Friday, July 31, 2015

Sleep? or Blue Angels!

Bless you Blue Angels!

Mr. Attack Receptionist is medically in an end pattern. He writes on Facebook of being too afraid of never waking up to try to sleep. But when he did finally get to sleep, he wrote of the Blue Angels waking him up--after about 5 minutes of sleep..

Bless you Blue Angels.

Dear lord and Father of Mankind.

um, scratch that.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul,

Does not RantWoman already have Enough Else to Do without taking on electronic hospice ministry? Never mind that. We thank God and Facebook that the little dribbles of what RantWoman can do MIGHT reach both the soon to depart and others around him.

How does one minister to someone whose Facebook posts are full of "I am praying for you" despite the fact that the recipient of all the "I am praying for you" posts has probably told everyone else what he told RantWoman: he does not consider himself religious, does not pray, really could not care less about some kind of clergyperson from his life offereing to come and pray with him.

Dr. RantWoman has so far restrained herself from saying "Duuuude, if you cannot handle praying for you can you just cope with people needing to pray because that is what they know how to do?"

Mr. Attack Receptionist has an untreatable blockage in one of his dialysis ports. His Dr. has told him to Get his Affairs in Order. Mr. Attack Receptionist is NOT charmed by this news.

Mr Attack Receptionist has been one of the stalwarts at the Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing. By stalwart, RantWoman means great faithfulnessa about some matters, fierce attachment to others, and capacity if the Friendly Neighborhood Center... had a Still Didn't Get the Memo on Email Immoderation to ably fill a spot there.

But today's ministry comes in two parts:

Mr. Attack Receptionist complained of being too scared of not waking up to try to sleep.

See Above.

Because of all the "not religious and don't pray" stuff Dr. RantWoman went a different direction: the reading cure. Dr. RantWoman suggested, as illumination on an unenviable path:

Dante: the Divine Comedy

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Final Gifts: stories collected by two hospice nurses of different ways people under their care have died.

RantWoman offers these suggestions humbly, with NO expectations about whether they will help or not. The suggestions are what RantWoman can offer.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Leading AI Researchers call for ban on Autonomous Weaponry

Blog as filing cabinet item:

Leading AI Researchers call for ban on Autonomous weaponry

Blessings with Blue Angels

Bless the Lord oh my soul for my cup already runneth over with vexations, irritations, distractions, dithers, twitterpations, epizootics, tics, twitches.

RantWoman, do you like the Blue Angels ? Navy fighter planes screaming by with gut-wrenching sound waves, gut-rattling roars...

Random image of 6 fighter planes in formation flying upward to the left.

I like when they STOP, which will be many days from now and most of them are supposed to have 90-degree weather, guaranteed to turn many Seattleites into whining howling puddles of distress.

Bless the Lord oh my soul!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

How to Interrupt Racism, per the United Church of Christ

UCC Statement on how to be an interrupter, stashed here as well as via Facebook so I have options for finding again.

Does anyone besides RantWoman see some ways some of these suggestions could go awry?

Sorry Scrren redeader users, you might need "Convenient OCR."

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Voice of the Lord, Lunch, Learn, Lentils...

And the Lord spake unto RantWoman...

Careful. If that means hearing voices you could wind up like the brave woman at the Thursday #ADA25 Lunch and Learn who had to fight years of forced hospitalizations when she started to talk about the voices in her head.

Seattle City Council Lunch and Learn about 25th Anniversary of the ADA
(This speaker is several minutes in; RantWoman also sounds off way toward the end. Think lots of intense stories and glas is half full / glass is half empty)

Uh, okay.

And the Lord spake unto RantWoman...

RantWoman, God does not speak only the language of the king James Bible. Plus, the anachronistic language will get you really fast to Leviticus gone awry and President Obama in Africa trying to speak about LGBTQ Rights in Kenya while being Gay is illegal in 36 African countries, thanks partly to the zeal of US evangelicals Other option: to neighboring Northwest Yearly Meeting "releasing" West Hill Friends Church for being an open and affirming congregation. Um the new testament a God of love is supposed to get people unstuck from all the old Jewish laws. Supposed to.

Take nothing for granted.

Send prayers.

All RantWoman can do for today.

And the Lord spake unto RantWoman.

(RantWoman's stomach was speaking up about acquiring food, constrained resources....)

And the Lord spake unto RantWoman saying "You have a whole kitchen full of ingredients. Spend some time turning them into food."

And lo transformations occurred in the realm of tuna, pasta, veggies and also in the realm of lentils and other plant matter.

And lo, a phone call also arrived offering to share from a larder overflowing with squishy ripe fruit.

And the Lord was well pleased except it's as important that RantWoman was well-pleased.

In order to make this war more accessible....

RantWoman celebrates (?!?!?) numerous opportunities to have time-warp brain. Hold that problem and any and all utterances that might result in the Light.

 Consider for instance a statistic offered by the Paralyzed Veterans of America at the Wednesday July 22 Rally in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the ADA:
[The Paralyzed Veterans of America really do appreciate all the ways that the ADA has helped make life better for many paralyzed veterans. And ....]

Thanks to (a couple major wars launched without provision for the probable casualties and to) the powers of modern rehabilitation, there are 300+ war amputees now BACK IN UNIFORM and serving our country.

Just exactly how are Cranky Pacifists Opposed to Mayhem Everywhere supposed to receive this news?

Please forgive RantWoman but the first thing that comes to mind: what the hell kind of reasonable accommodations letter does one write: "Dear...., as a reaasonable accommodation in order to make this war more accessible, please ...."

#ada25 #accessibility

On the other hand, RantWoman quite likes the following clip because:

--It is captioned.

--It comes from something called Rooted in Rights that RantWoman definitely wants to learn more about (or in RantWoman telling too much of the truth terms, it looks like an awesome grassroots perspective, soemthing a little thin at the official get everyone a job hand out some plaques and read some proclamations event.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Upper Dublin, process, space, and then back home

RantWoman has two sets of cut-to-the chase points about People of Color issues in Friends' contexts far from RantWoman. RantWOman offers these comments humbly, with an eye to letting them feed into the distant work while RantWoman focuses better on matters closer to home.

To the white Friends of Upper Dublin Monthly Meeting,

RantWoman is sad to learn of your Meeting only in the context of Avis Wanda's need to be true to her Light about honoring the memory of her enslaved ancestors, some of whom are buried around UDMM. RantWoman's command of Pennsylvania / east coast history is, well, pathetic. Still RantWoman thinks it extremely unlikely that you are the only Meetinghouse built on the graves of enslaved people. RantWoman, humbly, is wondering what is the big deal about acknowledging that point? And RantWoman's heart just aches for Avis every time RantWoman hears more of Avis' story.
RantWoman does not assume that acknowledging this past will be painless, just illuminating, worthwhile. An acknowledgement will not change the past. RantWoman does expect it might create openings for a better present and future.

[Note and Update: RantWoman has found a statement from Upper Dublin Friends Meeting on Facebook. RantWoman continues to hold this situation in the Light, conscious that it is important to recognize how things LOOK to different parties.]

On the way to that acknowledgment, RantWoman again speaking only for herself would find it easier to hold your Meeting in the Light if there were minutes of the ongoing process and discussions or video / audio somewhere on the internet. In fact, RantWoman would encourage publication of the DRAFT minutes in a forum where people might suggest edits and comments. Post the draft. List a timeline after which any new comments will not be incorporated into the seasoning process. Make clear when you publish minutes you consider final that you consider them final. If people still object, as a process point, consider the option of revisiting the topic in 6 months or a year. RantWoman mentions posting draft minutes because even this process can be a valuable if also frustrating indicator of what people do or do not understand.

Right now, the info stream RantWoman sees is VERY one-sided and in language that sets RantWoman's teeth on edge.

RantWoman does not think it is any white person's job to police anyone's language. People use the language they use. They have the spiritual support they have. RantWoman actually also does not think it her place necessarily to wade into all the history and personality conflicts of your Meeting. It does occur to rantWoman to ask whether there is anything else you feel a need to be held in the Light about besides matters with Avis. Rantwoman is happy to offer some examples from her experience and to ask whether these stories have resonance for Friends of UDMM. But first, RantWoman needs to address others.

In the Light


RantWoman has been reading about the pre-Gathering event for People of Color and their families before the FGC gathering. At first RantWoman was just going to comment as a white person in terms of her experience. But crash, clatter. Irrepressible Nephew's father is from Guatemala. Nephew has adult half-siblings, niece, nephews. In the hypothetical (highly unlikely but still...) event that any or all of these people decided to attend the FGC Gathering, RantWoman would certainly qualify as a family member of people of color.

RantWoman honestly thinks it's A LOT to ask to expect people of color to commit to both a pre-Gathering event and the entire Gathering. RantWoman thinks it would be avery big lift to get members of her multicultural extended family to do that. Timewise. Moneywise. Culturewise There would be barriers. RantWoman further notes that in some parts of the country there are Hispanic Friends churches; RantWoman is in NO position to comment on whether Friends from these churches would be interested either in attending the Gathering or in a pre-gathering people of color event.

RantWoman wants to honor people's desire to create space for solidarity before a big gathering but also feels led to ask whether there is room in people's thinking for the idea that a sense of solidarity might be cultivated slowly. Perhaps People of Color come for a weekend because that is what they can schedule. They feel bonds that nourish them over a year in the life of their home Meetings. Maybe they find something of value in an FGC resource. Maybe in a future year they become much clearer to try the whole gathering. Maybe they are like RantWoman and become clear that meetings in person are important but Gathering might not be the vehicle they are most clear to use.

Here RantWoman would like to speak of personal experience with the value of having part-time attenders. The Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology conference is a 4-day gathering of women mainly from NW Yearly Meeting (EFI) and North Pacific yM (independent). When there have been part-time attenders, more younger women have been able to come; one Friend was able to have her usual Elder present. Although the event certainly builds for people who attend the whole session, at least for RantWoman having people there parttime enhanced rather than detracted from RantWoman's experience.

RantWoman's other experience along these lines is a 4-day conference in Portland sponsored by the Western States Foundation. RantWoman has had the privilege of attending twice, but because of who pays for RantWoman's registration and travel, RantWoman has had no other choice except to attend for the whole conference. This conference includes some separate time and space for people of color and does allow for single day registration. Many of the people of color who attend are Latino. They benefit greatly from sessions in Spanish. Many times they bring their children. Likely they would not attend at all without single-day registration. RantWoman benefits tremendously from listing and including these voices in discussions and heartily endorses all the registration flexibility that makes this possible.

RantWoman offers these comments in a spirit of humility, not necessarily feeling a compelling need to comb over  events of this year's pre-Gathering event but hoping Light shines in helpful directions going forward.

In the Light


There. Rantwoman needs to pause and resume attention to simmering matters closer to home:
--Meditating about the disconnect within her Meeting between the friends interested in wandering through John Woolman and people of color concerns in the 18th century for a couple years and the friends engaged actively in the 21st century as mainly white allies  in various strands of public ministry and local struggles for racial justice. [In this vein, Friends are especially invited to hold in the Light a weighty Friend, So Out of Order Friend even though RantWoman feels NO Call at this moment to elaborate on this Friend's nom de blog.]

--Digesting the latest in the saga of Rachel Dolezal, lately replaced as the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP

--Thinking about some white ally / concerned person of faith questions related to a topic RantWoman does not feel clear to entangle in this posting.

Why I Worship With Other Kinds of Quakers

RantWoman is certain the world will want to hear from Rantwoman even if RantWoman is indisposed, for instance because of participating in NPYM Annual Session. RantWoman thinks the video below will be stunningly on point during Annual Session this year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Birthday Meal with Beets, Avocados, Blessings?

Meditations after the most recent Sunday supper with RantMom

Would you could you...
Avocado slices

Would you put pickled beets and avocados in the same salad? Yes or no?

If the beets were not already pickled, would you pickle them in dill pickle juice and put them in the same salad with the avocados? Yes or no?
A bowl of pickled beet chunks

If your adult child has already told you that she really really prefers NOT to have pickled beets and avocados in the same salad, would you just forget, "try something new," put the beets and avocado in the salad and wish her happy birthday anyway? Yes or no?

If you were the adult child beset by this form of birthday wish would you could you:

--Eat what's put in front of you because that is pretty much expected?

--Pick the beets out by hand, munch them appreciatively, and then enjoy the avocados with the rest of the salad unpolluted by pickled beets in any form?

--Add the entire episode to data points about whether, say, RantMom is a little bit, um, slipping?

--Crawl under the floor and howl because GrandMa FF who is close in age to RantMom a. thinks there is nothing wrong with beets and avocadoes in the same salad and b. pats RantWoman on the head (over the phone) and says "there there" about aging and slipping.

Love ya LOTS Ma. Love beets. Love avocados, but can you PLEASE TRY TO REMEMBER ...?? I do not love them together in the same salad!!!

Birthday Party by Blog!

RantWoman has decided the internet is going to have to celebrate her birthday whether or not RantWoman herself actually shows up to any in-person celebrations.

On RantWoman's birthday she will be:

--probably showing up at a city council hearing in connection with a project for The Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing. Oops. Scratch that. DELEGATED!!!!

--travelling to NPYM annual session.

--Fondly remembering a beloved and now deceased weighty Friend speak about one birthday party for her oldest daughter. As Weighty Friend told it, at some point in the middle of the party, she wondered where the guest of honor was and discovered that Guest ofHonor had slipped away to her room to read for awhil. RantWoman can SO relate. And here's some awesome rock and roll in case anyone needs music to slip away by.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Seek Ye First ... with compost and anniversaries

RantWoman went looking for settings of Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God / Pachelbel's Canon in D. From the small sample RantWoman checked out, she decided she likes this piano instrumental setting the best. As with many RantWoman adventures in hymnody, many threads weave, though in the blog as Quaker journal model of electronic presence, elaborating on the threads is left to readers or for another exercise another time.

RantWoman is not sure the world is clamoring for another exotic journey to Planet rantWoman. Nor is RantWoman clear why she feels called at this late moment to turn over last year's cycle of spiritual compost, but here we are: RantWoman's 2014, gnarly anniversaries

--2004: A friend of RantWoman's shot himself after years of mental health issues on top of Meniere's syndrome, defecting from the Soviet militaery and MANY harrowing moments. Friend acquired his gun despite multiple rounds of hospitalization for mental health issues; entire subject of gun suicide guaranteed to make RantWoman's brain leave the room while trying to take minutes about same. Memorial at Deaf club featured people conversant in English, ASl, Russian Sign language and Russian.
--1999: RantWoman and Ferrener Husband welcome New Year in Ufa.

February- May
--1989: RantWoman's study abroad trip to Russia. Did RantWoman and Ferrener Husband run into each other since he was living in St. Petersburga aat the time?

--2004: Surgery for RantWoman's first detached retina. Stunning moments of family dysfunction. A whole summer of "My doctor got paid to do that" bruising all over RantWoman's face.
--1989: Gorbachev goes to China

--1979: RantWoman graduates from high school
--1989: Tien an Mien Massacre; RantWoman travelling in Europe. Not enjoying very second but certain she is having more fun than golf and beer at 10-year high school reunion.
--1999: RantWoman goes to 20th high school reunion, discovers she can talk to about the same 12 people as in high school, though a couple others also turn out ot have matured nicely.

--1989: A friend dies of AIDS
--2009: A much loved Friend killed in a bicycle vs dump truck accident.
--2014: Another depressing round of Little Sister issues with gravity, old wheelchair, and the built environment near her house. RantWoman crabby and she is not even the one living through it.
--2014: a friend diagnosed with Meniere's syndrme on top of everything else in her life. Turns out a very low salt diet helps manage but did not learn this right away.
--2014: Mr. Nasturtiums in Salad Friend decamps to other realms on RantWoman's birthday. The birthday decamping was probably not intentional, but RantWoman feels entitled to grumble about it anyway.

--2014: Dona Guadalupe, Irrepressible Nephew's Guatemalan grandmother dies.

--1989: Blind Roommate killed in fatal bus accident.
--1994: Little Sister and Brother in Law get married.
--1994: RantDad turns 60. RantWoman surprises him with visit on his birthday, the last time she saw him alive.
--1989: The Berlin Wall comes down

Great is thy faithfulness: Marking anniversaries.

If RantWoman chews too hard into the text of this hymn, all kinds of things might squirt out. Nevertheless, it gets to set the scene for the reflections below the video link.

RantWoman is inventorying her year's major anniversaries, partly because some of them fall in the same time frame as Annual Session.

--2005: RantWoman moves into present housing situation. Ten years is ten years. A lot has happened....

--1985 RantWoman's great grandmother and sole surviving great grandparent dies
--1985 RantWoman graduates from college.
--1995: The fondly remembered mother of the RantChildren's piano teachers passes away.
--1995: RantWoman and RantMom go to Banff, site of an aunt and uncle's honeymoon. At RantMom's family runion, RantMom has walking pneumonia and is stressed from being with RantDad as his time runs down. This time RantWoman has completely uneventful encounters with Canada Customs.

--2005: RantWoman has first Grab the Blind Person and Bless Them mobility fight with .... RantWoman is still sore about the entire issue. One thing RantWoman is sore about: the ONLY person who gets some key parts of what RantWoman is sore about is....
--2005: RantMom has last cancer surgery, on RantWoman's birthday. RantWoman flies to MT the next day to hang at the hospital and listen to the Soothing Channel.
--1995: RantDad passes away. RantWoman gets news by phone and cannot even summon words to explain situation in person to people at work. Thank heaven for email. Memorial is full of music; RantSiblings cope tolerably.
--Beloved Family Friend flies in from DC in time both to attend RantDad's memorial and to participate, out and flaming in his 40th high school reunion.

--1995: the Queen of Meow comes to live with RantWoman. The Queen of Meow was born on the RantChildren's piano teacher's property and probably grew up listening to Mozart. She came to RantWoman via Little Sister's studio and a household that split up and went off to graduate school in New York. The Queen of Meow stuck with RantWoman through a total of 5 living situations with many stories and escapades.

--2005: RantWoman has surgery for second detached retina. RantWoman probably already had the detached retina while in MT looking after RantMom but vision in the affected eye is such that RantWoman did not figure out the problem until she returned. Surgery meant that RantWoman could not fly back to MT as planned to hang with RantMom for part of chemo and raditaion. RantWoman DEEPLY appreciates RantMom's siblings for stepping in.

November or December?
--1995: The RantChildren's beloved piano teacher passes away. There is mention of AIDS but no one has any path to certainty.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Conference call it: Suggestions for F&P committee

RantWoman hereby offers some recommended edits to the proposed Appendix on friendly use of Communications Technology, particularly the part about conference calls. RantWoman is posting thoughts on her blog partly as an exercise in transparency, partly as an invitation for Friends to share the discernment through comments or preparation for live in-perosn discussions.

Rantwoman emits these proposed edits in a certain sense of humility and peculiar humor EXCEPT that RantWoman really means it about asking to be recognized on conference calls by saying "Clerk please," as opposed to for instance "Madame Chair, this is RantWoman" which is what she would have to say on non-Quaker conference calls or meetings of various blindness consumer organizations.

(RantWoman also humbly adores conference calls precisely because everyone is on the same footing visually. This of course is also why many Friends deeply attached to non-verbal visual signalling just hate conference calls. As the draft notes, part of our work is to cope together in different situations!)

Appendix: Friendly Use of Comm Tech – 6/21/2015 – page 1
Friendly Use of Communication Technology
Technology can bridge geographic distance and can simplify time and travel considerations in our Yearly Meeting. Emails, conference calls, and video connections can provide access for people who have difficulties with mobility, hearing, or vision. We usefully remain patient and tender with each other during continuing changes in media, also with using the devices themselves, and the uneven rate of adoption.
This section considers the use of conference calls, email, and social media, specifically blogs.
[Blogs only? What about Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, random email listservs...? RantWoman concurs with the Clerk of the NPYM IT committee: this proposed text could benefit from attention by someone with some close familiarity with IT issues. 'nuff said for now?]

Query for Friends in the use of any communication technology:
********What does it mean for our communications technologies to serve as channels for movement of the Holy Spirit?  
  How can we make our Friendly communications accessible to all, across our differences in use of online media, ability to hear and see, and personal reactions to voiced disagreement?

Conference Calls
Telephone and internet conference calls may be used for many purposes, including committee meetings and consultations, worship-sharing, and clearness processes. They have proven to be a medium through which Spirit can move and connect Friends together. Not every Friends group has found conference calls suitable for careful discernment of the sense of the meeting.To open a conference call to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, the following suggestions may be helpful.

For the clerk:
  Arrange a time for the meeting in advance.
  Send the agenda, related materials, and contact numbers out several days ahead.
  Encourage Friends to center themselves before calling in.
  Encourage Friends to begin the call with greeting one another. Then open with silent worship before turning to the meeting agenda.
********* Ask Friends to ask to be recognized by saying "Clerk Please, this is ..." and then waiting for the clerk to recognize them.
When the group is large or not familiar with each other’s voices, ask people to say their names each time they speak.
  Remind Friends to pause between comments.
  Keep track of who has spoken and invite those who have been quieter to speak.
  If a decision is being made, ask if all are united in it. Give plenty of opportunity for any participant to voice hesitations.
  Ask for silence if Friends need to re-center in the Spirit.
  Conclude the conversation within an hour and a half.
  Finish the time together with an opportunity for silent worship, or suggest that Friends continue in worship after the call.
*********Agree on a venue for Friends with leadings after a call to share thoughts or elaborate on something which arises during the call.

For the participants:
*********NEVER attempt to participate in a conference call while driving. PULL OVER! If you need to commit civil disobedience about something, find a safer outlet than distracted driving. (Or as RantWoman's first typo said, distractedderiving.)
 Enter into worship before joining the conference call.
  Enter the conference on time with materials and agenda close at hand.
State your name each time you speak.
 **********Ask to be recognized: "Clerk please, this is ..."
  Be concise in your comments.
  Take care not to interrupt or talk over anyone. [This is the reason to say "Clerk please..." and then let the Clerk recognize people.
  State when you become lost or confused. Ask for silence when needed.
 ********If participating by cell or cordless phone, Remain in a location with good reception.
  Use a quiet space away from disruptive noise and activity. If there is background noise, mute your phone.
Queries for Friends using conference calls
  Have we determined that a conference call is appropriate to the task at hand and the group involved?
  When deciding to use a conference call, how do we accommodate Deaf and hard-of-hearing Friends?
  Do we conduct our conference calls in a spirit of worship?
  How do we interpret a Friend’s silence during a conference call?
********Do we consider options and needs for archiving the digital audio recording?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Doomsday Video (HBO)

Just the sort of thing RantWoman would do on a SLOW Friday night: think about The End of the World as We Know It or at least as portrayed in various available infostreams.


...the Book of Revelations ...

... and...

...The Day After, a totally unrealistic 1980's flick about nuclear war ...


...Lopushansky Goes to the Nuclear Catastrophe... or whatever a Russian equivalent of the Day After is called. (RantWoman liked the movie better than the  Day After; she just does not remember its title.)

... and... some comical Neutrinos Gone berserk flick RantWoman has seen within the last couple years


...the John Oliver treatment of the end of the world, narrated by Martin Sheen. Okay it's REALLY a SLOW Friday Night...

Yoga, Zinnias, harder stuff

The essay below was written by the teenage neice of someone from RantWoman's Meeting. RantWoman has never thought about the spiritual aspects of yoga before. The essay showed up in the same Facebook feed with zinnias from someone else's garden.

Garden zinnias because the story needs zinnias.

Being the change: reflections on my brother’s suicide

My intention in telling you the story of my brother Max’s suicide is to help start a conversation—a conversation, I believe, that affects us all, as suicide is something that has likely touched all of our lives, directly or indirectly. It was too late to save my brother. I tried– even long before I found him dying. This is my story and how I believe my brother’s suicide is giving greater clarity to my life’s purpose.

I see my purpose as being a reaction to paradigms that aren’t working. I’m a self-proclaimed radical, and I see my path as needing to confront the social and cultural paradigms that cause the loss of so many individuals to self and community-inflicted violence. This paradigm can leave an individual feeling alienated from other people and from himself. Our population numbers are so large, it’s easy to become lost.

We find ourselves in a crushing pace of life with distractions like entertainment, media, and technology that desensitize us to our own needs and the needs of others. For example, we might be tired, but also feeling anxious. Instead of going to bed and processing the day, we watch another TV show. We further alienate by abandoning friendships because it’s easier to escape than do the inner work that it takes to maintain deep friendships. For men especially, the cultural pressures to hide weakness and suppress emotions, to “man up” and “be a man” disallows men to be sensitive and have their own emotional needs met. Men have differing reactions to this paradigm– some choose suicide. Our social and personal alienation has lead so many to make this choice.

This is why yoga is so vital. Yoga creates space for self- reflection by increasing the awareness of our body, and thus increasing our total awareness. The goal is to realize that we are not on an island. To be human is to be social. Any thought that is self-reflective is inextricably linked to our interactions with others. For example, if we are working on our road rage, it is our fellow humans that we need to willingly share space with. Through yoga, we examine the postural habits and physical and emotional pains that we suffer to gain awareness of our body’s subconscious messages. In order to share with others we must take care to meet our own needs so that we can be present for those around us.

To stop and make the time to move and make shapes with your body with other people is a profound way to take the risk to love yourself and others. You take the risk to love others and to be loved back. This is the intention behind Cardinal Yoga. We intend to create a community in which we can facilitate people healing themselves where someone might discover his or her own answers. People want love. They need love. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. It is NOT a character flaw to need and want love. In our space we want you to feel like it’s your space, where it is safe for you to be intimate and vulnerable, and to also be weird and different, and mostly loved.

Being true to myself has often meant going against the grain of expectations. I wish my brother had been better supported by ALL of us to go against the grain too.

My intention in starting this conversation is just that. It’s a start. It will likely take a generation or more to build a new mindset before we see meaningful change. This conversation will hopefully lead to a safety net of people that will become a catalyst group within the community. This is a social revolution. It’s a revolution of people who choose love over fear.

So, how can we be there for each other? I think we first show bravery and reflect on the ways in which we ourselves are desensitized, so that we can grow our empathy and be in communion with one another.

Think about the opportunities that you missed where you wish you would have said something. When you even knew in that moment you should be saying something, like when relatives make racist, homophobic, or misogynist statements, and you could have simply said “I feel differently about that.” You hold tremendous power to change the world just by simply standing up for people who so desperately need our solidarity. Or maybe it’s making eye contact or saying “hi” to a stranger. If we had the courage to listen to our inner voice and were brave enough to connect with another person rather than being indifferent, that choice of love over fear would not only empower us but could facilitate profound change in lives individually and communities globally.

Be the change.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jello ... or not?

Dear Bill C, yeah, you with the Jello ads, (Trademark symbol needed throughout)

Hells Bells Dude. RantWoman does not LIKE needing to put a trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault on this blog post, but guess what, here it is. RantWoman does not want to hear any excuses or equivocation or exclamations about things being off the record or your acute embarrassment.

RantWoman does not want to hear you lecturing Young Black Men about much of ANYTHING. RantWoman wants to hear "What happened was WRONG and I am DEEPLY SORRY."Then MAYBE you would have some cred to say"Pull your pants up and get an education and DO NOT do it the way I have!"

Dude, RantWoman does not want to speak on behalf of the women you wronged. Rantwoman is hoping that they have busy full lives and, if you admitted what is wrong, would be willing to embrace the new you, but RantWoman cannot be the one to force that.

Dude, you have a wife who clearly loves you.

You have a public, a lot of whom are just sick about the story, but who in many cases like RantWoman  would be glad to think forgiveness,

RantWoman is not a giant consumer of Jello Pudding. RantWoman these days is not even a giant consumer of commercials, but the old ones on Youtube still make her smile, except when...NEver Mind. Watch the commercial.

Okay, now the commercial is over. A clip from The View in November 2014.
Rosie O'Donell and others talk Cos on the View.

Now, here's a pretty judgmental clip of a couple people willing to call a spade a spade.

and if ya need an example or a pathway, read up on the Friend with the Remarkablestory, oh and put restorative justice into the search engine of your choice. Oh, and maybe find yourself a faith community and Get Right with God!

Thank you for reading.

Peace love and clarity,

Blog as...?

RantWoman probably should post the current draft of the Appendix the committee on the Discipline has come up with about Quakers and electronic commuinication or at least the particular snipppets inflaming RantWoman's passions and inspiring individual blog entries. In this case, RantWoman's soul has been inflamed by two concepts "quakerly" and blogging as ministry, together in teh latter case with the suggestion that one needs editting and elders and ... and...

RantWoman's first problem: actual Quakers say and do all kinds of things that RantWoman does not automatically accept as Quakerly. RantWoman wishes we all did not so badly need forebearance, the grace of God/dess and spiritual kicks in the butt from time to time. RantWoman in total realism sees no reason that the electronic world is going to be any different from "meat space" in that respect and there is no way that RantWoman is going to try to hide that reality under the fig leaf that is the word "quakerly."

RantWoman's second problem: no one for instance told George Fox he should write his journal any other way than he wrote it and if they had, modern readers would miss out on all sorts of opportunities to mix up mysticism, editorial maladjustment and evidence that maybe he was just suffering from bipolar disorder, not to mention the sense of spiritual accompaniment that comes of sharing his experience in his own words.

RantWoman actually might articulate some focused thoughts about blogs meant for particular purposes. Well okay, one model, blog as Called Meeting for Worship clerked by oneself, really does not work for RantWoman. RantWoman needs here to speak for herself. RantWoman's models of blogging include blog as Quaker journal, blog as filing cabinet, and today blog as scrapbook or collector of spiritual pocket lint. RantWoman needs the last concepts in order to accommodate the following spin, which does not in fact accurately reflect RantWoman's use of her Smartphone but does reflect closely enough RantWoman swimming in the electronic interwebs that RantWoman humbly warbs her readers....

An image text box. Use Convenient OCR or ask soemone to share the expereince and read it to you.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nametag. Un-Nametag. Pinking Shears. Prayer.

Recently RantWoman, aka the Clerk of the Still Didn't Get the Memo on Email Immoderation was led to...offer to lurk on the email discussion list for the NPYM IT committee. RantWoman is now led to comment on one issue at a time among all that has swum into RantWoman's awareness as a result of this lurking.

For example, RantWoman thinks PERHAPS Committee on the Discipline now revising our Faith and Practice, the IT committee, and possible M&O and Finance and Legal might benefit from some focused simplifying conversations.  RantWoman thinks for what she has in mind it should MOSTLY be possible to post at least initial thoughts on her blog with links sent via email. This is to give the people who agreed to let Friends deluge them with emails the option of choosing to click or not click if it is not psychically or temporally convenient to read further at a given moment. But here to get started is just one example even if the simplifying is a matter of interpretation.

Query: Do we honor the Light and connections among the diversity of our communities--even when this means the technological picture includes human hands as clearly as specific other technology?

Query: do we take care that our technological tools remain tools held in care for service to the community?

Query: when something to do with technology goes awry, do we tend to the human aspect of the problem with the right mix of human concern and technical know-how?

Query: recognizing that we tend to many manifestations of the same Spirit, are we open to continually evolving Light about how the Holy Spirit flourishes in electronic media?

The nametag matter. RantWoman came upon the nametag matter mid-conversation.The IT committee discussion included a need RantWoman had not previously thought to meditate about, the possible need sometimes to render names on nametags if not in a database in Cyrillic.

Yeah, sure. RantWoman believes in something called Unicode, a topic likely of little interest except to people who tend the contents of databases. And RantWoman herself might sometimes be called to render her name in Cyrillic if for example there were visitors from Russia with Quaker connections. RantWoman honestly thinks Cyrillic nametags can be handled on a case by case basis, but in a fit of nerd selves being let out to play, RantWoman opined that well, it would also be wonderful if wecould do nametags in the hot happening new Unified English Braille, a topic probably of NO interest to anyone else in NPYM except RantWoman but tough bananas!

Pinking Shear Border Nametag, Un-Nametag, etc.

In terms of actual nametag practice, RantWoman offers in the image above:

(No image from an NPYM Annual Session nametag because RantWoman dutifully returns the reusable hand-written one created by a Friend whose presence is deeply appreciated even though the person who creates nametags  seldom at present appears in person. RantWoman at this point has done to hers what she tends to do to all nametags with the possibility to do so: written on the back “Please Tell Me your Name.”  Take RantWoman’s word for it.)

A nametag prepared with fabric, pinking shears, and prayer for each person to be given a nametag at the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women’s theology Conference. RantWoman would so not think to make nametags this way and thus is so touched that someone else was so led.

RantWoman’s standard reusable Nametag / Un-Nametag for purposes when RantWoman needs a nametag and either there is no temporary option available or RantWoman for some reason feels a need to remind people that she really cannot read nametags unless she is indecently close. The nametag is made from 1 colored index card, a sheet of the plastic RantWoman uses with braille to label some things, and several lengths of whichever yarn was available when RantWoman was assembling this nametag. Probably it would look more elegant and professional to make a braied lanyard or use onf of the numerous lanyards RantWoman accumulates over a year.

Nametags generated after RantWoman registered by computer for something called Accessibility Camp and something called a Digital Inclusion Summit. Both of them mention a role at RantWoman’s life focu, affectionately referred to as the Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing. RantWoman is wondering whether the word “Manager” appears on one of the nametags because RantWoman was just picking the least inadequate option from some predescribed list.

The back of an event nametag disguising the most interesting part of the nametag, the ribbon at the bottom that says Planning Expo.

RantWoman's basic point: NPYM IT committee has PLENTY to do; perhaps it is good to understand diverse threads of the Nametag matter and NOT to overspecify may parts of the process. God and these our Friends can handle...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Discipline! Electronically?

North Pacific Yearly Meeting is revising our Faith and Practice. The Committee attempting to herd NPYM Quaker cats together into unity about the content is called the Committee on the Discipline. The Discipline. Not the Committee on Discipline, alas!

The Committee on the Discipline is attempting to find language that speaks to both faith and practice in the realm of electronic communications. RantWoman is called first to digress and noodle about and meditate about the word discipline.

RantWoman is aware that the concept of shared commitment and spiritual grounding are supposed to be topical. RantWoman means to meander about that topic further but not now.

RantWoman remembers when she first moved to Seattle and read of the annual Gay Pride march. RantWoman THINKS it was the security volunteers for the march who were  issued T-shirts that said "Obey Me!" O Baby! Discipline!

RantWoman can herd people around and direct people to bathrooms and filter out SOME psycho behavior simply from the souls who are simply lost. RantWoman can do this, single standard of Truth, in all sorts of costumes:

--a white Symphonette dress (Really!  Besides RantWOman Symphonettes from RantWoman's year include: a fashion designer, a kickboxing teacher, an AIDS doctor, and a couple other not exactly debutante titles.

--assorted T-shirts and / or armbands issued by various rally coalitions and women's music festivals.

--the numbered jackets RantWoman and team were issued for a brief get-paid to go to rock concerts security gig.

RantWoman is also an oldest child, with rampant Oldest  Child Complex. Somewhere in RantWoman's brain there is an insistent voice yammering away about how RantWoman is supposed to be Responsible for Everything! So RantWoman could get REALLY carried away about this "Obey me" thing.

May we all, though, please settle for some thoughtful discussion across multiple media, blogs, in person, hopefully in committee meetings?

In the Light