Friday, September 15, 2006

More About Quakers

We met in private homes in Rome, not having a bona fide Meeting House sanctuary. However, I appreciate the open mindedness of the Vatican, in letting us practice our faith unhampered. A big step up from worshipping in catacombs, the way early Xtians had to do, until the emperors got wise, and went for a kinder/gentler approach. Similar scenes in Cairo and Thimpu.

When I moved back to the states, for college, I checked out the Princeton Meeting a couple times, but mostly fell in with the C.S. Lewis crowd, having read the same Narnia books. Anyway, it's a long story.

When I moved back to Oregon in the mid 1980s, local Friends clued me about a gathering of younger type Quakers, with some older for spice, meeting every winter, over the New Year's weekend, starting on like the 28th. I hitched down I-5 to check it out, traveling solo, and got picked up by Bead and Denise, true California hippies, heading my way. What a fun group. Jugglers with torches, lots of elvynchyx (Pan, Sara... Kate). In later years, I'd bring my Dawn Wicca.

Dr. Joe (name collision with our Portland orthodontist), a former hippie himself, used to show up and read the Bible to us around the fire. Despite our outwardly pagan appearance, as Friends we remained receptive to our family traditions.

Some of us went on to become movers and shakers in the Quaker denomination, even adding to the Hymnal. However, we were also into Lord of the Rings, other scifi, and didn't fixate on the Middle East as a likely beginning or ending place for anything too special i.e. we weren't apocalyptic ranters, raving about this or that plagiarized/2nd-hand revelation, or about something some "Nostra" supposedly said -- not our style.