Sunday, November 08, 2009

Company Business

The ISEPP group has finalized plans for an ONAMI visit, sorry about the acronyms. These were a theme at Oversight as well (different ones), me taking the position that we don't need to spell 'em out so much, just link, let a reader choose whether to perform a lookup.

My day started with Bridge City Friends, then continued on this other side of the river (Willamette), where I joined the Oversight Committee for an ambitious agenda. Annis Bleeke is our clerk. Leslie Hickcox, Carol Uhte, Peter Ford, Eddy Crouch and Rick Seifert (ex-officio) were also around the table. We'll be seeking one additional member as roping me in still didn't get us our complement of six (Rick is Assistant Clerk, is more just sitting in).

Now I'm back at my corner office @ Lyrik, formerly Fine Grind, sipping a PBR (which the boss allows when I'm off duty -- no chauffeuring today although I did take the maxi-taxi to that first venue I mentioned). Here, I'm looking back over some of the new Martian Mathematics we've been brainstorming, journaling about it.

Some people think this Martian Math is just another way of poking fun at the neocons, who were telling people Americans are from Mars, Europeans from Venus. They may not have meant American Transcendentalists were Martian, it's true. However, we're more poking fun at "normal people" more generally, given their XYZ fixations, complexes and whatever. An awkward lack of coordination is what got all these troops into Iraq, and is what's keeping them there, perhaps for the next ten thousand years according to some presidential hopefuls.

Keiko is an accomplished provider of a Brazilian coffee shop diet, Asian spin, which I find conducive to blogging after a busy day. The bean dip is healthy, served cold with chips, or hot over nachos (I'm going with cold).

Some may consider it heretical that I'm apparently doing some sort of money-changing "on the sabbath" as they see it, like I shouldn't be "busy" if operating inside some temple gates, potentially competing with the certified religious classes trained to operate the heavy equipment around here.

However, this company is more Cult of Athena under the hood, not Middle Eastern (as in Koran, Torah, Bible). It's not that we're anti-union, down on "poor working stiffs" (how I think of myself some days), more that we regard some forms of business as a kind of enlightened (spirit driven) goofing off, and so don't mind getting paid for delivering the goods, even on Sundays if that's what the doctor ordered.

We're more like Hawaiian tribal kahunas in that way, doing our jobs as a public service when everyone else is ostensibly taking a break by going to "church" of whatever variety. That's just our way of practicing ubuntu.

Indeed, as many of you may recall, Quakers took exception to many of the religious practices of their day, and as a holdover from those times, even in 2009 many of us refuse to call it "church" (what we do), call it "Quaker meeting" instead.

Nor have Friends entirely lost their reputation for edginess, continue to challenge some mainstream forms of slavery, including servile obeisance to the various tyrannies, some of them quite innocent-seeming on the surface.

This desire to champion sometimes unpopular causes often pits Quakers against one another in business meeting debates or other threshing session context. However, the prophetic religions especially have recognized a need for ranters, even if their rants come across as short and sweet, as in lightning talks (no longer than five minutes).

In this sense Quakers likely still have much to learn from the Middle East (as well as from Mormons closer to home -- and from Goths).

And so it's OK according to our Faith & Practice to hold meetings for business even on First Day as we call it. In fact, this practice is specifically encouraged.

You might see why we're considered a radical minority in some circles.