Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cities, Churches, God, Real Estate matters

RantWoman is growing impatient with the plodding evolution of a discernment process in her Meeting. RantWoman means to elaborate in a separate post or more likely in several posts.

RantWoman today simply wants to talk of a vision where the whole community, not just some small committee might have the opportunity to read some of the same materials, chew them over in conversation, and let the chewing feed the different pieces of research and discernment likely to be involved. RantWoman would like to know whether others share this vision, but RantWoman is for now clear in her own Light regardless.

RantWoman has a vision of an electronic resource where people might both contribute articles, videos, and other materials and participate in conversations. RantWoman envisions a resource where public processes might be tracked by collecting the public record agendas and videos.

RantWoman would kind of like to light a fire under someone to make a shared effort, perhaps even a cleaner and more simply tagged effort than RantWoman's blog but again RantWoman is not doing well about patience and frankly has a leading just to collect info here and trust that the collecting will increase the chance of finding things on RantWoman's mind more than once.

RantWoman will try to post with queries and invite comments. RantWoman moderates comments and hopes mainly to have a very light touch about moderation, to spare her readers the ads and bizarre hateful bile that occasionally shows up behind the Blogger scenes.

By way of launching this collection, two resources that swam out of recent RantWoman Twitter streams:

NY Times article about city congregations, their buildings, and the real estate market

What do Friends consider important as far as historical preservation, connection with history?

What do Friends consider appropriate financial stewardship?

Another resource: a lecture by Diana Butler Bass at the Chattauqua Institute about cities and the Bible. The language may or may not speak to everyone, but RantWoman finds it an interesting presentation about cities and the Bible.


What language do Friends find most helpful in talking about the spiritual dimensions of a process that is going to involve complex vocabulary from a number of different public policy and economic domains?


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Avis Wanda McClinton speaks History

Wonderful interview with Avis Wanda McClinton of Upper Dublin MM by Madeline Schaefer  who grew up Quaker  Found on SoundCloud.

Madeline Schaefer interviews Avis Wanda McClinton

RantWoman notes that it is useful, challenging... to hear the voices of Uper Dublin MM in their own words. RantWoman will hold further observations in the Light.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Property Discernment Committee Charter Before and After


Property Discernment Committee Charter AFTER as approved in January 2017 Meeting For Business


The Discernment Committee for the UFM Campus will facilitate a discernment process about how best to steward our property and worship space as the landscape and needs of our neighborhood, Meeting, City, and Society of Friends change.

The Committee will seek ways to proceed in this discernment that are spiritually nourishing for the Meeting, that draw on the gifts and leadings of our community and that draw in outside expertise as needed.

The Committee will gather input from Meeting individuals and groups about our collective priorities.

The Committee will facilitate thorough research and analyze potential options, such as remaining as-is; selling; or partial or full redevelopment by the Meeting.

This committee or designated subcommittees will present findings at least twice yearly to the Meeting; and support incremental discernment and unity in decisionmaking.

We convene this committee recognizing that there may be several years' work involved and seeking Divine guidance for its work.

Property Discernment committee charter: the BEFORE version
The Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of UFM's Campus will support the Meeting as we discern how best to steward our property as the landscape and needs of our neighborhood, Meeting, City, and Society of Friends change. The Committee will seek ways to proceed in this discernment that are spiritually nourishing for the Meeting. The Committee will: gather input from Meeting individuals and groups about our collective priorities; thoroughly research and analyze potential options, such as remaining as-is, selling, and partial or full redevelopment by the Meeting; present findings regularly to the Meeting; and help bring the Meeting to unity about what option to pursue. When a sense of the meeting is reached, the Committee will recommend next steps for the Meeting, which may require continued work of the ad hoc Committee.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A First Time at Meeting for Worship story

RantWoman here collects another "First Time at Meeting" item complete with various moments of Quakerese in the article and the comments.

Holly Kozelsky First Time at Meeting

This account is of Meeting for Worship.

At the recent #NPYM2017 Annual Session, rant Woman collected more data about at least one newcomer being wowed to visit for the first time on a day when there was Meeting for Business. The newcomer was very positively impressed with how a challenging topic was handled.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Practice Tips for Vocal Ministry

In an effort to leave words of wisdom in their original form, unencumbered by RantWoman message Manglement, RantWoman is posting some items in their own words. Here RantWoman has permission from Joe Snyder to post the handout from an interest group on vocal ministry.



Practice Tips for Vocal Ministry in Meeting for Worship

 

Have one or more regular spiritual practices during the week, daily if possible: prayer time, meditation, journal, physical activity with prayerful centering, etc.  Be watchful in these times for leadings to ministry.

 

Get a good night’s sleep before Meeting.

 

Spend time in prayer and preparation before Meeting.

 

You may eat a good, but light breakfast before Meeting.  Some prefer to fast.  You may wish to be judicious in the use of stimulant beverages.

 

Arrive at Meeting early and find a seat where you can settle into worship.

 

Find a position where you can park your body for an hour or so without having to pay much attention to it.  This may take some practice.  (all of these things may take some practice).  Arrange your face in a pleasant (smiling?) visage.  Some find that attention to the position of the hands makes a difference.

 

As others enter the room, greet them inwardly with love and hold them and their condition in the light.  This may open either the other or yourself or both to receptivity.

 

Opening oneself up to vocal ministry includes opening each member of the body to that option, praying for the process, praying for each one who may be called, praying for the state of the Meeting as a whole.  It may be considered a collective process.

 

Breathe.  Inward breath prayer may be helpful.

 

Centering tools may include an inward mandala or a fixed spot on the wall, floor or ceiling, inward repetitive prayer or song.

 

As ideas, thoughts, leadings come, examine and bless them and let them go.  If they persist, begin to let them be molded into something that may be a message.

 

Pay attention to physical signs.  Many experienced ministers report such symptoms as quaking (we are not called Quakers for nothing)  or trembling, sensations of warmth (maybe on the palms of the hands), sweating, shortness of breath, lightness or light, etc. that seem in indicate authenticity and urgency of a message. 

 

Examine the message.  Is it coming through you, or from you?  Can you deliver it without a lot of first person singular pronouns?  Is it from the heart, from experience?

 

Be attentive to those around you.  Are any likely to be holding you in the Light?  Are there any you need to be holding in the Light?  How does this address the urgency of your message?  Is someone else in the room going to deliver this message?

 

Pare the message down to its essentials.  Eliminate introductions or explanations.

 

Stand up (if able) and deliver the message with your head raised in a clear voice loudly enough to be heard by those in the back of the room and those with hearing disabilities.  If there is not enough power in the message to drive you to your feet, you may wish to sit with it a while longer.

 

Either just before or just after standing, it may be helpful to take a moment or two of inward prayer: eg “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord.”

 

It is good to keep Lewis Carrol’s admonition in mind: “Begin at the beginning, proceed until you get to the end, then stop.”  It is good to sit with the message long enough to have a reasonably good idea of where the end is before you begin.

 

While it may be helpful to do some inward post message analysis of one’s message or delivery, it is best not to dwell on this.

 

Be grateful to and bless those who held you during the delivery of your message.

 

Continue to hold the message and the Meeting in the Light.  You have just dropped a big rock in a still pond.  This includes holding those who will be called to deliver additional messages, and the messages themselves in the light, even before one knows who and what they are.

 

Sometimes messages may be difficult for or incomprehensible to you.  It is OK to just hold the message and the messenger in the Light and not even pay attention to the words.  This is important and powerful work.

 

Ministry can be spiritually, emotionally, and physically draining.  This is normal.  Take care of yourself.  Friends and allies may be useful after Meeting as a shield from those who may want to have an intellectual discussion about the message despite your drained state.

 

Also, be prepared as people approach you after Meeting, that what they heard may not be what you think you said …. and it spoke deeply to their condition.  This is a Mystery and a sign that you have been faithful.

 

The practice of vocal ministry is, indeed, practice.  One will make mistakes: outrun one’s guide, fall short of the mark, go on too long, etc.  While not to be shrugged off, these are inevitable and if attended to, make us more competent servants the next time we are called.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bathing for All Genders

What's a RantWoman to do?

RantWoman finds this item a highly on-point presentation of issues related to sweat lodges and cultural appropriation.

Spiritual Appropriation Films Explore Cultural Appropriation by New-Agers

AND

RantWoman is aware of several cultures where some kind of group bathing / public steaming is deeply rooted and enjoyed by many. So, RantWoman would love to formulate some understanding of sitting together with spiritual intentions in steaming places that is free of cultural appropriation baggage and that  could be realized easily at Quaker gatherings.

But for now RantWoman will humbly offer comments about all-gender restrooms at #npym2017:

The restrooms in RantWoman's dorm all had doors on stalls and lovely shower curtains. They were also designated all-gender. So RantWoman did not even ask and simply set about taking showers--and holding a caregiving situation in the Light. The only awkward moment: connecting discretely with one's towel after showering.

Hot water: Quakers of all genders expect hot water. This does not mean, for one restroom, there was any God as personal butler model of divine presence or any plumbing staff around to oblige. There was however the soul-purifying opportunity to COPE and an excuse just to ask others to chance a tiny bit more natural olfactory experience than one might mean to impose. Are we feeling pure yet?

Minutes Cookies News

RantWoman! Do NOT squelch the energy and joy of this wonderful young Friend.

B-b-but if I do not say anything.... How about may I please mouth off in square brackets?

Look, RantWoman, you are probably going to ... whether I say anything or not, so if you really really MUST have a middle-aged snit-fit would you maybe please TRY to be kind?

RantWoman usually uses Noms de Blog rather than real names especially when RantWoman writes of things that may be pure message manglement. In this case, RantWoman wants to lift up the wonderful Young Friends statement and is unabashedly quoting extensively from two Facebook posts. Readers who want to find the Facebook posts should be able to come up with helpful search strings.

Quote 1, [annotated]:
Four years ago a Friend and I planted a seed of trans inclusivity in front of a room of about 40 Quakers. [um,. er, How about "tilled the soil of trans inclusivity"? RantWoman so likes words that follow that she will overlook]  Many people took that, tended it, did their own work, and today our Annual [Yearly] Meeting, (aka regional group of Friends encompassing  [UNPROGRAMMED] Quakers within Oregon Washington, Idaho, and Montana) became the first Annual Meeting to pass a Minute (aka statement) on trans inclusivity. We update our Faith and Practice (book of religious guidance) every 12 years [uh, we update our F&P as led. The latest revision has taken 12 years], and the Minute passed [the minute was approved / Meeting came to Unity in just enough time to make it in to the next generation's incarnation of Faith and Practice.

This journey has been so incredible. Seeing elderly people use the words "gender non-conforming," "squish" and "non-binary" with ease, and hearing some of them say that their lives would have been very different had they had that language when they were young. Seeing young trans people come out of the closet in to communities where they are supported and loved. Having cis people buy trans people ice cream and bake them cookies for their emotional labor. There was a lot of frustrating stuff and hurt and pain that went along with it, but oh my goodness, we passed the Minute and made a commitment to keep working through the hard stuff.

[Do you remember how the commitment is to be worked on further?]

Here are some lines from the Minute:

"North Pacific Yearly Meeting understands that the Divine Source is leading our Meeting to honor the gender identity and expression of each person, as understood by that person. We understand that gender may be fluid and changeable. We recognize that when we embrace the Light within the full spectrum identities in our Meeting, our worship deepens and our community is enriched...We extend our loving care to people of all genders, including, but not limited to, transgender, genderqueer, cisgender, gender fluid, agender, gender non-conforming and intersex persons, their families and friends. We will continue to educate ourselves and our communities and take appropriate action to bring about a more equal world."

Quote 2:
Our collective Quaker Meetings of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana just became the first Annual [Yearly] Meeting to make the affirmation of trans people a tenant of our faith. [The "first" part is mildly in dispute, thanks to the formation the day before of the new Sierra Cascade wholly open affirming Christ-centered Yearly Meeting involving Friends from OR, WA and possibly CA. See https://www.scymfriends.org/2017-epistle/   “We are led by the Spirit to commit ourselves to recognizing the full participation of LGBTQ+ people in all aspects of the life of the new yearly meeting.”]

Here is the statement by the Young Adult Friends (18-35) about the importance of approving this statement.

"The young adult friends want to give our support of the trans inclusive Minute. We are coming of age at a time when more trans people are living their lives as their full authentic selves than ever before, and we want to honor and respect the gifts that trans people bring to our community. We recognize that with this increased visibility comes overwhelming discrimination. We mourn the loss of human potential that comes when trans people are forced to spend their energy struggling to survive in this harsh world rather than discovering and nurturing their personal light. We want to live in a faith community where young trans people can use this time in their lives to discover their passions, to learn and to grow, and to build the foundation upon which they base the rest of their lives. Specific and explicit inclusion of all genders is imperative in our community in a world where the default culture remains dangerously intolerant.
This is also a plea for intergenerational unity on this issue that is defining for our times. We deeply need and want the support of our elders and acknowledge the critical role of queer, trans and gender non-conforming elders in our community. We want our faith community to be a place of respite, that provides a safe harbor for trans people and works to shape the rest of society towards justice.
We recognize the importance of centering those impacted by multiple oppressions, and want the passage of this Minute to be the first step towards creating a Quakerism that is fully welcoming to people of color and people of all social and economic backgrounds, both trans and cis.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

For Fudge

RantWoman realizes that most people would consider it ungracious to give away one's birthday flowers almost as soon as one has dragged them home on the bus. Who asked "most people?"

This post is dedicated to "Fudge." Fudge's real name was posted with an announcement inviting RantWoman to spend her birthday at an in-person memorial instead of just attending Quaker Auntie's memorial by email. RantWoman passed up the invitation.

For Fudge and her family with blessings and prayers, a Neighbor

Fudge was a neighbor. She had a seizure disorder. She also liked beer. This was not a good combination. Fudge's school-age daughter lived with her mother. This reality was painful for Fudge but some of the time she was at peace with it.

Since RantWoman could not go to the memorial, RantWoman still only knows what the building grapevine provided about the circumstances of Fudge's death, at her mother's. That is more than enough to hold in the light a grandmother and her granddaughter.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday night at the gratitude bar

RantWoman offers gratitudes in no particular order.

This annual session's grammatical sponsors:

Official Part of Speech Sponsor: pronouns.

Official fulcrum of dialogue: adjectival inclusivity vs snapshot in time.
For comparison consider:
colored. Negro. African American. Person of Color.

In the category of "Accept Help Dammit," RantWoman wishes to express deep gratitude for

--Friends who followed RantWoman's orders and took the sidewalk instead of the grass on RantWoman's first night on campus. RantWoman is sublimely grateful to know the concrete path is there so that Mbassador Thwack can help her find the way back to her dorm in the dark.

--Friends who helped RantWoman figure out the card key reader so she could get into her dorm.

--Friends who have helped RantWoman read interest group lists, menus, condiment labels,  worship sharing guidelines and other daily necessities where RantWoman is finally learning just to borrow someone's eyes.

--Worship Sharing Group. As usual every day is a different combination of people. The guidelines suggest letting each Friend's offerings drop into a well of silence. The guidelines do not reckon with jet noise, construction, golf carts, prospective student tours, trbial gatherings of cheerleader students and aikido practitioners and various species of raucous birds. The offerings are wonderful. They drop into some kind of well. Silence is not the concept.



Words that MAY make it out of RantWoman's mouth in presence of the clerk: "Friend, if people younger than 60 have their hands up, would you consider calling on them first?" RantWoman realizes this may not be a popular sentiment. RantWoman has even heard the word ageism, but how on earth are people going to fill the weighty friend pipeline if they do not get a chance to practice? RantWoman is aware of going to another event in a different part of her life with similar frequent flier issues. Consistency is okay; RantWoman would like some variety. Please hold whichever problems rise from RantWoman rendering this paragraph in the Light.


Thank you NPYM site committee. How do you do it? Does every campus you sign a contract with just decide "Oh good, the Quakers are coming. Let's schedule some construction?"

It Won't Take Long (Ferron)

Planet RantWoman is greatly appreciating some musical streams at #npym2017 but still wishes to leave this one in the air.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

After The Memorial

Data gathered from email and conversations and held tenderly from Quaker Auntie's memorial.

There were 40 or so people at the memorial, quakers and students  / music colleagues. The piano pieces sounded like a wonderful selection.

Quaker Auntie at Oberlin had a longterm boyfriend. Longterm boyfriend was African American. They wanted to get married. This Just Was Not Done at the time. Instead Quaker Auntie wound up in a miserable marriage to an abusive jerk musician she met in Austria. That marriage did not last. The stories of both relationships make RantWoman very sad.

In the realm of Quakers Who Smoke, several people at the memorial spoke of Quaker Auntie's smoking. Little Sister claimed credit for teaching Quaker Auntie to stash her butts in a Sucrets box if there was no place easily to dispose of them. RantWoman omitted that moment from her narrative but is keenly glad that others also mentioned the smoking.

RantWoman and RantMom clucked afterward about the smoking probably contributing to the aneurysms that left Quaker Auntie unable to live alone for 20 years before her death. Quaker Auntie had no short-term memory but could still play music and could still learn new pieces. Quaker Auntie also had such a gift for connecting with people that she had a number of people in the picture tending faithfully to details to manage her situation the entire time. RantWoman was touched to hold a moment from when things started to fray. People responsibly stepped up and made needed changes.

The Still Didn't Get the Memo on Email Immoderation humbly notes that pasting the text of RantWoman's memorial offering into the email along with the Word document attachment was highly on point for the available technology and know-how of the recipients. RantWoman is VERY grateful for whatever editing occurred before the offering was read.

Blessings upon the memories!

Should you need a boxwood oboe

One of the gifts of surfing the internet in connection with the memorial for RantWomans beloved Quaker Honorary Auntie  has been other family connections reconnected.

RantWoman thanks the interwebs, a name and a musical instrument in a search bar, her options for accessibility tools, and the delivery of content in forms that RantWoman with her accessibility tools can interact with. RantWoman does not...whether other more poetic people are bored of RantWoman's paeans to #accessibility #a11y and insistence on including horrible hashtags in texts to be read by people who probably do not care about hashtags. Cope! And then enjoy the musical thoughts.

RantWoman celebrates the anniversary of RantDad's passing with a recommendation for a wonderful musician, craftsman, and mentee of RantDad's.

Ken Decker Oboe Builder and Repair

RantDad's mentee is also a vegan, in case that matters.

RantWoman also celebrates the fact that another previous internet mention of RantDad can still be found using two performers' last names and the name of a moderately obscure French composer
IDRS record of the Lalliet woodwind trio

Rantwoman promises--for NOW--to forego needed riffs on libraries and electronic futures and the question of how to value the availability of esoteric info of great historical and ongoing interest to a small number of people. RantWoman promise to forego this for now only because she is certain the universe is entitled to riffs on similar themes related to her Meeting's library and a certain discernment process getting off to a, cough, bumpy start. RantWoman has a bit of a wacky project management internet archiving idea which is WAY ahead of things as far as said discernment process, bbuut still...

RantWoman humbly thanks  Honorary Auntie for helping RantWoman grow the patience to stay present with the problem. RantWoman is also meditating about how a couple of her biggest Quaker influences were Quakers presences in other important parts of RantWoman's life, more so than apostles for Quaker worship or Quaker structures. This is a good thing because who knows how things would have turned out if Honorary Auntie, a profoundly gifted pianist had lived in the intolerant era when Quakers were read out of Meeting for owning pianos.




Monday, July 17, 2017

Diligence

Linguistic meanderings for the day

RantWoman Tweet of the week part of #nfb17 stream: Dear DPRK. Thank you for ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty about access to print materials for blind people. Now, about those missile tests. And hey US Senate....

Official Russian government translators seem to nail idiomatic English fairly consistently. The same cannot be said about the Iranian Foreign Ministry's translation of its condolence notice for the death of Maryam Marzakhani. Sigh

Only one of the intense moments in RantWoman's reading of the Sherman Alexie link cited in a recent post: Alexie's mother was one of the last fluent speakers of their tribe's ancestral language. But she would not teach him the language she always told him his world is in English.

A moment from Meeting for Business
RantWoman offered lengthy commentary.

The entire room rose.

OH GOOD. A standing ovation!

Okay, probably not but RantWoman has a vivid imagination.

Sometimes it helps.

Sometimes other things matter. Today, RantWoman is thinking that she would have been thrilled, THRILLED if some really basic due diligence questions on her mind had come out of someone else's mouth IN Business meeting as opposed to as a result of conversations after. RantWoman wonders whether it MIGHT be possible to make do with email.

Happy Monday all..

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Peculiar Birthday Presents God Danced the Day You Were Born

RantWoman collected an assortment of birthday "gifts" from her media streams. RantWoman means it about the streams part and does not apologize for the range of perspectives represented, including, in order, joy, crap!, and REALLY glad to have only one's own problems.




https://mic.com/articles/141851/here-s-what-getting-spanked-as-a-kid-did-to-your-personality-according-to-science#.OJbK5RPLt


http://kuow.org/post/sherman-alexie-s-heartbreaking-reason-pausing-his-book-tour

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ruuuth! Quaker Honorary Auntie

In keeping with standard RantWoman practice, still living people and Rant Family members get noms de blog. People RantWoman means to memorialize are referred to by the name RantWoman uses.

Deviating from RantWoman’s annoying practice of referring to herself in the third person, RantWoman will attempt to live with the first person in narrative below.

In memory of Ruth Corwin Meyer
Ruth!
 
Ruth Corwin Meyer obituary in Albuquerque Journal
I want to offer a few words in memory of Ruth Corwin Meyer but first I want to say a giant thank you to everyone who has been involved in her care and support in her last years. Ruth has been a part of my family, an abiding friend of the Rant Parents and a deeply beloved honorary Auntie to me, RantBrother and Little Sister for many years. After she moved to NM and we moved to MT, Ruth continued to visit us most summers and many Christmases. She even had her own Christmas stocking along with the family ones and an extra unmarked one for whoever else might be visiting.

It has been hard not seeing Ruth since visits became infeasible really on all sides. My heart has been warmed in connection with news of Ruth’s passing and this memorial to hear from and hear the names of several people Ruth has spoken of with great fondness many times. I am also deeply touched to hear more about Ruth’s connections to Albuquerque Friends Meeting. Thank you all and warm wishes as we remember Ruth to carry forward some of her spark, a lot of her music, and all the gifts she has brought to all of us. I am happy to be in contact with anyone interested at the coordinates above.

A biographical note: Ruth was married briefly to a musician she met during her time in Austria. She spoke of her former husband very infrequently, a couple times about some kind of shared experience. I never heard any sense of bitterness. I also never heard any thoughts of remarrying.

 Ruth joined the music faculty where RantDad taught at Western State College, now Western Colorado University in Gunnison CO in 1969 or 1970; she basically joined our family at the same time.

·       We took care of her cat when she travelled to CT to visit her parents.

·       She filled our supper table with hysterical puns.

·       Little Sister probably did not need any lessons about how to be a pill, but Ruth happily helped add a sense of fun.

·       Ruth read us Mary Poppins. At least my memory is that she read us Mary Poppins. Little Sister says to her Ruth WAS Mary Poppins. We both chuckled singing “Chim Chim Chiminey Chim Chim Chiree” as we talked about this.

·       Ruth showed Little Sister where middle C was at age 5 and drafted both younger Rant Siblings as guinea pigs for her piano pedagogy students; I already had a different piano teacher.

·       She lent us her rollaway bed when I broke my leg and needed to sleep in our dining room to save my stair climbing energy for school: fifth grade was on the third floor and there was no elevator.

·       She talked of the WWII-era internment of Japanese Americans long before the topic was more widely discussed.

·       She and my dad and others played woodwind trios and I think she sometimes served as accompanist for some of my dad’s students’ recitals.

·       Ruth’s way of talking about world events helped open my eyes to the practice of thinking about problems from more than one perspective.

·       Ruth also had this gift of empathetic but realistic nonjudgmental acknowledgment. For instance she noticed that the eye conditions that run in my dad’s family were a bit of a challenge for everyone.

·       Ruth was very generous with practical gifts. One Christmas it was a microwave oven. Little Sister remembers Ruth helping equip her with matching suitcase and cosmetic case before Little Sister took off for a study abroad year in Italy. Little Sister says the cosmetic case has gone many places since then.

I think Ruth moved to NM in summer 1972. Later that summer our family moved (back) to MT, but after the moves, Ruth visited MT most summers and many Christmases. One summer my sister visited Ruth in New Mexico. Another year my mom talked about visiting and taking walks on the golf course near where Ruth lived. Most summers until her aneurysms, Ruth visited my family in MT. Our house was not air-conditioned; we closed it up during the day and blew out accumulated heat in the evening. Someone else’s music students cheerily arrived many summer mornings. There were various family stresses, but to Ruth it was a spa.

 I visited Ruth at Pendle Hill in the fall of 1983, around Thanksgiving. I was taking time off from college and travelling with political activism. One of Ruth's many gifts was to talk to my parents of the Quaker idea of leadings: this calmed them a great deal. I do not imagine it necessarily made them worry less about my passion for political activism, but they were calmer about their worry around me and I definitely felt freer not to share every possible worrying detail while I figured out some of how to be an adult about my strong views.

 One sad thing I remember about the visit to Pendle Hill: Ruth received word that her mother passed away. By that time Ruth’s mother was in a nursing home in NM and Ruth decided that she did not even need to hurry back to do a memorial. I found that easy to understand. Ruth's mother had visited MT a couple times after the move from CT to NM. Ruth's parents had visited us in CO and maybe in MT. Ruth’s dad was a very gentle and centered presence; Her mom's delight in children's books was a joy to be around but her dementia was definitely a heartbreaking challenge for everyone.

 I still often just refer to Ruth as my Quaker Honorary Auntie, but that does not do justice to all the music she and my dad and others made, to many trips to bookstores, to  her generosity about family indignities such as our dog who liked to hump her leg, to many moments at the supper table, to all the layers of affection and thoughtful caring observation of our family dynamics.

 One of the things that impressed me was how Ruth kept up her Quaker ties even  when she was living in places like Gunnison where there was no Quaker Meeting. I remember her often having copies of Friends Journal with her when she came to visit; a few times I picked them up because I am a total reader grazer and when I could see better looked at pretty much any print I could get my hands on at least once. Often when she visited Billings she attended worship at the Billings Meeting too.

 I think everyone in my family feels very blessed to have known Ruth. As someone who got more interested in Quaker worship as an adult, I also consider it an enormous blessing that Ruth got to develop her talents and did not grow up among the sort of Quakers who read people out of Meeting for owning a piano!

 Blessings and warm wishes to everyone gathered for the memorial.

 With much love

(RantWoman)

Seattle WA

How to celebrate a birthday

How to spend a birthday, options from Planet RantWoman

Birthday #0: the arrival. 11:00 am on a Saturday. RantDad had lunch at the home of one of RantWoman's honorary grandmothers. Honorary Grandmother was scandalized that RantDad ate green onions for lunch. RantMom and RantWoman were not distressed.


Birthday #18: traffic court, paying a fine for hitting a fence while driving a popsicle truck. It was the first day on the job. It was the first day RantWoman had ever driven a stick shift.RantWoman is still not sure what happened but the phrase popping the clutch came up. Amazingly RantWoman did not get fired. RantWoman paid a $30 fine with 3 rolls of popsicle quarters.

Birthday #21: court in New York City related to civil disobedience for protests connected with the Second UN Special Session on Disarmament. Also known as college students practice going limp so students at the police academy get to practice their body dragging homework. The charge was the sort of minor offense where if one shows up in court, the charge is likely to get adjourned and dismissed after 6 months if no further offenses occur; if one does not show up in court, worse things happen. RantWoman showed up in court. After court RantWoman and Blind Roommate went for Chinese food, roasted crab somewhere near the court.

It did not even occur to RantWoman later that summer to worry about the six-month interval. RantWoman and Blind roommate did stand on a street corner with a sign support for friends who staged a prolonged protest at the Israeli Consulate  The protest was about human rights violations in Palestinian refugee camps; partly as a result of the protest, the Israelie government lifted the blockade being protested. New York's finest were completely uninterested in the people standing on the street corner.

Birthday #34: partying at a Russian restaurant on a Friday night with Little sister one of her co-workers and , RantWoman thinks, the co-worker's mother. The food was good. The party was fun. And Rant dad died 3 days later.

More than one birthday at NPYM Annual Session. Enough said.

Birthday # 44: RantMom has hysterectomy to deal with endometrial cancer. Peculiar symbolism that.

Birthday #53: Mr. Nasturtiums In Salad Friend Decamps to other realms

This year:
--Family party in park near Little Sister's house on Bastille day because everyone is overbooked on actual Birthday. LOVELY party. A bunch of small sunflowers. Simple tasty menu. Irrepressible Nephew and Brother-in-law ate and then went fishing. RantMom and Little Sister presented birthday presents and demanded RantWoman try them on. SCORE.

--On actual birthday, a candidates' forum for mayor and city council primary races. Or TWO memorials, one for a neighbor with a seizure disorder who died very suddenly and one far away for....Quaker Honorary Auntie. Urk. RantWoman will share the sunflowers with neighbors in honor of the first one. The second one gets its own whole post, or probably more than one. Urk. Then RantWoman will go to support at a restaurant with friends and probably acknowledge some birthday emanations via facebook.

Happy Birthday to RantWoman.

And no, RantWoman did not give permission for this to occur, but Maryam Mirzakhani Dies of cancer at age 40

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jahrzeit Candle Cloud

From a Facebook remembrance:

"My brother died 25 years ago on July 4th. It’s our tradition to light a candle on the anniversary of a loved one’s death. I couldn’t do that this year; I was in a car headed to an island in Maine. Here, birds abound, which Marco would have loved.  When I arrived at the island, I took the only existing paper copy of a letter, from Marco to our mom, and I retyped it onto a computer, so that the cloud can have it. Marco wrote it in 1978 when he was 19 years old."

See the rest of the remembrance here.
My Brother's Letter

If you need to complain about untagged graphics, get over it!

RantWoman's topical comments:
RantWoman finds it a bit of a mystery to have so many friends who are birders. RantWoman takes people's lifetime lists on faith and fascination because seeing enough detail to maintain a lifetime bird list has never really been feasible on Planet RantWoman
--Marco embraced birding with the same joyous obsessiveness he brought to a number of other pursuits. RantWoman remembers visiting him in a hospital in Indianapolis and marveling that he was still adding to his lifetime bird list even as he was fighting off whatever the medical calamity of the day was.

While RantWoman was ruminating, she dug up a couple previous posts. They are oddly topical to other current life threads, but here is not the place (YET!) for Dial-a-Tirade
Independence of Sorts

Varlam RoboFag Doctors

Friday, July 7, 2017

Jimmy Carter Brilliantly Explains How The Establishment Gave Us Trump

RantWoman finds this item at least as satisfying as a bunch of soap operas and electoral what-ifs. On the other hand the hard work that comes with the electoral what-ifs is going to be needed!



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fourth of July For This Year

 Holy revolution and Interdependence Batman, it's the Fourth of July! What is a Rantwoman to do?

 Dig the T-shirt. It's Red White and Blue. It honors the Navajo Code Talkers. The T-shirt seems on point in two ways. It is a SMALL thanks for your service gesture, as much rah rah military as RantWoman wants to get anywhere near. Also, it pays MODEST homage to the Indigenous people who were here long before a female printer added printed by and her name to the Declaration of Independence, the people who remain here among us.




The language they were forbidden to speak is the same language that saved the nation.
Festive T-shirt
for the occasion

Meditate upon the national anthem. Note RantWoman says meditate. RantWoman is not coming down on one side or another but is taking note.

Lyrics for all 4 verses

Why we should sing a fifth verse written much later

Read up on The Founding Myth of the US--on nonviolent resistance

Have an excursion to West Seattle with RantMom

Consider whether it is tacky and / or worthy Bad Friend behavior to riff on a #ThanksNorthKorea hashtag in honor of that country's latest missile test. Example: #ThanksNorthKorea We are sorry your leader is a little cra-cra. We are glad we are not the only country in the world with that problem.

Accept the dominion of The Queen of Spades, become cat furniture for the duration of the fireworks, not only the official show, but all the booms generously contributed by the 'hood.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Full Time Organizer Position Open at Faith Action Network

RantWoman is a big fan of Faith Action Network .

RantWoman is a fan because they are seriously multi-faith. For example recently they collaborated with multiple faith communities to offer We Stand with our Muslim Neighbors talking points to help combat Islamophobia in connection with visits to Seattle by, basically, a known hate group.

RantWoman is also a fan because of job opportunities like the following. Word!



Faith Action Network is about to take a new, exciting step forward!

In order to develop FAN’s interfaith network into a more powerful voice for justice, we are expanding our staff capacity to organize across the state. FAN will be hiring a full-time organizer to help lead our efforts to build our networks of Advocating Faith Communities, individuals, and partner organizations, especially in legislative districts where additional education, advocacy, and mobilization is needed.

Click here to see a full job description. Applicants should email a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to apply@fanwa.org. The position will remain open until July 28.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Another Pride posting

Another Pride posting, with kudos to someone RantWoman has been very grateful for editing help for newsletter articles from:

Blind Poet reads poem about Vision

The Youtube Video by itself.


The First Openly Trans Mayor in TX, Trump Country

Apropos Current study and Seasoning in RantWoman's Meeting and in NPYM:


Woman with long blond hair, bright red lipstick, and a red dress
Jess Hurtz, Mayor of New Hope TX


What it's like to be the first openly Trans Mayor in TX

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Gratitudes of the Day / weekend

RantWoman needs to note today's gratitudes.

Melon gratitude: RantWoman allowed herself the terrifying indulgence last week when she had a ride home of buying a whole watermelon on tope of the whole cantaloupe ripening on her counter. By Saturday morning the cantaloupe smelled ripe enough to be tasty and went into the refrigerator. RantWoman's gratitude: RantWoman's transportation and transportation ingenuity on Saturday worked out brilliantly. Instead of acquiring some kind of potluck contribution on the way between one early afternoon meeting and an evening potluck, RantWoman got to go HOME and bless her potluck buddies with substantial quantities of melon, served ironically as appetizer because of all the other things to feast on at the potluck.

Shoe gratitude: RantWoman's cellulitis issues continue to improve substantially. Much less swelling. Much less but unfortunately not zero skin crustiness. RantWoman has been glad for a few days to be able to put socks on without nearly as much stress as before. Today it was SHOES. RantWoman was able to put on a lovely pair of tie oxfords that are new enough not to have the inside of the heels worn out. The shoes are still too stiff to wear very long so RantWoman had to change back into the sandals she has been wearing. Oh well.

Rant Gratitudes: RantWoman gets to be grateful, in extreme peculiar gratitude mode for three opportunities to rant about things to do with disability and electronic communication, opportunities that need more time and focus than RantWoman is going to get to ahead of other things also in queue. Bless us oh Lord and all this abundance.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Erasure? Intersectionality? Generalized electronic discontent

Spoiler alert: after some of the points below emerged from worship-sharing and discussion of the NPYM minute on welcoming people of all genders, Meeting for Business pretty much yawned and approved the minute as worded. Then RantWoman went home and still could not quiet herself on themes exercising her. There WILL Be another opportunity to have a crack at wordsmithing during Annual Session. How strongly will RantWoman be led to invest time?

RantWoman has been digesting the results of recent worship-sharing during Meeting for Business in connection with NPYM's process of seasoning a minute about including and welcoming people of all genders.

The short version: despite important education, RantWoman is grappling with a sense of ERASURE.

ERASURE? Look, it's REALLY important that new people get to learn and grapple with concepts. Yeah, and RantWoman thinks there is history and struggle and the whole reason we have a whole lot more and different vocabulary than previous decades to talk about concepts is exactly because of STRUGGLE.

Erasure of history: RantWoman is a little surprised that so far, RantWoman has not received any documents that look at history of work on transgender issues within NPYM. RantWoman knows there IS history and that it is important. RantWoman has ZERO leading to look up for instance in the 1993 edition of our Faith and Practice  and reiterate herself but does admit that she would find it really nice both to be able to find assorted documents cited in this process either on her own Meeting's website or easily located on the Yearly meeting website. Will RantWoman dig out of her email archives and insist...for the benefit of the whole community having one place to go? Stay tuned.

Erasure of other Quaker connections. RantWoman can absolutely see why a big city like Portland (or Seattle) might have as many or more resources close at hand as a Quaker organization like FLGBTQC, but RantWoman finds it a little unsettling that so far no version of a minute on welcoming people of all genders mentions using resources both in one's area and in the wider Quaker world.

Erasure of Quaker diversity. RantWoman thinks monthly meetings and worship groups are not automatically going to be able to make real a desire to welcome people of all genders. In fact, RantWoman thinks NPYM might be well-served simply by calling on Monthly Meetings and Worship groups to support one another in ongoing discernment and in helping to support discernment by individual members or attenders regardless of whether their Monthly Meeting or Worship Group has been able to unite with this minute.

Consider documents available on the NPYM website. Multiple communications from RantWoman's Meeting say things like "go look up the materials on the npym.org website.

https://www.npym.org/?q=content/multnomah-friends%E2%80%94inclusivity-and-safety

RantWoman thinks there are more materials. RantWoman thinks it would be really nice if the materials could be grouped together and found easily with a search engine.

Then there is the matter of how to reflect discussion.
For example, the passage here required considerable exercise:

"We extend our loving care to people of all genders, including, but not limited to,
transgender, genderqueer, cisgender, gender fluid, agender, gender non-conforming and
intersex persons, their families and friends. We will continue to educate ourselves and
our communities and take appropriate action to bring about a more equal world."

Some Friends thought it would be fine simply to say "...people of all genders."

Other Friends know people who claim every single label listed, who get threatened, harassed, and killed because of those labels, and could feel erased if every word is not included.

RantWoman's offerings in subsequent conversations:

Look, there is nothing like an hour and a half car ride with Conflict is a Gift of God friend in walking Dictionary mode to make clear that the words listed above are a snapshot in time. RantWoman does not remember all the details of the car ride conversation, but the gist: in previous decades there were all sorts of other labels. Not recognizing those labels among one's elders CAN BE a form of erasure or missed opportunity to peer back into old struggles.

RantWoman in language nerd mode is happy to understand and try to track what exactly every single term, old and new, means.

Unfortunately, RantWoman also sometimes operates in Data mode. In data mode, a database table allowing people to choose Male, Female, and Other may be as much as can be managed in a given situation. Of COURSE this is not adequate and data collection to reflect full diversity has to happen. But it also reflects realities in the lives of trans people RantWoman knows, some of whom are mentioned in this blog. Feel free to ask RantWoman for details because postings are not well tagged.

Examples with the additional comment that the last 3 peple also involve disabilities of some kind:

Someone RantWoman knows because of his work. He transitioned over the time RantWoman has known him. Some of the time he is happy to talk about transgender issues. Some of the time he just wants to get his job done and it falls to rantWoman to discourage others from misgendering him or to comment in the right tone about a new voice or other changes.

One of the brave and gutsy women in a long-ago post called Community Teas about Rape and Violence. This woman is unlikely ever to have her insurance approve desired surgery and having identity documents muddled actually sometimes seems to be helpful for navigating rules related to housing and other services. She also has language access issues.

Another Friend in RantWoman's quarterly meeting who has expressed questions about gender identity but whose monthly Meeting, RantWoman would never mind being wrong, would probably be overwhelmed on top of other family issues.

A gutsy blind woman RantWoman sometimes collaborates with about transportation matters. Another blind Quaker was her family's  Services for the Blind ase manager, and not always with happy effect. Blind Transpo Collaborator cannot even really have centered conversations about transgender issues because the conversation gets short-circuited by her experience being sexually assaulted in a restroom, almost certainly be a non-trans person.

RantWoman tried to have an email exchange with a young trans person RantWoman is very glad to have in our community. The conversation got a little short-circuited because RantWoman said, well, honestly, SOMETIMES clumping LOTS of different gender identity issues into one category, name yet to be determined seems TO RANTWOMAN a little like dumping all the range of people's visual experiences associated with blindness into the label "blind." Sometimes Blind is the labe that fits best  and RantWoman has too much else to do to fuss in endless detail.

But that is RantWoman and now RantWoman's meanderings are available for the hole world, not just one on one conversations.

In the Light.

RantWoman

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors and / or clean a refrigerator

RantWoman comments on the We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors #counterQACTHate event and that other #MarchAgainstSharia thing.

RantWoman offers these wonderful pictures with great appreciation to South Seattle Friends for making the banner.

We Stand with our Muslim Neighbors signs
Quakers for Peace and Justice Banner


RantWoman unapologetically reprints these pictures without asking because they were taken at a public event likely to have been photographed by heaven knows who else.

Two smiling Quakers


RantWoman mostly just did not get her act together to get out the door in time to attend herself. RantWoman begs indulgence for additional reasons:

--RantWoman spent some time, not very much, but a little familiarizing herself with the lines of thinking propounded by those other people who rallied at City Hall Plaza. RantWoman could find NOTHING in their literature she found agreeable. RantWoman wonders why the Seattle Times article she saw quoted representative after representative of the group and found not a word for the We Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors voices who had such wonderful talking points. RantWoman thanks KUOW for doing a much better job in this regard.

More Quakers more signs


--RantWoman candidly feels absolutely no moral imperative to be as fearless about demonstrations as Blind Roommate was in college. This is only one of RantWoman's efforts to liberate herself of expectations about being Wonder Blind Person.

--RantWoman also found herself energized enough to FINALLY round up and ship out some terrifying science projects that had lingered LONG in RantWoman's refrigerator.

--RantWoman was charmed and amused by accounts of glitter and silly string, appalled by someone who was seen with a gun, and just peeved by the people who after the event was winding down thought having a colossal brawl in Occidental Park would be the perfect way to send a message of peace and law to the world.

Blessed Ramadan to all who observe, again.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

When The Little Quaker Book of De-Clutter Won't Cut it.

For Bad Friends when The Little Quaker Book of De-Clutter  won't quite cut it.

Warning: strong language and reference to bikinis.




RantWoman does not give a flying  ... if you are bored of accessibility matters moments:
1. The link above is to the Kindle eBook edition of the book. People who need p-p-print and cannot deal with monstrous global company or use their search engine are invited to call their library or ask a friend or visit their last remaining neighborhood bookseller.

2. A gee-whiz RantWoman item about Youtube keyboard controls
Info from other blog about YouTube Keyboard controls RantWoman, again does not give a flying ... about readers who find this information distracting, unnecessary, irrelevant... For RantWoman and many of her groupies the keyboard controls are MUCH easier to deal with than mouse functions.

3. Sighted readers who really need something visual to help herd them through spoken content. There is awesome Death by Powerpoint material in the background. RantWoman's screen reader does not read it and RantWoman's visual experience may or may not interact. Be grateful RantWoman did interact enough to call it to people's attention.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gratitudes: Friday Edition

Peculiar Gratitudes, Friday Edition

RantWoman appreciates the awesome opportunity to binge-watch Inclusive design #ID24 videos on Youtube. use your search bar. There are LOTS of them

Who knew Paul Ryan had such comedic gift?
Trump is new at government and does not know not to obstruct justice

The Still Didn't Get the Memo on Email Immoderation has achieved some stunning "successes." Stay tuned for further details. Hold in the Light.

RantWoman finally has enough energy back to go places AND mop her kitchen floor. Next stop: wrangling the science projects in the refrigerator. Unless...RantWoman has secretly been wondering whether there is ANY faint possibility that the science projects will evolve into enough of a sentient being to do a better job than the current Tweeter in Chief.  (shhh, RantWoman, NO.)

RantWoman's leg infection has GREATLY improved. The crusty scabby spots are getting smaller. RantWoman can now wear her most exuberant support stockings and not her favorite sandals but some perfectly fine ones. RantWoman HATES the entire subject of cellulitis partly because of too many rounds of watching Little Sister deal with it before she started to get serious about taking better care at the first sign of trouble. RantWoman is grateful that Little Sister and RantMom can handle details in email because family conversation patterns mean RantWoman will barely get two words out before someone plows in and talks over whatever RantWoman is trying to say. Sometimes there are also exploding people elements. Enough said for now.

اعلان زين رمضان A Blessed Ramadan 2017

RantWoman offers this video with wishes to all who are observing for a blessed Ramadan.

RantWoman's wishes go equally to the women of Saudi Arabia who have to commit civil disobedience to drive, to the real women behind stories such as Khaled Hosseini's A thousand Splendid Suns, and to women, many highly educated who choose to wear hijab  as a sign of their faith.

RantWoman's wishes go to immigrant parents struggling to raise children in new cultures and to the second generations, caught between their parents' worldviews and the challenges and disappointments of new countries.

RantWoman's wishes go to the speakers of many different languages who board the bus near the largest mosque in Seattle and to all the different national and religious strands woven across the whole of the muslim world.

A Blessed Ramadan to all; may we all understand each other better, uphold our different beliefs and ways of worshipping, and make community in the face of global challenges and international intrigues.

Link that includes video and text description / English translation


Thursday, June 8, 2017

From the Church Council of Greater Seattle

This item is posted here because of links to several valuable resources

ACTION ALERT
Standing with our
Muslim Neighbors
Dear Friends,

We realize there has been a lot of changing information about this Saturday, June 10th, and an upcoming rally (now at Seattle City Hall plaza, 600 4th Ave.) by Act for America, which is recognized by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, along with some counter-presences to support our Muslim neighbors. While faith leaders have been involved in conversations with an ad hoc group planning a counter-presence this Saturday, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, the Faith Action Network, and other faith organizations have decided not to sign on organizationally to a counter rally.

While solidarity with our Muslim neighbors has been lifted up as a primary value in planning for the counter-presence there, we realize that there will be a diversity of voices and expressions in how that counter-presence manifests itself, which may or may not be consistent with public vigils that local faith communities have traditionally convened. We appreciate the significant thoughtfulness and conversation in planning among people and groups, some of whom have been meeting for the first time. That being said, we want to share some options for faith community members who will participate downtown or who choose to express solidarity in other ways.

We offer the following list of possibilities to Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors before/during/after Saturday, June 10th:

The most important thing is we are there for one purpose, one message:
We Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors.
Whatever happens on Saturday will have the greatest impact on their communities.

Between now and Saturday:
  • Contact the media as people of faith, with op-eds and letters to the editor. These can be sent to: letters@seattletimes.com; letters@nytimes.com; or letters@washingtonpost.com to name a few. Please let us know if you are willing to do media interviews. Please see and share with your networks these wonderful faith leaders speaking on KING 5 Tuesday night
  • Please download signs (letter size or ledger size) to be displayed publicly in your faith communities/homes/cars/businesses, to show your support. We want to leaflet the city with this message, during our Muslim neighbors’ holy month of Ramadan.
  • A sign delegation is planning to go out in downtown Seattle and ask businesses to post these signs on Friday 6/9, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM; please contact Rev. Mike Denton revdenton@gmail.com or FAN at 206-625-9790 if you’d like to be part of that effort.
On Saturday, join with other faith community members to be OBSERVERS or LEAFLETTERS:
  • Meet at Plymouth Church on 6th and Seneca at 8:45 am to finalize the plan and walk to the site of the Act for America rally. Our purpose is to be a presence of peace and non-violence, observing what is happening, and perhaps documenting by social media. Leafletters will share an information sheet that describes the positive contributions of our American Muslim neighbors and what Sharia Law really is, and also counters the Islamophobia the rally is trying to spread. FAN Governing Board Co-Chair Rev. Carol Jensen will be the contact point for Leafletters: Contact fan@fanwa.org or 206-625-9790 before 5pm on Friday and they'll put you in touch with Carol.
After Saturday:
  • Check out the Combating Islamophobia Action and Resource List shared with the Church Council from our local Muslim partners.
  • Get to know your Muslim neighbors through interfaith Iftar dinners during Ramadan; see this list for the Puget Sound area
  • Continue reaching out to media in your community.
  • Visible gatherings and education opportunities for faith leaders and faith communities about countering Islamophobia will be held after Ramadan. Stay tuned!
Peace.
Church Council of Greater Seattle | (206) 525-1213 | www.thechurchcouncil.org
STAY CONNECTED
Church Council of Greater Seattle | 4820 S. Morgan St., Seattle, WA 98118