Saturday, May 26, 2012

Grace Coming out one's ears

RantWoman has already submitted a paper to the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology Conference. Further, RantWoman has judiciously asked to be held in the Light, a practice she needs to be reminded of. Holding in the Light seems to be working as far as greater clarity not ripe for the blogosphere and words to hold where RantWoman's Inner Blowtorch is trending.

And still RantWoman is again overachieving in the Reflections department. More Grace!

This post is dedicated to Amazing Artist Friend.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! (RantWoman is posting belatedly.)

RantWoman thinks Amazing Artist Friend is likely to find without RantWoman even having to wish it, nature in which to be enthralled--for hours, long past when RantWoman's eyes can focus and her sinuses overflow with pollen. Amazing Artist can also talk for hours about ideas for her next creations, sculptures, pottery, drawing. Amazing Artist Friend at this point has accumulated a collection of her works. The collection is not easy to transport and photos are but a glimpse. Amazing Artist Friend also got it instantly one time when RantWoman said if she were to paint (Ha!) and wanted to paint a love scene, RantWoman would just paint two pairs of steamy glasses on a table and leave the rest to imagination.

RantWoman would REALLY like to have found some of Amazing Artist Friend's art on the internet somewhere to link to. RantWoman did not. RantWoman did find some visually uninspiring stuff about the land trust where Amazing Artist Friend lives. Oddly, inability to link anything visually interesting which might also be attached to Amazing Artist Friend's name causes RantWoman to feel freer about reflections in other dimensions.

RantWoman and Amazing Artist Friend met during abortive careers selling the nuclear freeze door to door. Amazing Artist Friend's career lasted a few days longer than RantWoman's; RantWoman is unclear to what was owed this success.

The first Grace in the story is Grace the office manager. Grace the Office manager worked at the office of the national organization in Washington DC where RantWoman and Amazing Artist Friend met.  Grace's husband worked at the State Department. Grace was sensible and middle-aged. She worked in an office full of young and idealistic people. It was the 1980's and the Cold War was not quite over. On one hand, Ronald Reagan proclaimed anyone concerned about the nuclear arms race a KGB dupe. On the other hand, rebellious youth with unstable addresses, RantWoman included, sometimes shamelessly received mail at the office address to "Comrade So-and-so." This greatly distressed Grace the Office Manager.

Grace the Office manager's other claim to fame is that RantWoman and Amazing Artist Friend walked into the door one day one after another. Grace the Office Manager looked at the two of us and said "You two would like each other." We still giggle about that!
RantWoman was moved to write public birthday greetings by reflections over at about youth painted vividly in some of the same intense themes swirling around RantWoman and Amazing Artist Friend. RantWoman is not distressed in the least that Amazing Artist Friend awhile ago declared emphatically that RantWoman has mellowed l lot. Yes indeed world. This is a kinder, gentler, considerably mellowed out version of the RantWoman of yore. Can you imagine?

By way of blog as filing cabinet and adding to RantWoman's mean to read list, an item about radical feminism:
Amazing Grace in a new way, in honor of RantWoman and Amazing Artist Friend and our spell hanging out being more or less church lady peaceniks with a bunch of women for whom this language rings truer to their spiritual life.

Remembrances from the specific historical experience RantWoman has in mind:

RantWoman confession: RantWoman has done wonderful powerful political and spiritual work with women who proudly use the word "witch." In many cases, RantWoman has boundless regard for the Light and movements of spirit among those she has struggled alongside. Still, RantWoman remains resolutely twitchy and uncomfortable and sometimes has no idea how to deal with that word! RantWoman herself, talking about herself, can never imagine using the word witch. And yet RantWoman continues to peer into that world.

The other point that caught RantWoman's ear from the Amazing Grace post is the thought of being without fear at least for a moment. RantWoman wonders, does being without fear, even for a moment, happen to anyone else? RantWoman's experience is not ever really of being completely without fear. But when most centered, most paying attention, a sense of being held in spite of fear is definitely there. RantWoman is even going to go so far as to say, if one is undertaking prophetic witness for instance in the form of nonviolent direct action, being without fear just might be unhelpful whereas a sense of being held can carry one through all sorts of what comes with Amazing Grace.
RantWoman is fond of Amazing Artist Friend because, even though we both like and deeply admire many women who call themselves witches and dream of women's land and..., Amazing Artist Friend interrogates some layers of cultural supposition almost as fiercely as RantWoman does.

Is this mellowing or just expanded perspective? For instance, nothing like being around a Quaker pastor back from doing trauma recovery in Africa. Quaker pastor reported that she taught classes based on the UN declaration about the universal rights of women; her students absorbed the material and still offered comments such as "Teacher Peggy, we would be glad to have (our deceased) husbands even if they beat and raped us (presumably partly because that would be protection for others and not even wandering into complexities of affection)."

Speaking of affection complexities, RantWoman lives in Seattle where winters are too long and wet and grey for Amazing Artist Friend. Amazing Artist Friend lives in Tucson. RantWoman thinks she would love the desert but is afraid of 100-degree heat in the summertime. That would be only the tip of the complexity. But RantWoman's head filled with all these stories recently when RantWoman sat down to assemble materials for the electronic age about her Meeting's longstanding support of marriage equality. At one point, RantWoman considered throwing a fit and making some of the happy couples she knows assemble the marriage equality materials. Then steadying clarity came, along with irreverent RantWoman one-liners:

If one loves someone who has multiple personality does one get to put "It's complicated" in one's facebook Relationship status by definition?

If , like RantWoman, you enjoy a personal life that is basically one big it's complicated emotional bramble bush but still want to help uphold marriage equality for all your happily coupled friends, leave a comment and RantWoman and groupies will hold you in the Light.

But nevertheless get over to  . Sign a pledge card promising to uphold marriage equality at the ballot box!

Oh and by the way, RantWoman is still editing looking for links that say "respectful ongoing faith-based discernment" which MIGHT speak to all the religiously oriented people opposed to marriage equality.

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