Sunday, January 20, 2019

George Lakey on Quakers

George Lakey recently did a workshop at RantWoman's Meeting. RantWoman thought of just showing up despite electronic bulletins that the event was full. RantWoman was not led to do that but the Workshop came to RantWoman anyway via email.

RantWoman has two basic messages, though they come packaged in lots of different narratives. RantWoman keeps challenging Friends to listen to her messages over time and identify the themes RantWoman is most consistently to offer vocal ministry about.

This message is on the second of RantWoman's themes about candor and help coming from unexpected directions, riffing also on Rantwoman's other main message:  the value of praying and worshipping together across difference.

"George Lakey uses consultants to help his groups to see things they don't
see by themselves.  He says recently a consultant told a successful group
(pressured large bank to stop funding mountain top mining) that they were
too "nice."  He said Quakers come off as too nice and that makes other
people not trust them, because no one is that nice.  He says the consultant
told them they needed to work more on conflict, where they were open about
where they didn't agree but respected each other."

Dispatch from the Cat: Human, I need you to hold it together!

THe Queen of Spades, aka She who has dominion over the RatnWoman Household
Cat on Patrol
Got PTSD? Talk to my Cat.

Warning: if your tolerance for snarky is low, pleas click away to something more soothing. Oops, This is planet RantWoman and soothing is hard to come by. Hold that in the Light.

The feline who holds dominion over RantWoman’s household, known on the internet as The Queen of Spades has a very well-wired “go psycho for no reason apparent to RantWoman” brain circuit.
Cat therapy
the headphone quest

More interestingly for cats and owners who exalt the cuddle factor, the Queen of Spades, at times of RantWoman emotional distress is more likely than average to bite and scratch, as if to say “Human, I really need you to hold it together.” This can be peculiarly helpful.

To the right, photographic evidence of the latest RantWoman / Queen of Spades dialogue.

RantWoman: Ms. Cat, I need you to get down.

Queen of Spades: I need to cuddle more NOW. (Jumps down. Turns around. Scratches arm)

RantWoman: No. Sorry. (hisses at Queen of Spades)

PS. Anyone who insists on the God as Personal Butler model of diving presence gets randomly to take note of RantWoman's epic quest for headphones that DO NOT have foam on the earpieces.

PPS. RantWoman finds the scratches a little unnerving, but this is RantWoman's right arm. RantWoman is right-handed. The scratches are definitely cat handiwork.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Theme Song?

Uhhh, RantWoman, if you are going to get all hyper about other people's "Please do not joke about that topic" comments, ummm, may we remind you about your multiconfessional, multilingual, highly nonconsensual flogging bureau? (Type Flogging in the search bar for details)

Noted. And in the event that Divine Grace suddenly fails or RantWoman's level of exhaustion and overwhelm subsides enough to think about actual floggings and ways to clear the millenia-long waitlist, the flogging bureau will need a theme song. The suggestion swam out of RantWoman's media streams recently. RantWoman would be interested in other suggestions.

In light and Faithfulness

RantWoman, Humble Servant

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Anger, filtered slightly

A phone / email conversation, slightly redacted.


RantWoman, I don’t think your anger is serving you well.


Has it occurred to you that whether or not my anger is serving ME might not be the only point?


Say More?


(THANK YOU SO MUCH for not just gaslighting!) Did you get the part about different people in Meeting and grab the blind person and bless them? Can you imagine how there might be a nice big reservoir of anger about the topic, before one even throws in reservoirs of anger generously contributed by RantParents  who were decidedly uninsightful and unhelpful about bullying?


The reservoir of anger was definitely on RantWoman’s mind when introductions brought out the couple doing the curriculum about touch and consent for 9 and 10 year olds. If that anger helps even one adult work with kids who have mobility aids and that adult gives even one kid permission to speak up and not just tolerate…  it will have done what it is supposed to.


A reprise of the gifts from introductions.



Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Launch Second Edition of Concrete Mama

book launch
panel discussion
celebrating the
re-publication of Concrete Mama: Prison Profiles from Walla Walla
January 22, 2019
6:00 p.m.  (doors
open at 5:30 p.m.)
North Creek
Events Center
Light refreshments will be served















The University of Washington Libraries, the Washington Prison History Project (      @waprisonhistory), and the University of Washington Press are pleased to invite you to the launch of the expanded new edition of Concrete Mama. The acclaimed photojournalistic collaboration between reporter John McCoy and photographer Ethan Hoffman won the Washington State Book Award in 1982, offering unprecedentedly frank dispatches from inmates’ lives inside the Washington State Penitentiary. Concrete Mama’s long-awaited rerelease contains a new introduction by prison scholar, author, and educator Dan Berger.


An on-site exhibit of the late photographer Ethan Hoffman’s striking images of life inside of Walla Walla offers a glimpse of the experiences of incarcerated people during a transitional time in the state’s prison policy. A panel of compelling speakers will discuss imprisonment since the 1980s: 


·        John McCoy, the book’s original author

·        Dan Berger, contributor to the new edition

·        Gerard Boseman, UW student, Black Prisoners Caucus

·        Amani Sawari, independent journalist and national spokesperson for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak

·        Ed Mead and Mark Cook, activists both formerly incarcerated at Walla Walla (Mead is featured

in Concrete Mama’s Ch. 9; Cook co-founded the Black Panther Party chapter at the penitentiary)


This event will also feature contributions from people currently incarcerated in Washington, and showcase

The Washington Prison History Project:,

presenting scholarship reflecting the history and ongoing reality of mass incarceration,

with materials from the project’s archive:

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Shortage of Business Meeting Experiences?

All RantWoman all the Time MINUS RantWoman


In support of the latest Episode of All RantWoman All the Time MINUS RantWoman, about which more separately, RantWoman


1.     Had a really good time inventorying some Even More and Better Confrontational Bitch options.


2.     Took stock of leadings, energy, schedule conflicts, thoughts of teamwork (as in NO WAY is RantWoman going to be able to handle… on her own anyway so, t-t-try teamwork”)


3.     Decided no way in hell was she going to avail herself of the option of worshipping nearby at Quaker House if only because a member of the alleged Care and Accountability Committee scheduled Quaker House without asking RantWoman her thoughts, conveyed the information to a third Friend and only realized his Oops when RantWoman wrote a tart email. And what if RantWoman had chosen to sit with someone for whom several steps at the entrance to Quaker House are completely inaccessible or only accessible if there are people with strong backs available for accessibility assistance. (Abundant further tirade available about ableism among the Care and Accountability Committee.—Can anyone imagine why the word “angry” might come along somewhere in here?)


4.     Assessed bus schedules and possibility of visiting Beloved Curmudgeon Friend who lives in a retirement community on the same bus route and is always WAY happy to cheerlead for RantWoman.


5.     Worshipped, for the first time EVER actually at Salmon bay Friends!


RantWoman was well led.


1.     Salmon Bay Friends worships in the Phinney Neighborhood Center. RantWoman goes there from time to time for community events and loves the intermingling of community and faith experiences, as if Let Our Lives Speak.


2.     In case RantWoman was going to suffer a shortage of Business Meeting experience in her life, it turned out also to be Business Meeting at Salmon Bay, and on a schedule accommodating further RantWoman thoughts. Business Meeting graciously received RantWoman’s recommendation to put the worship time on the homepage and to update the name (and probably link) of an organization that changed its name more than a year ago. Business Meeting also later graciously received a suggestion that besides a sign they consider some kind of welcome cards to help route newcomer questions to the appropriate committee.


3.     RantWoman recommends a further physical accessibility note: the path from the nearest bus stop to an entry on the same level as where worship is held is entirely level. Accessible entrance info should include this info as well as the info that people who arrive in cars and have to park down a level in the parking lot need.


4.     Has RantWoman mentioned, in say, the last 10 minutes how helpful introductions are for helping the likes of RantWoman make connections? One Friend during introductions and pronouns spoke of discernment about use of “they.” RantWoman then gave her standard “pronouns are an essay question” comment and expressed interest in talking more about “they” discernment. RantWoman had a quite enjoyable conversation with that Friend during the break between worship and Business Meeting. RantWoman loves singular “they” for gender neutrality but is aware that “they” carries other connotations for some people.


5.     Introductions supplied a couple who are about to teach a course on touch and consent for 9-10 year-olds. Ambassador Thwack the variably behaved white cane insisted that he is NOT an invitation to “Grab the Blind Person and Bless Them” and RantWoman suggested that the trainers pay special attention to consent issues for any kids with any kind of mobility aid such as crutches or wheelchairs as well as canes.


6.     One Friend asked “…not at your own business meeting…?” and Burst out laughing when RantWoman mentioned “Co-clerk of … Not an Idiot Friend…disinvited….“ Laughter is probably not a balm to Not An Idiot Friend. Sigh.


7.     Friend Clerk did a great job of reading the agenda on the flip chart. RantWoman was not entirely attentive but attention is RantWoman’s problem.


8.     At one point during Business meeting RantWoman did her standard jump in without being recognized Annoying RantWoman Behavior. The clerk quite appropriately provided the information RantWoman really needed: the clerk saw RantWoman’s raised hand but other people had their hands up too. Madam Clerk at RantWoman’s Meeting is really good about providing information about other people’s hands as she recognizes people. RantWoman continues her ardent prayer that she might be called to speak less if thoughts on her mind will make it out of other people’s mouths at her own Meeting. RantWoman realized that it might also be useful to encourage Friends first to Speak Up and  to speak of Access needs as well as pronouns during introductions. RantWoman for her part will think about some elevator speech boilerplate to describe her own access needs.


As for the rest of the day, stay tuned….


PS Dear Readers, one member of the Care and Accountability committee is always saying “tell us what works.” RantWoman has written of the last Care and Accountability Committee meeting elsewhere. Homework for anyone who reads this: can you identify moments in this post where something either clearly works or clearly does not work for RantWoman or for others?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Apology Required

Setting the Scene, with thanks to the dance between process and content

RantWoman has been well fed yesterday with phone, text, and email leadings. RantWoman would prefer to be running on more sleep than she currently is, but rantWoman tried and going back to sleep did not happen. There IS an apology, actually more than one, here, but around RantWoman,the Friend due an apology sometimes has to wait in line.

RantWoman also acknowledges that this post is everything that drives people nuts about RantWoman communications: way too many threads in one package. RantWoman finally figured out sometimes it is good to break things down after she did the big scary message thing to RantMom, RantMom and Little Sister both yelped VERY Loudly, and RantWoman got it into her head that RantMom was mostly doing FINE about finding other info streams telling her the same things RantWoman was trying to tell her.Today RantWoman has the time she has. Breaking things down can come.

RantWoman HUMBLY thanks EVERYONE who has contributed to evolution reflected in this post.


RantWoman notes a LOVELY young couple who attended Midweek for Worship. It was to say the least VERY awkward to speak of the upcoming Business Meeting schedule, about which RantWoman is DEFINITELY not the best person to ask. Nope, you do NOT get any clues to who the couple is.If they come, they will have to speak up for themselves. And if the Holy Spirit moves well with and among Friends, RantWoman prays that Business Meeting will be one of those OH WOW events that sometimes amazes newcomers instead of realization of many paths to Oh YUCK.


Apology: The After Worship Version


Dear Not an Idiot Friend


THANK YOU for responding fairly promptly last night to RantWoman’s texts! Thank you for candor in your own words instead of secondhand from a young adult Friend.


RantWoman sincerely apologizes for hurting your feelings. RantWoman humbly apologizes for complete inability so far to find nicer words than Idiot to contain her concerns about difficulty reaching you by phone, text, email. RantWoman WILL keep trying on the editorial front. RantWoman also gratefully acknowledges some very important recent improvement in communications access. RantWoman will be texting some further questions in the morning.


And where is God in all this?

1.       God is RantWoman’s impetus to get up and try again.

2.       Around RantWoman God is certain that RantWoman’s time effort, and emotional status are every bit as important as those of Not An Idiot Friend and the fabric of our community.

3.       RantWoman is going to season the question of the Battle of the PTSD all stars and what might help to create a space where there is room for all to be heard and to grow. RantWoman observes that she has made REPEATED requests to cut out secondhand mush and creat places for people to talk. RantWoman notes that the BEST suggestion of effective process came via the Boys and Girls Club: adult gets the kid combatants together, asks people what happened, encourages apology and usually winds up with apology on both sides. In the interest of editorial conciseness RantWoman will be referring questions about the difference between this and current practice to her Dial-a-Tirade service for now.

4.       Around RantWoman God is sure we are all still supposed to be worshipping together., though RantWoman also commends her recurring message about how spending (the time it takes) to figure out how to worship together is better than bomb threats.

5.       RantWoman herself presently is at high risk of just running screaming from the room, with shrieks of Lies Lies Lies thrown in as a bonus. However, RantWoman COMPLETELY unites with the thought expressed by MULTIPLE topical committees that present practices ARE NOT WORKING. As RantWoman said last month, let us nurture what is working and quickly jettison what is not working.

6.       God is sure there is much hurt and that if we cannot now sit with all the hurt, we can grow together to do so.

7.       God reminds RantWoman rather firmly that overuse of the word idiot is in fact very abelist and RantWoman will strive to cut back on those grounds as well.


Before Worship version A


RantWoman! Just because it’s daylight does not mean you are getting to the apology that is wanted.


Yeah. And RantWoman is tempted just to apologize for not losing her temper sooner or in more colorful terms.




Let’s try


Dear Not an Idiot Friend, RantWoman has been trying to make meaningful contact for, like, years.Meaningful contact like by phone IN DAYLIGHT, not at your late-night dinnertime, not at 9pm the Saturday before Meeting for Business, By Phone, after no more than say TWO texts.  But if the word “idiot” is what finally got your attention, Praise Jayzus!


RantWoman! You do both love this Meeting, RIGHT? So WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE so you can get along and the Meeting can flourish?


Dear Not an Idiot Friend, I am sorry I hurt your feelings. May we please try again to work together?



Before Worshjp Version B

RantWoman started to address Not an Idiot Friend . Words poured off her keyboard and (GULP!)  RantWoman’s message manglement service kind of went haywire. Below are the results. Please hold us all in the Light.


Dear Not an idiot Friend

Thank you SO much for FINALLY reading your email. I have been trying to get your attention for YEARS by email, multiple texts to get to a phone call, phone call…. Rarely do correspondence get acknowledged.  But if the word “idiot” is what finally got your attention, PRAISE GOD.


Here, digesting from an even longer document is this Quaker Meeting that I THINK we both really value and some comments from RantWoman about what the long affiliation has meant to her..


Here is this clerk who is working very hard and whom RantWoman DEEPLY esteems.


Thank you for sending this committee to yell at me instead of talking to me yourself.

Sorry but your comment in business meeting needs to get in line behind wonderful powerhouse older woman beginning chemo and the big changes in the U District.

You and I have already had one exchange where we both minimized each other’s perspective.  Honestly, probably not a thing we should try a steady diet of, but if a little minimization leaks in every now and then, maybe we can just cope, call it out, and work through.


I am happy to take responsibility for lashing out in the moment in Business Meeting IF you would like I would also be happy to apologize for not losing my temper sooner or in more colorful terms.


But ya know, if we both SAY we care about this Meeting, what can we do going forward so we do not get tangled up in arguments like this?


In Light and Faithfulness






Random allusion to Barclay and other snarky comments just because.

RantWoman wishes she could promise to lay down the Still Didn’t Get The Memo Committee on Email Immoderation at the Association of Bad Friends, but if anyone is interested in how RantWoman threads the line between literature scholar, spiritual accompaniment, and crisis line in email, there might be rich opportunities for learning.


And for those who still insist on further “…apology…,” may RantWoman suggest a year-long romp through language, theology, and 17th century history and thought as delivered by Barclay’s Apology?