take what you need and leave the rest.

today, i officially became a quaker.

i’m pretty excited. it felt right in a new big way. after my rocky time in between clearness committees, and going to quarterly meeting, and starting to actually really figure out what sort of role i have in the world/quakerism/my meeting, and having so many conversation dates and phone calls, i really REALLY feel part of this whole thing, in a way that i didn’t before i started the membership process. even the one month of seasoning, after my membership request was brought to last month’s business meeting, seemed to add to the richness of the moment.

it was pretty delightful. the elderly gentleman who was sitting next to me (who has come to the used bookstore i work in & who i visited in the hospital and loaned a book to that he keeps promising to return…) leaned over to me when my membership request was announced in business meeting and said, “i don’t know who that is!” and i laughed and pointed to myself and said, “that’s me!”

the moments afterward felt big somehow in this way i wasn’t expecting. it’s more of a formality in a way than the clearness committee, i think, but it felt less formal than that initially felt. i can’t express it except that i felt like we were really all part of a each other, and that i was really loved and respected by them (and i loved and respected them as well), which was so good.

and then it came time to ask who would be part of my welcoming committee, and the friend to my left offered to be part of it.

***

i sent out a text message that i was officially a quaker to a couple of people– and got a response that the person thought that had already happened and that i should blog about more nonquaker things. they’re right, i think, but i think i also just need to blog more in general. it’s hard, though, without internet in my own home, and the weird busyness of my life lately. frequently, when i get online now, i have to DO things– organize things for the young adult friends group, having email conversations about the state of our meeting in terms of race, diversity, young people, service, and a whole lot of other things, organizing one one one conversations about those things and others, organizing social justice conversations with people from my job, trying to find a bed on craigslist, applying for a summer job, figuring out what i need to do for employment in the fall… the list goes on and on. and isn’t super interesting as a list, i don’t think.

but here are some non-quaker things in my life right now.

* as of yesterday i have a bed and will no longer be sleeping on a folded in half shiatsu mat that my feet go off. it was free from this really great woman in oakland. yesterday, my ladyfriend and i took a zipcar truck to go get it and to move a couch from her friends’ house to hers.

* since the bed was free, i splurged and got 2 new pairs of pants and have set aside my ersatz attempts at trouser crotch patching for the time being.

* i’ve been having some really fun breakfast dates with a girl i went to college with who recently moved to the city.

* i’ve been eating beets as much as i possibly can. and have discovered how amazingly i can change a “just pasta, red sauce, and cheese” dish, if i put it in a casserole dish in the oven.

* i’ve had a lot of days off from my job at the school due to various holidays, including chinese new year.

* i scheduled a social justice conversation at my house on monday but the only person that showed up was my co-facilitator. that was sad, but it’s nice just drinking tea and chatting with someone in my house, and i should do more of that.

* my housemate had a friend stay over on our floor for a few days, and i kept getting into really long conversations with him in a way that’s totally different with how i interact with my housemates.

* yesterday, that housemate was diagnosed with one of those really scary staph infections that are resistant to basically everything. she doesn’t seem as worried as she did when she thought she might have it, so… that’s good?

* i’ve been booking up tons of my evenings and mornings with conversations and meetings and stuff and it’s been really good.

* my school job has been by turns frustrating and amazing. i’d say way more about that except for confidentiality and… TIME!!!

and then there are the myriad things that are going on in my psyche & soul that are not really quaker-specific in the grand scheme of things, but that have been hugely helped along by my quaker practice and community (with plenty of help from spiritual books from various traditions, conversations with non-quakers, co-dependents anonymous literature, and life in general). i want to write about those, too, and will some day, hopefully. but now i have to clean the store.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congratulations cubbie! I am happy that you are happy. 🙂

  2. was that me? because i actually meant specifically quakerstuff, i think. just remembering how excited oliver was to read about the process.

  3. Good to have you, cubbie! Now we’ll have to teach you that secret Quaker handshake ;-).

  4. Welcome, Friend.


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