Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Quaker Spectrum

Last week I promised I'd lug my little XO to meeting, the one given me by Juliet and Jerome.

I threw together a few paragraphs, thinking to make some exhibit of my own Quaker futurism, tangentially related to the XO in ways I explain, and mentioning Bucky Fuller in the process.

Being a tad late for M4W, I was hanging out in the library when Paula Blanchard's biography of Margaret Fuller caught my eye.

I've often referred to Margaret in passing, thanks to the Bucky connection (she was his great aunt) but hadn't taken much time to actually explore her life, her tragic death.

She was brave and independent in so many dimensions, took a lot of flak for it too. I kept reading the bio during worship, assembling more of a picture of what her life was like.

After social hour, I found myself in a well attended study circle focusing on the writings of early Quaker women, with Judith Applegate, one of the editors of Hidden in Plain Sight: Quaker Women’s Writings 1650 – 1700.

We read some of Barbara Blaugdone's accounts of her harrowing adventures in the 1690s. This woman was fearless and often effective in her ministry, assuming the role and responsibilities of a prophet, and enduring great hardships, imprisonments, dangerous travels as a consequence. She lived into her late 90s for all that.

I also started distributing my newest homemade DVD, quirkily named Pythonic Quaker, which includes my Quakers on YouTube (a compilation), the short one of me showing off my pet snake, and my longer Chicago talk, wherein I mention my Quaker futurist role.

I have it easy compared to both Barbara and Margaret, yet still find myself leaning on women for strength. There's a feminine culture, led by women, that helps sustain my enthusiasm, gives me courage and hope for a better tomorrow. I have been greatly blessed, to have experienced these strong female players (and slayers) in my reality.

Speaking of which, mom phoned from O'Hare this evening, having done some more planning in Omaha, Washington DC next up.