Fishes and Bugs

October 18, 2009

Meeting for Worship was silent today. Not one message.

But, our Meeting has something called afterthoughts, where people are invited to stand and share thoughts that they feel did not rise to the level of a message. One woman spoke about a letter she found while cleaning out a storage space. In it, a friend is telling the woman that she is self centered after making dismissive comments about the Vietnam war, when the friend had just lost a loved one in the war.

The woman also reflected on the storage space she is trying to clean out. She said it has 40 years worth of stuff that she’s saving for she doesnt know what.  She reflected on the ways that the Quaker practice of simplicity might be connected to humility. And how, insisting on collecting things, no matter how small, is the opposite of simplicity, how it might foster pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, even, and whether she has truly taken to heart the criticism her friend gave her almost fifty years ago.

I had an afterthought, but didnt share. My afterthought consisted of a similar image of a pond, but this time it was the idea of the Meeting as the surface of a pond and the messages from Friends as bugs that touch down or a fishes that come up. For me, messages are the little woodland creatures that come along to  ripple the pond. For me, right now, a silent Meeting is like a pond with no fishes or bugs. Something’s missing; I need to those ripples to keep my heart and mind moving.

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One Response to “Fishes and Bugs”

  1. Keely said

    Just wanted to pop in and say hi….Love this blog, am reading backwards, surreptitiously, at work.
    My father called my wedding (when forced to refer to it) M *thing*. Fah.
    Laugh and love anyway.

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