Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Finding Clearness

Clearness and the stillness of Peace

I am still working on reaching for stillness. Our meeting, and relationships close to my heart need clearness. Clearness was tried in our meeting over great controversies and the work of our meeting came to an abrupt halt as we sought clearness. However, we are not there yet.

Recently at a meeting for business fingers were pointed and there were calls for others to repent. This is not the Quakerism of my heart.

Repenting calls for fixing the past to justice. This is not possible. We don't live in the past, we live in the moment as we walk towards the future, with slow deliberate steps. Without unity we run, we stumble, we stop dead in our tracks looking to the past in anger or tears.

Clearness, true Quaker clearness makes all things whole. We learn to speak to each other to heal in the moment and look towards the future, in unity of spirit.

It takes both groups, both individuals, on a grand scale, both nations of people, pausing to listen to each other, acknowledging the hurt and healing together. Sometimes one can't pause and find stillness before such a process, but one party can't come to clearness by telling the other heal and I will speak to thee. Both heal and walk to a future untied to the pain of the past.

Even when there is love, there has to be unity through clearness. Friends help each other towards this and it is a bright and loving process, sometimes the path is painful, but the outcome is the flight after stepping off the cliff of the soul in Appolinair's poem. It is not the flight of running to a place away from the pains of the past, but the free and soaring flight of angels.


At 4:19 AM, Blogger QuaCarol said...

"Repenting calls for fixing the past to justice." What does this mean? Tell me more.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Dear Friend Quacarol:

I am so glad thee has written back. And such a good question for thee and me. I was very wrong to bring the baggage of conflict in our meetings into thy first question. I cannot bring thee justice for that by changing the past and all it's causes which can be excuses as well as reasons. I may feel completely right in what I said earlier ( I do not ) but, right or wrong, I ask thy pardon and we move forward as Friends.

The same Sally Scott, in that dear note book she kept as she was facing death wrote:

Christian forgiveness is not saying a bad thing did not happen, nor putting a good name on a bad thing, but rather not letting that thing get in the way of the relationship.

This was important to me, when I was very unjustly used by a fellow lawyer, with whom I went to school, and with whom I worked. I looked to her to say she had done wrong, ( her actions cost me a good part of my carrier ). But an Innu friend of mine, invited me to go to her village for a sweat, to heal, and I realized the pain was external, I was not the injustice done me. I forgave this friend in my heart completely. Then, the person she supported in lies against me, did the same to her. She called me, as I could help her deal with the damage to her carrier. She told me I had five minutes to say, "I told you so.) I told her there was no need, she had already been joyously forgiven and lets work together to make things right for her. In making things right, not at all for things said about me, but just her problems with this client, her cancer which was in remission returned and she called me to tell me that she was going to die very soon and wanted to talk to me, but that she was too tired to speak to me that day, could I see her in a day or two.
I told her she was the first thing on my priorities, and that as soon as she said come, I would be there in minutes. But, I told her, thee needs not tell me a thing. Thee need not tell me thy side, or say I am sorry, I love thee as when we first worked together in law school.
She died that day, and I have no feeling that anything was left unsaid.
That is a little of putting aside a need to make the past a story of justice. Does that help to answer. And do accept my apology and my e-hug.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger david said...

I think there's room for calls to repentance. The trouble is -- as both Jesus and George Fox pointed out -- when it happens the finger tends to be pointing at the other person. Usually soemone you disagree with.

Kind of misses the whole point that way.


At 9:38 AM, Blogger QuaCarol said...

"I am so glad thee has written back." I should have done so sooner. Please accept my apologies for that. You were left hanging, and that was not intentional. I'm glad that my first query seemed to result in some openings for you. And I'm grateful for Amanda's accurate translation work. I am committed right now far beyond my capacity to manage. I will respond further when I can, as I can.


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