Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quaker Quest Program (QQP)

My title is with reference to a workshop held yesterday at the meetinghouse. I hadn't attended; I was on call to assist with Nick's departure from the hospital. I was the acting custodian for much of his stuff.

The Quaker Quest Program (QQP) appears to originate in the UK yet comes with FGC's imprimatur in some way. Lew had photo-documented the event on Picassaweb and set up the new meetinghouse A/V cart to project on the wall during social hour. We could read what had been committed to standard meeting-sized paper.

Photos disclose at least one dog had been in attendance, a seeing-eye puppy-in-training. The same dog was in our joint Oversight and Worship and Ministry meeting a couple Saturdays ago. We also had a dog at Food Not Bombs the other night, chauffeured by fancy car. This caused some philosophical ripples on the serving crew. As resident animist and observing anthropologist, I tended to praise our inclusiveness of non-humans.

I wanted to also showcase Lew's work to get the meetinghouse in Google Earth and eventually let a junior Friend take the helm (hope that's OK Lew, you were deep in conversation). He kicked Google Earth into Flight Simulator mode and proceeded to fly off towards Mt. Hood. A gaggle of other youngsters gathered around, taking in the belief system.

This being a Blue Moon First Day, as Tim called it (an allusion to infrequency, this actually being a fifth Sunday in a calendar month) our format was a little different. A query was read around 2/3rds into the worship and the format flipped into Worship Sharing, a kind of overdrive which encourages more messaging. Explorations in the geometry of thinking ensued, an experiential endeavor not just a head trip.

The Blue House has some focus on Egypt, though just now I was mostly talking about Greece, echoing Nirel's communications about the tensions in that country. I didn't think the unrest and impatience with not-democracy was going to confine itself to some "Muslim world" (insofar as we might project such a thing). Journalists have taken to reporting anonymously from the scene, even on major networks like Al Jazeera. Their narrative is often uncomprehending it seems to me, but then I'm a fine one to talk, I think many would say.

Hey, great meeting some of Trisha's entourage at Pub 181. The guy with Autodesk, who reminded me of Jesse Ventura, had been to 168 countries already, beating my score by far. You could tell he loved traveling, had his passport and shots card in his wallet. He'd grown up in the Philippines speaking Cebuano, part of the backlash against Tagalog-speaking nationalists.

One might see parallels with Burmese vis-a-vis those not agreeing to the current nation-state system or standardized language proposals. His brother had been killed during the secessionist unrest, caught in the cross-fire, around the same time I was there going to high school by the sound of it, shortly after the declaration of martial law.

And this guy was but one of Trisha's many interesting long time friends. Another quiet engineer type had been a source of ideas. This other girl wanted to yak about quantum physics and was wishing for Brian Greene tickets.

Trisha was a turbo-charged young hellion, going off on her own quite early. Like Michael Bolus, she'd survived a nearly-fatal accident. More recently, she's been abducted by Wanderers and seems to be enjoying our conspiracy. She introduced us around her circle as her "science friends" (or "science guys"), which I found congenial.

According to Lew, the Quaker Quest program advises dropping the "ism" in Quakerism and going with Quaker Way instead. One might say "Faith and Practice" in place of "Way" I suppose, or F&P for short, or, as Nick says: MO (modus operendi).

Key terms of art, of the belief system, get imbued with meaning operationally, not by "pointing at objects" in any static literal sense. Hence the sense of Becoming (emergence) that imbues one's sense of "being in meeting" (a space of partially overlapping scenarios, a theater (non-simultaneously conceptual)).

Speaking of Food Not Bombs, I wanted to be there at Duke's Landing when Lindsey hammered out her show tunes, uncensored and raw (Beans & Rice a current favorite). Satya Vayu and Cera Monial, practicing Buddhists, joined in on hand drums, Cinnamon on tambourine. Evelyn made several wry comments and her daughter and friend joined in the singing.

Cinnamon was wearing an eye patch to preserve night vision in one eye. He makes frequent transitions to his bike in the darkness and finds this technique helps with his practice.

Sarabell (on the scene in the aftermath of Katrina) showed up at Duke's before any of us (except Walker), with her tap dancing shoes. She's a talented dancer, though somewhat new to tap. Her shoe action, combined with the drumming, complemented the free-cycled piano most excellently. Great percussion track! Duke's was looking grand as well, with room for many more faces around those tables.