Sunday, October 02, 2005

WQM (Fall, 2005)

WQM may not actually meet quarterly, but the Q does refer to a four period cycle. Quakers apex into local Yearly Meetings, which conduct business during their Annual Sessions. Minutes from the Monthly Meetings for Business, such as MMM or BCFM (both in Portland), filter up through the quarterly level (e.g. WQM) enroute to the Yearly level, in our case NPYM (North Pacific Yearly Meeting). The Willamette Valley stretches from Portland south through Salem, Corvallis, and Eugene.

I talked a good bit with Anthony Manousos of Friends Bulletin. He authored the short pamphlet Islam, which documents some kodak moments that characterize the relationship between Islam and Friends (generally good).

Manousos observes Ramadan, which begins this Tuesday. This signature month-long period of fasting at the core of Islam is in part about strengthening and celebrating God's gift of an intuitive mind, attuned to eternal principles, and so frequently our ticket out of these hells of our own making, hells brought on by inappropriate automatism, obsolete and unexamined habits of thought.

Another motivation for the Ramadan fast is to commiserate with the starving. We pray this form of compassion will be of fading relevance, as our global university campus Food Services starts to kick in.

Ibrahim, one of the featured panel members this time, also catered the main meals. He's a pro in the local food biz. His excellent dishes got rave reviews. WQM has been turning to catering more and more (a topic in Business Meeting, along with EMO). Helen's son John catered Thai food a few cycles ago, and that seems to have gotten the ball rolling.

Thanks to my friend Pan, I spent some time thumbing through The Fourth Turning, a cycling-through-archetypes panorama. I got slaughtered at ping pong by a Junior Friend, also a talented piano player (good game). Friend Michener related some of her experiences in leadership with Landmark Education.

The weather wasn't all that bad Saturday night, so star gazing was an option. Mars was very bright overhead around 6 AM the next morning, when I joined the breakfast crew (Pam Avila of MMM directing, fellow BCFMers at work stations).

I shared Stellarium with several Friends in the main lodge while charging up on AC. Later I ran solo on DC in an open field, comparing screen pixels to patterns of starlight. Then I transferred to my tent for the night, where I used up the rest of the battery.

Other abbreviations decoded: MMM = Multnomah Monthly Meeting; BCFM = Bridge City Friends Meeting; AM = Ante Meridiem (i.e. before noon); AC = alternating current; DC = direct current.