August 16, 2012: “To Friends Everywhere” (Continued)

[And welcome to the world, Lilian Jane Sanchez!]

When Quakers gather for their yearly, regional gathering, they collectively write an “epistle” which sums up what they’d done in their time together. So as New England’s yearly gathering progressed, epistles from yearly meetings from around the world were read aloud. Which always began: “To Friends everywhere.”

This year, the epistle from Cuban YM was read aloud by one of the visiting Friends from Cuba. (In Spanish, of course. We heard and sang many tongues at YM) And I had a little frisson I’d like to post:

I GOT our global, Quaker connection. I got our solidarity with the Quakers of Africa, of Australia, of Indiana;  Everywhere! I GOT that all over the world, people as hard-working and centered as the people surrounding me in a too-cold auditorium in a college in Rhode Island work just as hard on issues of peace, social justice, interrupting racism, healing this broken planet.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed. it’s so easy to wonder, “What can I do?” It’s so easy to think that Quaker witness is well-meaning but kind of pathetic.

And it’s so wonderful to FEEL our collective strength!

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  1. [And welcome to the world, Lillian Jane Sanchez!]

    I celebrate with you. Your quiver is filling, if not full.

  2. Vitamin C – Graduation Song called: “Friends Forever”

    As we go on, we remember
    All the times we had together
    And as our lives change, from whatever
    We will still be, friends forever

    So if we get the big jobs and we make the big money
    When we look back now, will that joke still be funny?
    Will we still remember everything we learned in school?
    Still be trying to break every single rule
    Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?
    Can Heather find a job that won’t interfere with her tan?
    I keep, I keep thinking that it’s not goodbye
    Keep on thinking it’s a time to fly
    And this is how it feels

    Repeat chorus

    La, la, la, la; yeah, yeah, yeah
    La, la, la, la, we will still be friends forever

    Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
    Can we survive it out there? Can we make it somehow?
    I guess I thought that this would never end
    And suddenly it’s like we’re women and men
    Will the past be a shadow that will follow us round?
    Will these memories fade when I leave this town
    I keep, I keep thinking that it’s not goodbye
    Keep on thinking it’s a time to fly

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