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, June 20, 2006

Minimum Needs part 2

I had a dream last night, of the rains, as parts of the comfortable US washed away, I think it was Long Island... road signs to places that now were not... were now part of the bay... and I woke up filled with deep sadness at the cravenness of even so many who for some reason call themselves Friends. How can we expect that the common person who snarls with glee as tax money which that person paid and could not afford, delivers death and heaps destruction on a cartoon of enemy when we "Children of Light" strike out at each other with such unremitting hatred and hardhearted cruelty. How many Friends make the strongest accusations against each other and then walk away, refuse dialogue for the reason that they have spoken the truth and the light of the other they have hurt so deeply does not matter at all. Truth is not perspective but pronouncement and the other is murdered by that total destruction of turning away.
For those who are not Friends... thee may be surprised at how common this is, from the most vocal among us who proclaim themselves people of peace while acting in simple destructive hate.
So... I am reminded of the fellow in the early 1930's in France who ran an add in the papers constantly, asking for a wealthy benefactor to come forward to fund a project to end world hunger and make the world fair. Not surprisingly, no such wealthy benefactor came forward ... rather we saw the rise of fascism as we will soon see the rise of the flood waters.
Will the world meet the minimum needs of all? I can't see it when Friends can't meet the minimum need of simple presence to God in each other. That costs not a bite, not a sip, not a yard of cloth or an inch of land, that enriches the soul... but so many Friends would prefer the wieght on their own heart of cruelty to others than the simple act of listening.


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Friend Lorcan,

I think you've wronged the common person. I don't think that many folks are snarling with glee at the news from the war. I think they're trying to get on with their day-to-day lives, thinking something vaguely patriotic when they hear that soldiers go missing or die somewhere "out there". They hope someone is doing something when they hear that abuses have happened, and worry for it for a little before their mind drifts back to their job, or money worries, or the argument they recently were in, or something more immediate to their daily life. Or they worry about the next time they will have to travel for business, whether the security will require them to be there 2 hours ahead of time, or they watch the news and wonder what their neighbors who are a different nationality, color, or religion are up to.

And with everything going on, they feel helpless to do anything.

I don't pretend to know what the current state of the RSF may be, but I've often found that so much more is explainable by people's discomforts and fears than by active malice.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Thee is likly right in all thee writes to this... someone had said something hurtful and foolish on line, elsewhere... it made me feel rather low, I am afraid, made me think of some recent rejections by fFriends, fFriends quick to turn their backs...

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Plain Foolish said...


I'm sorry myself. I rather jumped all over you for something I don't like when I do. I have a tendency to grow impatient with people for not being as desperately concerned with some issues (especially warfare) as I am. I can almost hear myself making that same characterization when I've lost all patience. Even my earlier characterization leaves out the growing opposition to current policies.


At 4:28 AM, Blogger Lorcan said...

No need to apologize. The basic point is, how can we begin to expect large numbers to care for the third world and feed and clothe others, when so many members of the Society of Friends can't care enough about each other to talk. In fact, I believe the majority of the members of the SOF DO care enough, but a few bad mannered, ill tempered, narcissistic, people have brought meetings to their knees, standing on the "rightness" of their cause over the peace and well being of a Quaker meeting. I see Friends make allegations against each other and then not spend the energy to enter dialogue, is this the species that will feed strangers, or maybe that is easier than feeding neighbors... I really don't know.


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