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.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Presente, Roberto!

"If you can help others, and you fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth." - Roberto Clemente ( ball player ).


"You blog too much," a Friend said. Well, what do we wish from life? Honesty, truth, an open heart and a loving soul... or to have lots of friends? For me, I would not trade the first four for the last, though I can't say that it does not hurt when fFriends turn from me. I can print sheafojockie ( nonsense) and be really well liked. I knew a lot of folks in law school like that, gone to Harvard, born into the right family... say nothing to offend anyone, hang out in the right circles. My soul is too high a price for that model of success.
In this blog I have been honest, truthful and shared light and pain and sorrows for which I don't have words... and it has cost me. Some fFriends have cut me off from their love and interaction. I can't say that I am angered by this, but I can say I don't understand this as Christian or Quaker. These fFriends know me, only by these words, and so the assumptions must be rather profound, the idea that one can know another by words alone, what a strange way to believe one to be present.
So... do I blog too much? For some maybe, for me... well... perhaps some who judge me, might use this as a mirror to their own soul.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


You Should Get a JD (Juris Doctor)

You're logical, driven, and ruthless.
You'd make a mighty fine lawyer.

I wonder if I could put this on my resume?

Ok I'm impressed

Took the in which European city should you live... was pissed that in the arts catigory they did not list music, and yet... it came out...
You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

go figure!

I don't think I am blue at all... maybe

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.
You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.

I took the What Kind of Blue are you test... I don't know if the results are accurate. I don't own a pair of jeans ( one of the quesitons about what kind of jeans do you have... ) and I didn't want to be any of the jobs they offered... and the rest, other that what body of water to I prefer, I had to aproximate an answer... oh well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What Kind of God do we need today?

Where do I hear God's voice the loudest? Certainly not in myth, huddled about the fire, talking tales to dispel the fears of the night. I once looked to the fire, now I seek the trek into the dark, eyes and ears open... senses ablaze. God's voice is in the panting cry of the leopard. What did we turn to when we were the hunted, thee and me? Venus figures, idols to fertility to make enough of us that some might survive. Roll back, roll back through the generations of time... to our foremothers, the God who replaced our young dragged away by the head by the cheetah's teeth to the pile of bones... to the communion feast with her young. then there were Gods of war, when we built walls around our fields which we guarded from each other, Gods who hurled thunderbolts and arrows... then the God of the seeded earth, the God who was killed and planted to rise in the spring.
We don't need such a God today. Jesus was a God of the seeded earth who was planted when the world of Judea was coming to an end in blood and fire, a world that would rise again some day. It is a defeatist world of all will be well, God will take care of His own when all is wasted and gone. We wont survive such a God. We need a God with a microscope and barometer. I am convinced that Yeshua would have handed a teliscope to all who use his image to cast a shadow like an eclipse over the face of God and God's works revield in science. We need a God who says, stop all this wasted effort on wars of greed excused by myth at the expense of the future. Learn, learn, learn again. We need a God who smiles at the student, furrowed brow and bitten nails laboring at her Anthro exam ( praying for thee tonight kiddo )... and says don't rely on rebirth after the apocalypse, but work together to make this world right. We need a rational God... a God of love and of learning... or we need a silent God for a dead world. Well that's me tonight.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Gospel Order

Go Here... Read this...

Here is a web address for the blog of Kevin Beck. I'm gob struck! I have, recently been disappointed with Quakers who do not follow gospel order on clearness and forgiveness. Well, here is part of Kevin's post on the root of our practice... with a brilliant observation. DO go to his blog and read the whole thing...
Kevin Beck
Monday, May 22, 2006
Parousia...Heathens and Tax Collectors
Jesus’ closest friends seem to have been surprised the most by him. We find one surprising occasion in Matthew 18. Here, Jesus teaches his friends a scandalous lesson.

"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

This passage seems pretty straightforward…a formula for church polity. If a church member is caught in a fault, bring it to her attention. If this fails to bring about true repentance, invite some witnesses to assist in resolving the conflict. If that doesn’t work, call the offender to the attention of the entire believing community. If this approach of last resort falls short, treat the wrongdoer like an outcast. ...

Now, that last line contains the cryptic surprise. At first glance, it may seem that Jesus advised the twelve to announce an anathema. Heathens and tax collectors are unclean and should be avoided at all costs.

Or should they?

How did Jesus treat heathens and tax collectors? With disdain and avoidance? No, he welcomed them…talked with them…touched them…ate with them…forgave them. Just ask Matthew, a tax collector who was one of the twelve.

This week, you may encounter someone who offends you. Someone who seeks the spotlight at your expense. Someone whose language, ethnicity, politics, work habits, appearance, smell, economic status, or lifestyle insults you. When this occurs, follow the words of Jesus. Treat that person like a heathen and tax collector. Love them, welcome them, and forgive them.

Oh my... what more need be said, Friends

This Sick Nation

When do we wake up? One out of everyone hundred and thirty six Americans are presently in jail, 2.2 million of us. Add to this civil incarceration, the numbers are staggering. Yesterday an eight year old was playing with the brakes of a parked bus, and it rolled down hill and killed a little girl. He has been arrested and is being charged with criminally negligent murder. How the hell can an eight year old be criminally negligent. Frankly, if asked, I would say that a nation that uses jails for every thing imaginable while committing mass murder overseas... a nation whose educational system is so poor that we become a breeding ground for fundamentalist beliefs that fly in the face of modern science, because our people don't know the difference between science and myth... this is a criminally neglect society.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Nice Day on Wobbly Pegs

A little shaky, on wondermeds today, met Laura and Paula of "Leading or Led", today. If felt a very gathered meeting today.

Laura, Paula and Arthur

Then, the highlight of business meeting was Bob Baldridge's lovely film about the Friends World Gathering during a mild earthquake ( camera movement or was it my meds? - or maybe a major earthquake mitigated by Bob's intense camera swings... ) in Costa Rica. It was great to see new faces and some old faces in the film, an ex member of our meeting, Bridget Moix, and Cambridge Meeting's own Jeff Hipp... Then I toddled home on me wobblyknees for some hot and sour soup and more wondermeds... yummy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coughing finally got to me today

Genie convinced me to go to the doctor... fever and the like, the coughing convinced me to back to bed... don't remember when the coughing began, over a month ago... I'll dream about going to the doctor instead.... night all.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Future ain't what it used to be...

Bless you Yogi Berra...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Church as a Narcissist

Music... can't seem to run from it. I have been asked to do two gigs to which I can't say no... one is a benefit about the church Genie and my wedding was in, slated by the Catholic Church to be destroyed.

The parishioners are so hurt, so deeply sad... in such confusion about how their church could do this to them. I wrote a song, I had only performed a few times... when I wrote it, I thought it was about a friend who did not know the damage she did... lived only slightly aware of her effect on others, I don't know if this was true now... but, the song came to mind for this event, might perform it ... the Church as a narcissistic love, a family member who expects all the love to flow in one direction and to be set aside when it suits. My friend Mary speaks of the terrible sense of abandonment when taught to venerate things, by the church, who then destroys or sells these things when it profits the Church. The Church comes into your life, like a narcissitic love, makes you over, pushes and pulls you by your most private and deep felt wants, fears, hurts, and then one day takes a wreaking ball to all they taught you to love, and says, you never should have believed us in the first place. Fool, you're to blame, not me... go somewhere else, goodbye.

I suppose it is one of the good things about Quakerism, we don't venerate the statues, the buildings, though it would be hurtful to sell and destroy old meeting houses, there are things I do so love in our old meeting. But, our unity can be a buffer against the narcissism of a church which rules from the top down.

I suppose I am writing this as a promise to myself... to remind myself, to force myself to practice so these gigs might be good enough to mean something... so I am writing this instead of practicing, cleaning the house so Kelly can come to rehearse, instead of practicing, I do need to get another flash card for my camera... inst...

friends who wrote such kind and helpful things, thanks... I am trying.

(instead of practicing ? :) )

If only it still came easily.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Frankenstein in a spacesuit in inner space

Oh well... another gig... I forgot, a yearly event... a must do, big audience, and what can I do? I tried to sing a bit today... a voice like sand blowing through an empty hall... a dead thing trying to appear alive.

What can I expect... I am without human touch. I wonder, often when sitting alone at diner, wonder what it would be like to have a friend, a human touch on my hand... but even with the few friends I have, it is like I live in a space suit, looking out at the world of living people - no warm touch, no sensation of another. But, at least if I were in space, I could accept the void... instead I look out at a living world... from these dead eyes, this soulless form... this lonely glass cell set out in the world.

Damned if I know what I will sing, nothing to play, my hands have gone to ... well, one needs to keep playing the pipes... I haven't.

So, I'll go out there and play, pretend, do my best... it hurts deeply.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Love and Hate

Immigration Rights March 5\1\2006

and hate...

5\1\2006 Immigration Rights March

The Immigration Rally... and a heckler telling folks to "go back to where you came from..." Funny, he does not LOOK Indian...