This post is part of DATA RantWoman means to feed to this year's state of society drafting team. It's DATA, subject to sundry RantWoman peculiarities, error terms, missing values....
This message did not get published in a timely way that would track with specific World Events. Unfortunately, almost every week right now offers topics burning new media streams, not to mention old streams still roiling. RantWoman also reminds readers of her blog as Quaker journal model of blogging. If this posting winds of involving confusion as to several timelines, for instance multiple different Meetings for Worship PLEASE just hold in the Light and digest as you are able.
RantWoman offers EXTREME gratitude that last First Day meeting for Worship included NO mention of several topics burning in news and media streams. RantWoman was meditating about what it means when tens of thousands if people take to the streets in multiple Russian cities, but nothing coalesced in RantWoman's head let alone made it out of her mouth.
(Hint: 20,000 people on the streets of St. Petersburg for an unsanctioned event is kind of like 150,000 people on the streets of Seattle. Except as far as RantWoman knows no one in Russia was wearing cat hats)
RantWoman was thrilled during Close of Worship to hear of Young Adult Friend whom RantWoman knows from the Women's Theology Conference visiting on a Quaker Job-related trip. Later, RantWoman was gratified when Young Adult Friend also mentioned being really glad to see RantWoman across the worship room. RantWoman was called into service and good conversation in connection with another amazing episode of "Holy cow. It's Quaker Baptism. We've got the NewComers washing Dishes," also knows as another chapter in the Ministry of Truth and Hospitality = Pastoral care plus knives and hot Liquids.
In appreciation of last week's spiritual nourishment, and by way of procrastinating about more mutant material, RantWoman hereby offers a special shout-out to Dances with Dirt Friend. RantWoman offers the shout out by blog partly because conversations by phone or in person are, um, challenged. Dances with Dirt Friend is also pretty minimalist about email. Furthermore, RantWoman keeps testing whether Dances with Dirt Friend is the sort of wise elder RantWoman would like to turn to for counsel. Keeps testing. As in keeps testing and wondering whether RantWoman in fact knows more of what is needed than... Enough said? And Dances With Dirt Friend has company.
Dances with Dirt Friend is pretty minimalist a lot of the time about email except when the Still Didn't get the Memo Committee on Email Immoderation collides with RantWoman's phone and in person hiccups busy at all hours life schedule. Yes in fact, if the Still Didn't Get the Memo Committee on Email Immoderation stands up firmly enough to "we thought we had an agreement" email guildelines crammed down the community's throat, at some point RantWoman gets to celebrate unconventional success indicators: if people RantWoman is trying to have sensible conversations keep ignoring phone and email, RantWoman perhaps is SUPPOSED to celebrate when a contingent of THREE of said people finally bestir themselves to come meet in person with RantWoman. Now, if it seemed to RantWoman that actual two-way conversation were possible...
If readers want to stop here and just hold circus in the Light, that might be fine, except that RantWoman is certain there is more fascinating material available for anyone with the fortitude to keep reading.
Recently in an in-person conversation, connected actually with the THREE PEOPLE show up at once situation, Dances with Dirt Friend wanted RantWoman to appreciate some article from Friends Journal about silence. RantWoman asked someone to find her the specific link partly because in the moment RantWoman did not have anything at hand with which to jot down the author's name. RantWoman THINKS the link lurks somewhere in her email but has not located it.
Dances with Dirt Friend wanted to read aloud a longish passage or longish for RantWoman's attention level at that moment. At least RantWoman's bedtime story time to sleep reflex did not kick in. RantWoman even found siome of the language about the depths of silence in Meeting for Worship somewhat intriguing, but the RantWoman department of Message manglement still managed to hear the passage mainly as "Shut up." RantWoman is unclear more blog will help but is clear bravely to type on anyway.
RantWoman has previously written of Dances with Dirt Friend in a post from awhile ago about slugs. RantWoman thinks the nom-de-blog used in that post was Inveterate Gardener Friend but RantWoman is NOT going to go look, not even if the post in question should pop easily out from a search bar with one of the linguistic moments offered
Dances with Dirt Friend is a retired nurse with considerable knowledge of herbal approaches, the therapeutic value of dirt, and other matters of health. Dances with Dirt Friend has a lovely house with wood floors perched on a hill. The front yard has several beds of garden and fruit trees. Dances with Dirt Friend also has chickens, interesting housemates, and what seem to RantWoman to be rich history and many blessings especially now that she has retired. Dances with Dirt Friend also seems to have lived wisely and avoided both medical calamities and other Bad Decisions which roil the lives of others.
RantWoman does not quite know what to do with the rest of this: RantWoman nearly always deeply esteems Messages in worship from Dances with Dirt friend about gardening.
Dances with Dirt Friend has another regular message strand which lands her is on RantWoman's frequent Flyer list mainly in the category of "not objectionable messages but GOD it would be nice if it came out of someone else's mouth. These are messages that Dances with Dirt Friends means to be soothing ior modestly self-revelatorybut sometimes seem stifling to RantWoman. RantWoman is perfectly well aware that her own spiritual compost heap is mixed up in er reaction to these messages, but RantWoman's spiritual compost heap is not the only thing in the picture. RantWoman keeps seeking the right words to ask but so far...
A time or two over Dances With Dirt Friend's tenure on RantWoman's Frequent flyer list, Dances with Dirt Friend has offered messages RantWoman holds very tenderly about aging and most recently fear of being alone or in considerably worse circumstances than seem likely at least to RantWoman. RantWoman wonders what is this fear about? RantWoman is tempted to mumble that the phrase "fear not" is the most frequently occurring phrase in the Bible. RantWoman is tempted in this direction but is pretty sure the comment might be unhelpful.
The last time Dances With Dirt Friend offered vocal ministry about aging and uncertainty, the cosmic connections with the Divine seemed to have more static than average, thanks to Eye Roller friend and another Friend, to be known for now as Self-Important Friend.
Eye Roller Friend is artistically gifted. Sometimes, horrors, he draws or sketches during Meeting for Worship. Sometimes he also fidgets or clears his throat a lot. The week in question, Eye Roller Friends usual non-verbal ministries plarty got lost in the sonic soup: LOTS of people were coughing and hacking with winter respiratory crud, There were meditations on the word "safety" in Meeting for Worship. RantWoman found herself briefly meditating about the balance between the immune system boost from social contact and the wisdom of staying home to avoid exchanging germs.
RantWoman did not get to stay with that meditation very long. Eye Roller friend was seated behind and a little to the side of Self-Important friend. At one point, Self Important Friend grew tired of something Eye Roller Friend was doing and asked him loudly whether he might like to go take a walk. Eye Roller Friend equally loudly and equally clearly "No!" Self Important friend announced that he was not prepared to put up with whatever Eye Roller Friend was doing and stalked out of worship.
To be honest, RantWoman found herself thinking "Good bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."
Shortly, Dances with Dirt Friend rose to offer vocal ministry. Eye Roller Friend's gift of apparent prophesy kicked in and some kind of audible eye rolling occurred. Dances with Dirt Friend has more than once in the past just continued speaking in spite of audible eye rolling, but this time her first words were "I should not be afraid to offer vocal ministry."
[RantWoman to herself. No. You should have enough trust in God that you are to deliver the message and will have what is necessary to do so...]
Eye Roller friend did subside and Dances with Dirt Friend continued with her message, different from her average message as noted above.
Worship continued with other messages at least one quite lengthy also not deterred by Eye roller Friend.
Close of worship two newcomers seated next to RantWoman seemed not disturbed in the last and found common ground with RantWoman about figuring God can handle the questions and something different every day..
After worship, much conversation occurred. For it to be eldering RantWoman would have to have a sense that something stuck. RantWoman is not in a position to evaluate, but RantWoman grabbed one afterthought from one moment in the conversation:
Self Important friend "I don wanna think about.(Eye Roller Friend) during worship..."
RantWoman, later to herself, Ya know, maybe God is exactly asking you to think about...