Warning: RantWoman reminds her readers of her Blog as Quaker Journal model of blogging. RantWoman does not even pretend that every word written here is a paragon of well-edited let alone centered communication. It is DATA. Sometimes RantWoman manages an excessively plain English to Quakerese filter, but this cannot be guaranteed. RantWoman and God have continuing dialogue about this; RantWoman recommends that readers who have a problem with this also sit with it, take it up with God, choose your favorite language, COPE.
Recipe for RantWoman Retreat Bliss NOT
Annoying Voice Friend whose drill sergeant delivery and regional speech patterns make the nails on chalkboard Woman Trying to Project Authority edge of her voice even worse. RantWoman does not know a kind way to say this much less any good speech coach tips that might help. Hold the Problem in the Light.
Terribly Earnest Friend whose notes RantWoman will be interested in reading
I’m (STILL) Not Interested in Your Thought Processes Friend who seems NOT to have learned anything in HOW many years since another retreat planning effort.
More members of committee RantWoman does not feel called to further characterize.
Billing as "community building." Demographics of event: about 80% people older than RantWoman, 20% people younger. RantWoman thinks the community might be more like 35% people younger and plenty of people older. Estimates offered without further commentary.
Scratch that. Sure of course the people who were there were great, but what were ... hoping for????
Pair off and respond to queries basically about what makes people feel connected to each other. Then tell the room about your partner’s responses. Don’t pair off with your spouse (Duh!) or the person next to you even if the person is a newcomer who someone else is going to zoom in and grab anyway. Omitted: don’t pair off with the person you have been working with for 50+ years. THANK YOU to Clerk for finding RantWoman and sparing her the need to negotiate visual fog though the connect with different people thing...
What the HELL? Why should RantWoman think retreat at Quaker Meeting is going to be any different than dodge ball on the playground? But thank you again to clerk...! And Hallelujah! At least this exercise was in a room big enough that chattering pairs right next to each other did not drown each other out.
Notes were taken. There were common themes. RantWoman will await notes though shared car rides, committee service, sharing meals and potluck groups, worship sharing, activities such as gardening, common connections to communities outside Meeting stick in RantWoman’s mind, along with actually having a conversation with people one worships with.
Specifically mentioned as NOT necessarily being helpful: coffee hour! Hallelujah! RantWoman can kind of make coffee hour work for short hug and greet moments but is glad to learn she is not the only person with this problem.
An item RantWoman did not hear but that wandered into her mind while composing: planning events together.
Also stuck in RantWoman's mind: a comment calling RantWoman AGAIN to try to elder... That is not a hold the problem in the Light issue, more light, be very careful with the RantWoman Inner Blowtorch. But the day was young and the inner blowtorch topic MAY need just to live in email!
The We Must All Sing TOGETHER exercise.
And walk around the room LOOKING at each other.
The first problem with this exercise.
This is supposed to be FUN
The second problem. RantWoman is having this visceral reaction: We Must All Sing TOGETHER is to RantWoman, excessively plain English to Quakerese filter completely offline here, CRAP THEOLOGY. Unity is a beautiful thing. It comes from God, the holy spirit, whatever is beyond us as individuals. It is not something that people can be beaten into with a drill sergeant voice and enough earnestness.
The THIRD Problem: Remember Bowl? What Bowl? The wellspring of RantWoman terrors about being forced to sing is probably not going to go away and well-meaning earnest figures certain of their good intentions are NO bleeping HELP. In fact, that just makes matters worse!
The FOURTH Problem: just because RantWoman is in a miserable upset, too upset to talk state of mind does NOT mean RantWoman will want to go outside. Even if RantWoman were able to still fears about plowing into people, RantWoman's willingness to tolerate being led around is way below any minimum that might be reasonable in the first place. In the second place, RantWoman somehow feels this generous sense of offering people around her opportunities just to Cope!
For the record, RantWoman appreciates that two different topical people have asked RantWoman her perspective on this retreat. RantWoman appreciates being asked, but RantWoman is posting here so that anyone who wants can interact in RantWoman's own words.
Retreat Bliss: the after dinner edition: contra dancing
RantWoman always approves of live bands and a good caller. RantWoman expects that they got properly paid but has not asked.
RantWoman thanks everyone who kept trying to drag RantWoman out to dance. RantWoman directs everyone to the same mobility while blind tirade as above. To repeat: RantWoman is legally blind and built like a linebacker. RantWoman has more than enough appreciation for physics to register paths to serious damage intended or not. Add opportunities for colliding with limbs from all the over and under. YOU try contra dancing while blind-folded. RantWoman was definitely into the music. RantWoman got from the fog and blur that the calls mostly seemed to be working. The music was great accompaniment to RantWoman’s next increment of geopolitical Twitter fix. And that was sufficient for the day.
Please hold the whole circus in the Light.