of love and Truth of people and situations she cares deeply about. RantWoman takes full responsibility for crankiness, excessive zaniness, and the glorious gratitude for all the trouble she has fixating visually in actually sometimes getting unspeakably fixated on SOMETHING.

The RantWoman eye view of the world can see between 0 and 5 of any given object; this can be particularly alarming if RantWoman is seeing 0 of a Mac truck barreling alongside. RantWoman also writes with trepidation lest the, um, unique RantWoman eye view of the world and RantWoman's own overly endowed capacity to muddle and misapprehend somehow distort Divine messages as well.

RantWoman IS a recording clerk. RantWoman is aware that there are themes here entangling several recording clerks. RantWoman is holding that role in the Light. The information below is DATA. Sometimes data adds up one way; sometimes one throws data up on a screen, metaphorical PLEASE, no death by Powerpoint for the shared Light of many. Sometimes RantWoman really would NOT mind finding a whole lot less data to collect.

Needless to say, editing has NOT occurred and any resemblance between the events recorded here and actual Meetings for Worship with attention to Business at any actual Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends are pure conjecture.

Minutes? Hours? of Bad Friend Monthly Meeting of the Society of Irreligious Fiends.

Once upon a time a fashion spread upon the land: We must eradicate every vestige of racism in our community's language and especially in our organizational bylaws. Yea verily, people of color are not tramping down the door coming to us. Some among us make a point to go nearer to others and listen and sometimes to struggle together; some among us wonder whether the reason is obscure Quakerese.

For instance, the word Overseers, lurking with greater or lesser visibility in different Friends communities, reeks of enslavement. The word is a veritable cataclysm of racial signification. We are told, the word Oversight, often seen in close proximity with or as a substitute for "overseers" is no better. So, to eradicate racism we would like to....drum roll please... rename the Oversight / Oops Well Committee. We would like the new name to be Care and Counsel.

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel.

First we will publicize the proposed change in the newsletter of Bad Friend Monthly Meeting. Then we will or won't respond to questions we receive about history and consideration of other choices.

Then we will hand guests attending the White Privilege conference a big sloppy "Thank you for coming to town" kiss and discuss it in Meeting for Business right after the conference. And just to eradicate any whiff of discernment in Business Meeting we will bring a proposed bylaws change with Care and Counsel already enshrined as our choice. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel.

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel! Shake those Quaker pom poms. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Set it to Music. Care and Counsel.

Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Next we will bring the change back to Meeting for Business where we will hear more than one person express specific concerns about the choice and we will AGAIN hear an inquiry about the word Oversight as opposed to Overseers. We will also hear notice of concerns about the use of oversee / oversight in contexts such as marriages where RantWoman thought it was God who oversees such things.Foreshadowing, RantWoman has decided that what made it into the final bylaws about this concern is not a change, not an improvement and therefore exempt from one very, very picky procedural point.

Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. RantWoman THINKS she has somewhere expressed concern to hear the "why" of different choices, not just some kind of internet poll of what choices are used.

Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel.

RantWoman had one conversation where she admitted to having trouble with the word Counsel because members of said committee have in the past offered counsel that misses big points in spectacular ways; RantWoman's counterpart did not inquire as to what RantWoman has in mind. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel.

Somewhere in here RantWoman extended an offer to come talk to all of said committee about several things. RantWoman met with one Friend who missed several of RantWoman's points; that Friend is due to go off the committee anyway. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel Care and Counsel

RantWoman had another conversation where "we don't see any reason to change the proposal." LOOK, RantWoman has asked questions about history. RantWoman harbors faint hope that there might be something concise in a b-b-b-book someone has already read. RantWoman finds it really hard to go look things up herself.

RantWoman is still stuck on do we need to change from Oversight, never mind whether she can live with Care and Counsel. But first, RantWoman would be ever, ever, ever so grateful if SOMEONE can just listen to RantWoman's question about history and help look something up, not tell RantWoman she does not need to know, not just chant Care and Counsel, Care and Counsel, Care and Counsel.

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel! Shake those Quaker pom poms. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Set it to Music. Care and Counsel.

RantWoman repeated her offer to come talk to all of the Oops Well Committee, this time with a different emphasis. Instead Care and Counsel Friend was dispatched to visit RantWoman. RantWoman has a fine conversation with Care and Counsel Friend but Care and Counsel Friend again missed several of RantWoman's key points. Care and Counsel Friend is already wearing too many hats anyway and should get to share the task of talking to Rantwoman. Care and Counsel Friend absorbed about the same percentage of RantWoman's concerns as anyone else; it's just that if RantWoman speaks to several people and they all absorb different fractions, the cumulative effect is much stronger than if one Friend missess key points and then a fraction of what that Friend remembers gets lost in the retelling.

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel! Shake those Quaker pom poms. Care and Coumsel. Care and Counsel. Set it to Music. Care and Counsel.

More months pass and Care and Counsel Friend, the principal champion of this effort finally was able to return to Meeting for Business. What is wrong with this picture? If this is such a universal concern, shouldn't one of the other members of the Oops Well Committee be able to present about this? After all, we are all ministers of God, right?

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel! Shake those Quaker pom poms. Care and Coumsel. Care and Counsel. Set it to Music. Care and Counsel.

The week of Meeting for Business, Care and Counsel Friend's husband was in the hospital. Care and Counsel Friend was hurrying and needed to present two minutes, the one about renaming the Oops Well Committee and one with Care and Counsel Friend's Peace and Social Concerns hat on about upholding treaty rights for the Lummi people. RantWoman thinks presenting two such minutes was TOO MUCH and deeply wishes that Care and Counsel Friend had just stuck to the Lummi minute.

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel! Shake those Quaker pom poms. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Set it to Music. Care and Counsel.

On the presentation went. Care and Counsel Friend still presented no information in response to RantWoman's question about history. Care and Counsel Friend did present a brief list of other names for this committee, but she presented them so fast that even RantWoman could not track them. RantWoman is used to gleaning information from Mr. JAWS the screen reader at Squirrels on Steroids speeds and RantWoman thought the delivery was too fast. The rest of the room was all more or less chanting Care and Counsel, Care and Counsel.

Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel.

Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel.

Look, okay, RantWoman is not of one mind within herself about the topic of whether and what to rename the Oops Well Committee, formerly called Oversight and now after a drum beat of months apparently to be called Care and Counsel.

At this point, SOME of the time RantWoman would like to hear a lot more about bigger more profound ways many in RantWoman's Meeting ARE actually engaging about racism and privilege. This includes:

--one Friend who reads widely of US history and keeps summarizing to such as RantWoman who will listen

--Various small but regular acts of faithfulness connected with for instance voter registration and the Friends Committee on WA Public Policy

--the daughter of a founding member of our Meeting who engages in many community connections in her neighborhood and will talk honestly about her mother's work as a social worker and the relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII.

--RantWoman who has done projects with many people of color whose first language is not English and who MUCH prefer that RantWoman t-t-t-TALK to them rather than write email.

--numerous other points of engagement that RantWoman never minds hearing from.

But back to renaming the committee. Sometimes RantWoman thinks well who cares one way or another about anything to do with racism or privilege? Everyone else is renaming the committee, it's a really important committee and Quakers arriving from elsewhere darn well need to be able to find the committee. So we should all just jump on the bandwagon.

Some of the time, RantWoman hears from Arguing Friend something along the lines of "I only know one Friend of Color who cares about renaming this committee...Well, yeah but very international Friends are way overrepresented among Friends of Color Arguing Friend knows. Just because the history of enslavement in the US is not the driving experience of international Friends does not mean that Friends in the US have nothing to answer about today as far as carryover from enslavement.

Further, RantWoman thinks Friend Who Often Opines about the Issue is more likely to hear from US Friends of Color than is either Arguing Friend or RantWoman. For comparison, RantWoman points to her experience as one flavor of blind person: somehow the presence of the white cane causes all kinds of other people to tell RantWoman things about their experiences that fall into the realm of "I didn't tell you about my day" when the people talking to RantWoman are around sighted people. From paying attention to LOTS of different blind people's experiences, RantWoman also knows to ask sometimes about different issues. Attending to this diversity of experience, RantWoman is frequently very reluctant to speak on behalf of all blind people, a tendency that is no darn help sometimes when simplicity and clarity is needed.

Simplicity? Clarity? You mean RantWoman not just being an obstructionist bitch whose sole goal is to drive Recording Clerks Crazy? Ummmm.

But no more Oversight. Oops Well. Care and Counsel it is. RantWoman feels SO thoroughly purified. Not! But RantWoman has PLENTY else to do and suggests everyone just hold the whole circus in the Light.

(Example attraction from current circuses while tending to statewide transportation issues, secondhand, originally from staff of a Republican state senator, "You mean we have to provide those people sign language interpreters?" Well, yeah, unless you want to get sued and put at risk every dollar of federal transportation funding the state receives.)

Care and Counsel .Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel! Shake those Quaker pom poms. Care and Counsel. Care and Counsel. Set it to Music. Care and Counsel.

And next month we are off to the Racism Exhibit at the Science Museum. Really!

(RantWoman DOES want to see this exhibit and definitely invites interested Friends along; MAYBE RantWoman will be on good enough behavior for everyone to appreciate the excursion.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Adult children; abusive parents

Adult Children and relationships to abusive parents wit h lots of links on the Mean to read list.

Spooky, HIPAA Meets the Prayer Chain

RantWoman celebrates the season of Halloween and all Saints day and Samhain and numerous topics muddling back and forth between conscious and subconscious.

RantWoman has been jumping up and down intermittently with questions and reflections about what is desirable as far as shared understanding of confidentiality for members of pastoral care committees, members of care committees, RantWoman KNOWS this topic is complex. ONE problem is that when RantWoman has tried to speak and hear what others understand, RantWoman keeps hearing in response only "shut up" and "we don't have time." RantWoman is unclear whether that is all that is being said but is VERY clear that is what she is hearing.

Please hold that problem in the Light and feel free to stop here.

RantWoman is WAY overachieving about questions and concerns and means to start here with some elementary medical confidentiality. RantWoman needs readers' prayers in advance.

First RantWoman HOPES to convey that it IS possible to share meaningful information with more than enough cover phrases HOPEFULLY to convey the meaningful part without compromising confidentiality. In particular, the issue from RantWoman's perspective is either facts already known from a patient's relative or information from a public Meeting for Worship. Rantwoman is TRYING to hear a concern but is hyperventilating from her own life experience.

Second, RantWoman is going to find it REALLY difficult to have a sensible conversation about the topic if there cannot FIRST be room for RantWoman to ask Friends prayers specifically over one soap operaesque story and one long ago but still intermittently throbbing awful story from one of RantWoman's particularly frequent flyer spells of eye care.

Let's start with RantWoman's vast frequent flyer experiences.

The soap opera item: RantWoman spent the prep period for one of her hospital eye experiences listening to her doctor and the nurse from the hospital gossip about an office romance at the doctor's office. The office romance led to an unintended pregnancy and a wedding; RantWoman never quite knows what to do with the thought of medical practitioners experiencing unplanned pregnancy but found herself grateful for an update a few months later when opportunity finally presented itself to ask her own doctor how the situation turned out. RantWoman really did NOT need to know of the soap opera, but as long as she did....

Now the throbbing, RantWoman has trouble talking rationally about the item she means to season event. Warning: medical trauma details.

Once upon a time RantWoman had to have surgery for a detached retina. There are various ways to treat a detached retina. RantWoman wound up needing the most invasive wrap a band around the eyeball, fill the eyeball with a gas bubble and then keep one's head face down for a couple weeks while the gas bubble pastes the retina back where it belongs. The procedure is invasive; swelling can happen for LOTS of reasons.

(RantWoman is also aware that swelling can happen over issues not paid attention to because of not being appropriately documented in a medical chart or not acted on if it was there. RantWoman mentions this point because the possibility that it is on point. RantWoman also mentions this point with reference to a paper medical chart approximately the thickness of War and Peace. For better or worse, in spite of one "not appropriately documented" probability, RantWoman remains with the same medical group. One reason is that even as the office struggles with electronic medical records, RantWoman's current doctor gets out the entire three volumes of "War and Peace" a couple times / year and reviews some historical information available only in the paper chart. But RantWoman is getting ahead of herself and muddling time frames again.)

At the time of RantWoman's surgery one of the staff at RantWoman's eye care practice was the daughter of someone in RantMom's church in MT, someone who more than once transported RantMom when she herself was planning a trip to Seattle. RantMom was on the church prayer chain. RantWoman assumes that the other mother was too. As soon as RantMom heard that RantWoman needed surgery, there was probably a call to the prayer chain. Also afoot, a trip to Seattle with the Motoring Mothers due in Seattle the day after RantWoman's surgery, exactly at the hour that RantWoman expected to be at her one-day followup appointment.

RantWoman TOLD RantMom that she fully expected to be at her appointment and that the motoring mothers should just go to the other daughter's workplace. RantWoman assured RantMom that the other mother SHOULD know how to get to her daughter's workplace; RantWoman assumes she had been there many times.

RantMom INSISTED on stopping by RantWoman's apartment. RantWoman of course was not there. Then there was some further communications fiasco with Little Sister. Then daughter staffperson came to see RantWoman mid-appointment wanting to know where our mothers were.

Mid appointment meant that RantWoman was in the middle of some consent process needed to stick a needle in RantWoman's eye to drain fluid and reduce pressure. And somehow daughter staffperson also needed to reassure RantWoman that she had told her mother nothing! Of course not! It was the prayer chain. It had not even occurred to RantWoman to worry about the daughter sharing info inappropriately--UNTIL the daughter staffperson was fretting about it while RantWoman was trying to cope with the consent form and the probably should not happen need to stick a needle in the eye issue!

Somehow cellphone calls elicited the info that RantMom and the other Motoring Mother were using a payphone and a fast food place RantWoman would never have taken either of them to. FINALLY RantMom absorbed the point that she should just come to RantWoman's eye care provider.

Lately, literature Brain keeps telling RantWoman there are elements of this story in common with what RantWoman has come to see is probably a BIG "hold in the Light" issue from a recent series of conversations. Probably, but RantWoman does not apologize: she is completely incapable of working with the other conversation because she keeps tripping over her own needle in the eye issues before she can even TRY to talk rationally.

The other story: a while ago for a couple weeks a death / obituary / memorial announcement about a new attender's spouse ran in the weekly Bulletin at RantWoman's meeting. The announcement also evoked appreciative ministry in our second Meeting for worship from a medical provider who spoke in worship of getting to know the deceased over time. Ministering medical provider would not, from Meeting life, know the spouse but RantWoman does.

RantWoman has learned from the spouse the circumstances of the deceased passing. They involve the medical specialty and organization where the ministering medical provider works. IF RANTWOMAN HAD TO GUESS, RantWoman assumes that ministering medical provider knows the deceased through work though of course RantWoman would never ever expect the ministering medical provider to say as much.

RantWoman attended a memorial and met one of the deceased's children who also happens to be a medical provider. RantWoman was given the words to say: IF RantWoman had to guess.... expressed great admiration. The other medical provider thanked RantWoman for her words.

Monday, October 28, 2013

One at a Time PLEASE

Dear Parents,

RantWoman LOVES your children, really she does. RantWoman loves having a community that includes kids, parents, crusty curmudgeons, and people with all kinds of life experiences that might not be obvious just sitting in Meeting for Worship.

RantWoman is Auntie, not a parent. RantWoman REALLY digs being Auntie, for one thing because she gets to Give the Kid Back. RantWoman considers it her holy duty to cheerlead parents doing the fulltime job. In other words, RantWoman means well! And sometimes RantWoman's good intentions work; sometimes they do not.

RantWoman also considers it the community's job to cheerlead parents and to nurture our children's growth and development. RantWoman sees no reason growth and development are incompatible with that glorious time at the end of worship when children come, meeting shortly closes, and thenthere are ANNOUNCEMENTS, love 'em or hate  'em. RantWoman personally really appreciates announcements--when she can hear them.

RantWoman has been trying to have a community conversation about the principle that one person talks at a time during announcements. RantWoman's Meeting includes a whole bunch of people who hear badly. The worship room is covered with sound muffling carpet all over the walls. RantWoman's Meeting is not any more blessed with people who find it easy to SPEAK UP than anywhere else. And RantWoman thinks there are lots and lots of people who will appreciate it if children and adults can learn to talk ONE AT A TIME. This does not have to be perfect and there is plenty of time for people to grow into this, but RantWoman has become clearer and clearer that this is reasonable.

The first time need to speak to this issue came to RantWoman there were MANY new families with LOTS of children in worship and RantWoman was more than willing to make allowance for "new" and very young children. Meeting for Worship featured the next in a series of "hold it in the Light" messages about a youth struggling with more teenage challenges than average. RantWoman does not remember what all came up during announcements except for an announcement of a death of another challenged youngish person who few people in the room knew. Announcements ran long and the many children were exuberant, vocal and understandably not on topic.

RantWoman found her stomach churning and had to sit with a whole bunch of personal issues before being clear to go home and do a customary RantWoman email. When RantWoman brought up her concern and the suggestion about talking one at a time, she received return email suggesting she just go worship somewhere else where there are no children. Fortunately for the future of quakerdom, there are no such options within RantWoman's one bus on First Days travel constraints. RantWoman has not heard back about any other ideas but RantWoman is PRETTY sure kids AND grownups can work this out.

If you would like to hold this topic in the Light, focus on growth in shared worship, and stop here, please feel free.

If you are game for another ride at the RantWoman spiritual amusement park, thank you and read on.
Warning: it's a spiritual amusement park. RantWoman reminds readers of her past as a Russian literature major and throbbing literature brain symbolism habits. Think parallelism between different scenes with common elements. Think long complex novels whose authors got paid by the cuarto. Think long complex novels where the characters are all referred to by multiple names. RantWoman has also dabbled in Latin American magical realism; one feature of that genre is that timelines are sometimes, to say the least not linear.

In other words, RantWoman pointedly does not guarantee easily digested nibbles. In fact, if people insist that God show up only in easily digested nibbles, Worse Auntie is likely to show up and foam at the mouth about who the heck are any of us to argue with God and why does anyone feel entitled to God as personal Butler, God perfectly sculpted in dainty easily digestible bites? Nor unfortunately can RantWoman guarantee there is anything to be fixed though Holding in the Light nearly always improves the experience.

RantWoman recently had a conversation with a Weighty Friend about a Famous Founding member of our Meeting. Famous Founding Member expected his children who came to Meeting to sit through worship from day one. Famous Founding Member claimed that this practice is why all of those children remained Quakers as adults. RantWoman notes this without further comment.

RantWoman is an oldest child. Especially with a young RantWoman, the RantParents did not necessarily have a great grasp on the concept of "age appropriate. RantWoman learned early that Mommy was a better person all week if she had a good experience at church, and RantWoman learned that the church service was usually a whole lot more interesting that whatever childcare options were available. RantDad as choir director usually could keep an eye on the Rant children from the front of the church 

RantWoman was also on the learn to sit still side of the sit still or get spanked when we get home norm of parental behavior expectations. RantWoman is not sure she is grateful to Little Sister for reminding her recently of this divide, but it does partly explain some of RantWoman's twitches around uncorralled children in worship: a stew of "someone is going to get spanked," "where ARE their parents?" "How come they get to run around and I don't?"

RantWoman reminds herself that she is a Quaker not a Presbyterian anymore and children are SUPPOSED to be allowed to breathe. Than RantDad shows up with his bad vision and unacknowledged frustration shrieking at young children who do the bobble around thing all young children do. RantWoman remembers being terrified about RantDad yelling; now unfortunately RantWoman can relate to the frustration but she considers it her holy duty to TRY to keep a handle on the shrieking.

Next come RantWoman's bus nerves. RantWoman has written extensively of the vast realms of rich spiritual experience and spiritual challenge available aboard the average public transportation system. Today's topic is children, small people who need to stay connected to the big people they get on the bus with while everyone quickly and safely gets stowed, small people who sometimes speak better English than the big people they get on the bus with, all kinds of situations where it helps if everyone pays attention to safety and courtesy.

But RantWoman, someone will say, it's Meeting for Worship, not the bus. Um, RantWoman's bus nerves have a single standard of Truth. They cannot tell the difference between the bus and Meeting for Worship. Sometimes on the bus that is a GOOD thing.

But RantWoman that's YOUR mental health issue. Can't you just go talk to your counselor (times 2 with a theme and variations motif)?

WARNING: TRIGGER ALERT for additional trauma!
Very Funny. RantWoman has a new mental health provider. About the second time RantWoman had an appointment with new mental health provider, there was ...ta-da...massive disruption in bus service all over the city for several hours because one of the humble public servants who drives buses got shot in the face by, please excuse RantWoman speaking plainly and HOLD THE GUY IN THE LIGHT --posthumously because of police action, an idiot with a gun who could not pay his bus fare.

RantWoman of course was affected by the massive schedule disruptions but had no idea initially what bus route was affected.

RantWoman managed an alternative routing that at least got RantWoman to her appointment but got her there very late. Not late enough to cancel, but late enough to exchange info: new mental health professional rides the route affected by the shooting all the time. RantWoman rides that route sometimes too. And when RantWoman's bus nerves want to flare into hypervigilance mode, RantWoman needs only to think about shooter on a bus at rush hour on a bus with lots of family destinations on the route.

Maybe other people can bear with RantWoman and her multiple time sequences and all the joy and tragedy and scarieness and love sitting in worship and can join RantWoman in holding THE BUS in the Light too.

And maybe we all get to count our blessings that Meeting for Worship usually is not as scary as the bus.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brother Blessings; NOT firearms

RantWoman has been trying to practice gratitude.

WARNING: RantWoman has been trying to practice gratitude around topics that absolutely are NOT FUN.

As far as absolutely gorgeous red and orange leaves this year, it's easy. The absolutely exquisite leaf palatte is getting mixed up in way too much fog and real actually existing fog, not just the peculiarities of RantWoman's vision, but practicing gratitude about leaves is a piece of cake.

By way of further gratitudes, RantWoman spent 15 minutes one morning this week trying to figure out why there was no connecting to the internet. It took RantWoman all that time to figure out that The Queen of Spades had somehow disconnected the cable between modem and wall. RantWoman is grateful not only to have solved the mystery but also that The Queen of Spades seems to have cut back on her tech support efforts.

But RantWoman is a VERY Bad Friend sometimes. For instance, RantBrother appears to have come to town for good. His common sense seems not to have arrived, but RantWoman is celebrating his absolutely amazing capacity to enlighten her. RantBrother is just top of the line, on par with the best of the best entertainment aboard Metro when it comes to little known facts of demography, sociology, history, political economy, and RantFamily tree.

RantWoman deeply appreciates learning of alleged cousins RantWoman had no idea existed, RantWoman is amused that these alleged cousins all seem to have either worked in law enforcement or been involved in cocaine dealing, and RantWoman devoutly hopes not both.

RantWoman has been tending to matters of gun violence and I 594 proposals to require universal backgroun checks for gun purchases. RantWoman has been reflecting on moments where she HOPES universal background checks would prevent tragedy: a friend who managed to buy the gun he shot himself with despite multiple hospitalizations the previous year for suicidality.

RantWoman's gratitude in this area in the realm of RantBrother: among many allegedly on target facts RantBrother keeps asserting about himself that he has passed the next of whatever test he needs to be able to carry a gun for some mysterious law enforcement purposes. RantWoman thinks that whatever mysterious law enforcement connections are about to hire RantBrother have already been stringing him along for years; RantWoman is grateful they do not appear any more forthcoming on the paid work front than they have been for multiple decades.

Plus RantWoman finds herself deeply grateful that RantBrother has trouble coming up with bus fare because that means he also is probably unlikely on his own to come up with money for any kind of firearms. But RantBrother is one of hundreds, maybe thousands of people with mental illness filling conversations with chatter about firearms, so RantWoman enthusiastically recommends signing the I 594 Universal Background Checks for gun purchases petition anyway!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hand Raising Church? Meeting for Worship? Clerk, Please?

RantWoman herewith attempts to take a break from mangling metaphors and flogging assorted not quite  dead but barely alive horses and what to RantWoman's Facebook-besotted eyes should appear, but Tim Hawkins videos:

How to lift your hands in praise

Tsk, tsk, if like RantWoman you spend the next two or three Meetings for Worship checking out people's worship styles.

Tsk, tsk, tsk if you look at some of the ones toward the end and get into an eldering argument about whether Friends do or do not applaud God.

Just in time for Halloween / All Saints / Samhain / Dia de los Muertos Tim Hawkins puts the "fun" in funerals

And on the subject of denominations, RantWoman admits she probably OUGHT to wash her brain out for one joke toward the end. 10 points if you know RantOWman well enough to guess which one.
RantWoman notes that the closest he gets to Quakers arguably is Mennonites.

If you can't beat the corporations, may worship songs assimilate them?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hah! Found them, or some of them

RantWoman has meant to collect some blog items in some way or another about children in worship. RantWoman meant to pen meditations on the topic and has been called to go a different direction. However, RantWoman does not want to lose track of the links.

A new thing
A community that does not exist

Rituals and Children

Mindful Parenting

Gil George Resisting Security

Suzanne Kromberg Quakers and Emotions: reflections on climbing high
Interesting reflections; interesting queries

Kathleen Carmack Williams in Friends Journal

Wonderful Meeting is a muscle guest post from SF MM on Gathering in Light

Wes Daniels about Listening.

Wes Daniels about Children in Worship with a link to the Friends Journal article

Chris Mohr

Nancy Thomas about dysfunctional families in the Bible

And Robin Mohr about hopes for First Day School

Waiting, not Silence, Waiting, and hope and ...

RantWoman collected this item off QuakerQuaker way back in August when RantWoman also collected some other blog links about children and worship. RantWoman cannot find the other links in her Drafts folder but there are enough layers here for part of what is on RantWoman's mind.

Today, August 30, 2013

Posted by Joan Gunn Broadfield on 8th mo. 31, 2013 at 8:47am in Quaker Talk

Many things swirling in my consciousness:






Why have we not given this up years ago as Friends? We could join the Mennonites as beacons in the world of restorative justice. Today, as our President contemplates how to answer the unfathomable chemical weapons unleashed, he keeps using this concept. Payback time. That is what it amounts to. Friends, at the time of 9/11/01, were saying Justice Not revenge. Where did our efforts go in the last 12 years? Have we taken this to our hearts and do we live it in our lives? I know I have been trying, and I know it is not easy.

Silent - and Waiting:

Having read Wess Daniels sweet piece about children and worship, I saw again the way we describe our quite still worship as 'silent'. We all do this. But describe our aspiration? The word silent becomes its own goal, disconnected from spirit. Do we fear people we do not know speaking? Are we hoping for children who will 'behave'? What can we do to change our descriptor so that it says more what we yearn for?

From Wess's blog, I think he and I want the same thing: a place where we are entering the connection to the divine.. we are waiting.

Perhaps we can begin here to substitute waiting for silent when we talk about our worship. Some one or group began to do this a while back... If we all pick it up, Over time it will change. George Fox does not use 'silent' when he speaks of worship in his journal. It was a word he used to stop people from speaking, and a word he describes people's responses to what he has said or what is happening.

SILENT is a place of nothingness. But the divine is not nothing.

WAITING shows an action. We are waiting for divine connection.


As I sit here today in prayer, with the conviction that military action in Syria will do nothing good, I yearn for the president to consider a disarming act. I pray that the focus will be on the people of Syria, not on punishing a nation for a horrific act. I have heard from those who have suffered abuse from parents that when well-meaning grownups in the store have chided parents they see mistreating their children that the children get more abuse when they get home. Whether or not we have gotten it right about the gas, there are ways our military responses have shaped the middle east in particular ways. What might the U.S. begin to do that would be disarming?

I am praying... and emailing from FCNL site my prayers to our President.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Worship and surfing and not falling asleep

Blog o the morning:

Quakers and Surfing:

The blogger's first visit to Quaker worship.

RantWoman sees several interesting-looking blogs in the blog roll too, but RantWoman has a world to save today and will have to come back to the bloggery.

RantWoman also is curious about someone already having a blog about Quakers before ever going to worship,

RantWoman is a geographical philistine and had no idea that surfing would be an applicable concept anywhere in the British Isles though it does seem obvious that if surfing were to occur, Cornwall would be a good place to look.

By way of scientific distraction and elaboration on themes:

And while RantWoman is at it, an opinion piece from anthropologist Tanya Luhrman:
"God is a relationship not an explanation"

Friday, October 11, 2013

Malala speaks

RantWoman needed to hear Malala Ysufzai. Really.

Yo, um, God(dess), without AT ALL taking anythingaway from the power of  Malala's words, RantWoman really, really, really would not mind being blessed with fewer reasons to need to hear this, ya know, really!

BLESSINGS to Malala!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Delicious Oxymoron Performed by Rabbis

RantWoman posts this in appreciation of:
--one friend's travelogues not only about today's travels but about growing up Jewish in New York.

--another friend sharing the story of leaving the Catnolic priesthood but telling Church authorities that he took hiw vows to God and therefore would not write a reununciation to the churhc upon leaving the priesthood.

--the former priest's daughter sharing her reaction when she finally figured out the meaning of the photos of her dad.

--One of RantWoman's favorite aunts who took classes about Catholicism before marriage and got married by a priest wise enough to marry the couple even though RantWoman's aunt told the priest plainly that she did not believe in what the classes taught.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Current Trauma Reading

RantWoman reads, desultorily while trying to parse tables as they get read aloud: Trauma Stewardship: an everyday guide to caring for self while caring for others by Laura van Dermool Lipsky and Connie Burk

Especially after reading this article,  RantWoman means to read Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss by Doug Underwood.


--RantWoman read fast and did not hear a single woman mentioned in the interview. RantWoman finds herself with interesting reflections on this point. Are there no women journalists whose traumas might illuminate something about their writing. Or is the world of women just too different so that such stories would better be written and analyzed by a woman?

--RantWoman suspects based on description of lots of table that she might find some of the content hard to absorb orally and will aim for reading options that allow visual enlargement too.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Consultation on Quakers and Russia

Call for a consultation on Keeping our Promises for Quakers in Russia and otherse with a concern for Quakers in Russia:

RantWoman heartily endorses this kind of consultation and will holding in the Light and reading further with interest! RantWoman is posting this partly as a reminder to herself to look up more information sources to help track how the discernment evolves.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Queer Syncroblog: We're Here, We're Queer. Some of us Even got Marriage licenses.

Big Thank yous to Peterson Toscano and his post about  for calling out this year's Queer Theology Synchroblog  .

RantWoman unabashedly notes the following points:

--RantWoman is running behind; her post will be dated October 2. It will be experiential theology, which is to say also full of conflictive thoughts, moments from practice as defined by the recent life of her Quaker Meeting, and exclamations of "See, See!"

--The Synchroblog link includes links to a number of other posts. Except for Peterson's post, the rest of the synchroblog links are presently on RantWoman's Mean to read list. RantWoman would enjoy hearing that others have read some of the other posts and what spoke to any readers.

In the realm of "See, See," RantWoman gives you:

--Vocal ministry from Meeting for Worship awhile ago by a Weighty Friend long married, for the second time, under the care of Meeting to another Weighty Friend of the same gender. Vocal ministry was about an organization of professional counselors including visible figures who are LGBT or just Q but who completely omitted mention of Queer relationships from discussion of some important topic where it would have been entirely appropriate explicitly to include such relationships. See, See, unfortunately STILL, nothing can be taken for granted.

--Two women from RantWoman's Meeting were among the first ever to ask their Meeting for marriage under the care of Meeting. That was almost 30 years ago. Over time views of and practices about marriage have evolved. There have been periods of great contentiousness. There have been periods when RantWoman's Meeting was not marrying anyone or when couples refused to interact with the issue of marriage licenses insolidarity with same-gender couples who did not have the option. There have been couples with marriage licenses whose actual relationships can be summarized as "It's complicated."

Most recently WA voters approved full legal marriage equality and a few months later the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional the same week and partly under the same reasoning that it struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act.

--The State of the Meeting report, written by a lovely heterosexual couple married under care of RantWoman's Meeting. The State of the Meeting report as first drafted contained nary a word about WA voters historic approval of Referendum 74, providing full legal marriage equality for same-gender couples. One excuse offered, by a member of a same-gender couple, for the whole Meeting countenancing ommission of this moment of history is that no one from RantWoman's Meeting was very active in this year's pro-Referendum campaign. Our Monthly Meeting helped ensure that our Yearly Meeting has been on record for 15 years calling for full legal marriage equality. The Friends Committee for WA Public Policy, which some of us ARE active in, endorsed the Referendum 74 campaign. But why mention the rest of WA catching up with us in our State of the Meeting?

Another, possibly more understandable reason for delayed rejoicing: the Friend in question still faced barriers to appreciation of this newly won right because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, another wall which as since fallen.

--At least four couples connected in some way to RantWoman's Meeting who have taken advantage of newly won rights to full marriage equality for same-gender couples, scheduled a celebration, gotten a license, and gotten fully legally hitched. The RantWoman approach to theology yncroblog would be to say a special blessing upon all these weddings.

Meanwhile RantWoman herself is:

--challenged in the area of respecting pronoun gender preference and appreciating changes in voice for someone in her circles now taking hormones. RantWoman wishes this person the best. RantWoman suspects her own challenges about the transitions implied: RantWoman does not get just to take hormones to make her body do things it cannot do right now and RantWoman has given herself permission to be a LITTLE crabby about the issue.

--dawdling about the question of getting dis-married from Ferrener Husband. There are plenty of reasons to dissolve the "it's complicated" legalities; RantWoman still cannot put her fingers on why she is not clear to do so but is quite clear to bless the weddings of people who have recently gone and had weddings!

Awash. Living Water

RantWoman has been awash in the Living Water.

Living Water round 1: OR Coast, Newport OR. A timeshare right on the water.

Part A: RAIN SQUALLS. Exuberant racket from seagulls sea lions, seals slurping up waste from a nearby fish processing plant. Memorial benches along the boardwalk commemorating sailors lost at sea. Some years there were people listed from multiple vessels. Probably stormy years.

Part B. Deepoe Bay. Waves crashing against walls of waterworn igneous formations, leaving tidal pools behind as the waves return to the sea. A view of Boiler Bay. Not called that because the water looks like it's in a boiler, though it does. Boiler Bay because a ship called the Boiler sank there.

Part C: No Tsunami Option vacation with #disasterprep included:
RantWoman tried to walk up the tsunami evacuation hill. It would be a tough haul for RantWoman, never mind about RantMom. Go walk the boardwalk and listen to sea lions barking. They are loud and smelly and close, an improvement over an excursion possibility: cold and dark and smelly after an overpriced elevator trip down to some sea lion caves. Anyway, bank on the "no tsunami" option.

What means "we seek an earth restored" here?

Living Water, Round 2: 500-year floods down mountain valleys in CO. 22" of rain in a day or two; more water than usually falls for a whole year. Lots of roads along mountain valleys just GONE. RantWoman is peculiarly fascinated when Acts of God make human efforts crumble. The good news is RantBrother kadeit through a couple days of work doing flood cleanup before his body rebelled. Now he is back to looking after his own fashion for other work. The rest of family are poking at psychic cleanup options after his last visit.

Living Water: Quarterly Meeting.
Call down the fire of your justice; Call down the rain of your love. Ummm, wildfires burning miles to the south at the beginning of the month are by now a non-event. We still need rain, even in Friday traffic out of town or over the pass.

Plenary Bible Passage about a Samaritan woman and a Jew sharing water at the well. A big deal that they are drinking together even though the woman misses out on the Living Water because she does not know who Jesus is. Interesting approach to brand appreciation.
Plenary Promo: Friendly Water
If RantWoman were going to go all intercultural on the #disasterprep efforts, she MIGHT want something like this in her home disaster resources.

Worship Sharing queries include no floods or tears; messages came about both, with riffs on brothers / parenting / loss / living / growing / mourning / hoping.

Howling About Dimishments Aunts and Uncles Division

On howling about Diminishments, relatives edition.

RantWoman is still aglow with the family warmth surrounding RantMom, 3 pairs of aunts and uncles, and RantWoman herself after a LOVELY excursion to the Oregon Coast. The glow endures even after numerous rain squalls, chattering sea gulls, rambunctious and smelly sea lions, lots of views of waves crashing ashore, other such seaside attractions.

The Howling about Diminishments part: EVERYONE, EVERYONE there was struggling with various physical frustrations, listed here with the Retired RantRelations' former professions.

RantWoman and RantMom were both counting our blessings to be there. The last time RantMom and her siblings tried to gather on the OR coast, they wound up at the last minute diverting to MT to help RantMom ease into the routine of treatment for her second cancer. RantWoman could not even help. Instead RantWoman got surgery for a second detached retina, a gas bubble in her eye and some no-fly orders.

This time RantWoman and RantMom got to get there and back primarily on public transit. RantMom especially found it a challenge to scramble in and out of one of the available vehicles but was otherwise comparatively spry for this visit.

But the maladies rundown:

Aunt Schoolteacher: now blind in one eye and struggling about things visual because of glaucoma. Not necessarily easy to chat much with RantWoman but seems to have some good social support.
Uncle Schoolteacher: painful to stand very long because of back and knee issues as well as neuropathy in feet lingering after long ago cancer treatment.

Aunt Office Manager: numbness in hands, in theory because of carpal tunnel issues.Needed to borrow RantWoman's fingers to open a bottle of laundry detergent.
Uncle Bus Driver: approximately deaf as a post. Wears hearing aids unevenly. Stand facing him to talk and he lipreads with enthusiasm. Do not expect him to interact with anything said to his side or from behind.

Aunt Travel Agent: on blood thinners and eschewing green vegetables after harrowing medical events in summer that turned out to be lots of small blood clots in lungs.
Uncle Beer Boiler Tender: walks a couple miles every day to keep serious heart issues under control.

Multiple people needed to put in their teeth in the morning before trying to say much.

The family has a tradition of trying to do a whole jigsaw puzzle over their time together. This means everyone is invited to participate. Some of the everyones ONLY do puzzles at reunions; some only look on and silently cheerlead. This year's puzzle got put back into the box in bigger chunks than it came out of the box. Save it for next time.

RantWoman sat through a conversation about dementia and personality changes and spent a certain amount of time thinking / trying not to think about present day RantMom.

There was mention of various teenage and preteen grandchildren. They did not seem to be missed.

And still RantWoman came back aglow.