Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Compost forever and ever and ever without end amen

(By the time this gets posted, it will be anachronistic; there will be another composted business meeting. There will also be possibly more potholes on the road of RantWoman's spiritual path.)

RantWoman's Compost conversation is getting to be like a weird movie series, with special multiconfessional flavor as befits the dialogues in her Meeting: Compost and Care of the Earth, Compost, Part N; Naked Compost 3 1/2, Compost and the Inner Christ, Compost / No Compost, Fanning the Flames of Inner Compost; Compost and the Mighty Wind; Composting the Resurrection; Compost Forever and Ever and Ever Without End Amen.

RantWoman awoke this morning with clarity: RantWoman is to work on her problems and let Dear Friend's problems wait in line / be tended to by others. RantWoman's clarity is not holding very steady, but RantWoman MUST keep to other tasks. RantWoman is seasoning whether to ask a couple other trusted Friends to help Dear Friend season whatever his current version of his leading is or just to get out of the way and let God work.

Dear Friend is once again inquiring as to the why of RantWoman's leading to serve on a certain committee. RantWoman is aware that in one sense this is a perfectly reasonable question. RantWoman once again is sitting with a feeling that the question coming specifically from Dear Friend in the way he delivers it suggests that she is supposed to have asked Dear Friend's permission to have such leadings.

RantWoman is experiencing a reflex to resist answering almost as ferocious as early Friends' objections to hat honor. RantWoman's leading comes from God; having to ask anyone's permission is so foreign to RantWoman's admittedly hit-or-miss understanding of the Inner Light, that of God within that she absolutely cannot interact with this question. RantWoman is relieved to hear in passing in conversations with others that they completely get this point. RantWoman is humbled by the thought of the community trying to come to unity about something or other in Business Meeting even though this point is most assuredly not going anywhere.

Dear Friend recently sent yet more email indicating that he has completely missed the point about numbers of issues but that he still feels entitled to demand that RantWoman supply tender details as to the "why" of RantWoman's sense of movements of the spirit. RantWoman is finding herself wondering how to say "pearls before swine" in Quakerese. RantWoman is definitely continuing to feel that Dear Friend not being able to hear, to really listen is, um, a recurring theme. It does not help that Dear Friend declares whole swaths of conversation irrelevant for his consideration, blocks email, is dismissive by phone, and participates only sporadically in other efforts at community discernment. RantWoman should perfectly well just consider the source and get on with life; unfortunately, the behaviors are so consistent that RantWoman is filing them on her mental health issues monitoring list, an activity she will then put in queue.

More to the point,"why" is a metaphysical question and may or may not be helpful to the current conversation. RantWoman is perfectly well prepared to accept that Dear Friend is experiencing a leading; RantWoman is becoming more certain by the day that she also is experiencing a leading. In both cases, "why?" is beside the point. Rantwoman is experiencing absolutely no leading to season her leading with Dear Friend alone and still less leading to attempt to season Dear Friend's leading on her own. RantWoman instead briefly flirted with a leading to draft her umpteenth email saying that this is an interesting question, one it is beyond RantWoman's Light to season on her own, one that is unquestionably a matter for community discernment.

RantWoman is actually not all that crazy about some conversations she is having with others. These conversations reflect everyone's problems with Dear Friend. They do not reflect either non-judgmental efforts to help Dear Friend season his leading. perspicacity in assessment of problems in the life of Meeting or very much that is helpful to RantWoman. RantWoman really wants to expect better of those around her and suspects she should zero in on one or two Friends who might be especially able in this area; RantWoman has no choice except to start with herself in this regard.

RantWoman in a conversation with Nominating Committee unexpectedly recalled that she has expressed a leading as to this committee for several Nominations cycles running. RantWoman knows from past experience being clerk of committees that Nominating Committee's practice is to inquire of the clerk as to the committee's needs and also as to acceptability either of people who have expressed interest specifically in the committee or of people who have said "put me where needed" and who Nominating Committee has discerned might be a match for a specific committee.

While RantWoman has expressed leadings toward a specific committee, Nominating Committee discerned that she might do well on two other different committees. RantWoman wound up quite liking and feeling well used though not necessarily spiritually well-fed in connection with one committee. The main spiritual gifts of that committee were 1. that it could use RantWoman's experience as is, in a period when RantWoman just being able to organize herself to get on the bus amid medical challenges and show up and be heard was a big deal. 2. That committee works with our QUEST program, a way of supporting and mentoring youth.

The second case was Hospitality committee, in charge of coffee and kitchen, dishwashing and clean crockery. As RantWoman has previously written, this committee still winds up being chock full of pastoral care concerns without any such auspicious title. Meditating about these two points caused RantWoman to ask Nominating Committee to season, in the abstract, not connected to any specific nomination, hypothetical possibility that allowing committee clerks to veto nominations might SOMETIMES be unduly indulgent of people's conflict avoidance.

RantWoman spoke of times when she has learned from working with people she found difficult, of times when she has discovered unexpected gifts even if some or another matter continued to prove annoying. RantWoman further pointed out that merely working together creates different dimensions of dialogue than having to raise concerns from outside a committee's process.

RantWoman also pointed out that pastoral care committees have 3-year rather than two-year terms in our Meeting with limits of two terms. RantWoman pointed out that, aside from conflict avoidance, six years could be a long time to sit on someone else's leadings or on concerns that need to be heard in Meeting life. To say the least, indulging conflict avoidance among the very committees we expect to helpw ith conflict resolution is, um, counter intuitive.

RantWoman's Meeting has term limits for two committees, including the one RantWoman clearly feels called toward. RantWoman weighed some observations she feels need of conversation about prior to detail in her blog and realized that term limits probably figure a couple ways in the ongoing Compost conversation. Whatever else is to be said, Dear Friend gets credit for putting his name on his views. RantWoman assessed the situation and has identified need to have conversation with another Friend but RantWoman feels no urgency about that conversation.

RantWoman is amused in an email from Dear Friend that her comments to Nominating Committee seem to have been filitered by Dear Friend as a sense of "entitlement." Holy Schmoly! RantWoman is feeling RESPONSIBILITY not to be shoved aside about important Meeting community matters. RantWoman sees herself taking care of that of God within herself, but this sounds like a lot of work, not just entitlement!

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