The blue marble

Apollo 13- view of EarthImagine that the World was only a few feet in diameter, floating above a field. People would come from afar to wonder at its waters and its creatures, and they would protect it and care for it as it is unique. The poem is over-optimistic: someone would charge admission.

It is true, of course. The world is unique and beautiful- but we have to make a living out of it. At best we use it, and sometimes we use it up. If we use it all up, we take from our descendants, but sometimes we transform it, and the wealth we create gives us leisure to care for it. And sometimes the dash for economic “growth” defecates in our living room.

You see I am in two minds. In the Quaker meeting we had to decide how we meet together, and we barely reached consensus after some bruising expressions: our experimental way had all these insuperable objections, one “felt very strongly” our usual way is just so much better, and the other was just bad. I felt we reached consensus by surrendering to stupid objections, which is less than we are supposed to do. If you say it is bad, it sounds better if you say why, so “Of course” there should be a break in the middle, and if it is not we Cannot Possibly do that again. It was worse that people from one meeting strongly objected to our experimental way, and people from the three other meetings all supported it.

I incorporated the objections into the experimental way, in my view making it worse, and we sort of agreed. It did not feel like loving unity in the Spirit. At the end, D stood up, and talked of a Friend forty years ago who said that he often thought of resigning his membership. J, who had been attending as Elder, felt better about it, and after phoning her I felt better too. We move towards a better way of being in AM. It is my way to want Success Now, or I feel a failure, but life is all being and becoming.

When we spoke on The Environment, by contrast, we all felt a Sustain liferosy glow. We could all agree. We stated our concerns, and felt upheld by the others’ concerns. Some produced pretty phrases, which I incorporated in the minute. I should not disrespect this, it is worthwhile, but it is so much easier when we agree.

Someone speaks more forcefully if s/he feels s/he is not being heard. I try to persuade- some might call this winsome, some manipulative- with questions and suggestions. Inarticulate feelings should be just as valuable. Discussing the Swarthmore lecture, the task was to write a message from our meeting in ten years’ time.

 There are people you don't know
     and will
          and will love
There are people you know 
     changed in ways you could not imagine
          yet will see are Right
There is the Room, the building, the garden.
There are issues to concern us,
     but yours don't, now, they are all right.
LOVE
upholds us.
Love unites us
Love transforms us
Love ennobles us.
Everything is alright. 
I believe; help thou my unbelief.

Go on, you know you want to

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