*Afterthought #69 – Reblog: Quaker Indian Boarding Schools

Writing companion and fellow Quaker,  Gretchen Wing,  posted an essay earlier this week that needs to be read widely. I’m re-posting it here as we end a month filled with so many revelations about oppressive (and illegal) actions and mis-use of power. The history Gretchen writes of describes Quakers’ complicity in suppressing Native American culture and wisdom through the creation of Quaker Indian Boarding Schools.

I join Gretchen and Quaker teacher Paula Palmer (who recently wrote an article in Friends Journal on this issue) in asking myself the questions being asked by Native organizations:  “Who are Friends today? Knowing what we know now, will Quakers join us in honest dialogue? Will they acknowledge the harm that was done? Will they seek ways to contribute toward healing processes that are desperately needed in Native communities?”

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.

 

Facing History and Ourselves, Quaker Style: Indian Boarding Schools are Our Shame, Too

by Gretchen Wing

Facing History and Ourselves is the title of a book and a mini-course in Holocaust Education. I took the course and used the book myself in my high school teaching. But what about that uniquely American, slo-mo Holocaust, the attempted eradication of Native culture? In grad school I learned about the Indian boarding schools of […]

via Facing History and Ourselves, Quaker Style: Indian Boarding Schools Are Our Shame Too — Wing’s World

*Afterthought #68 – Fall Reading List

Here on the Salish Sea, signs of autumn appear every day—nippy early mornings and evenings, apples reddening, fog hovering in the bay, and sun and rain glinting on firs and cedars. I’ve pulled out sweaters and dug out my socks from the bottom of the drawer. Ahhhh, my favorite season. I’m looking forward to the slower pace and time indoors to delve into my fall reading list. This year, I’m building a stack of titles by writers who also are friends. They’re all published by smaller presses (including the one who published my memoir, Homebound Publications) and likely aren’t well-known to many readers, but their writing is top notch. So, if you’re looking for books to curl up with, I recommend these (all available now or soon, wherever books are sold):

Heidi-Barr-Cover-250Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth by Heidi Barr is a collection of essays rooted in the rhythm of the natural world. Through the turn of the seasons, Heidi illustrates how the cycles of the earth have informed her everyday life from community to vocation to the food that finds its way to the dinner table. Through gardening, simple living, and prioritizing sustainability, she paints a picture of how remaining close to the earth provides a solid foundation even as the climate changes and the story of the world shifts. Part stories, part wonderings, and part call to act, this collection of meditations invites reflection, encourages awareness, and inspires action. For more information, read my interview with Heidi Barr.

Companions-on-the-Way-250In Companions on the Way, Gunilla Norris has given us all a magnificent gift: A simple book of wisdom so straightforward, so without jargon, and so comforting to read, that no one will want to be without it on the bedside table. Here is a lifetime of good sense. Here are beautiful sentences. And here is a book that is like Grandmother’s arms: entirely reassuring, safe, full of sweetness, and a deep sense of home.” –Stephen Cope, Senior Scholar in Residence, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, bestselling author of The Great Work of Your Life, and Soul Friends.

Reimagining-Cover-180

Drawing from sources ranging from the ancient apocalyptic traditions to contemporary science, The Great Re-Imagining by Theodore Richards explores the deep narratives that have brought us to the brink of apocalypse and invites us to re-imagine our place in the world.

 

paddlingInspired partly by her own spirit of adventure, and partly by the stories of her native coastal ancestors, Irene Skyriver celebrated her fortieth year of life with a solo kayak voyage, paddling from Alaska to her home on Washington’s Lopez Island. Paddling with Spirits interweaves the true account of Irene’s journey with generational stories handed down and vividly re-imagined. The book dips like a paddle itself between the stories of those who inspired her, and Irene’s own journey down a lonely coast.

 

tear in the soul

A Tear in the Soul by Amanda Webster – Born into privilege and wealth, Amanda is a sixth generation Australian descended from white settlers and the third generation to grow up in Kalgoorlie. When she turned five, Amanda became friends with Aboriginal children from the nearby Kurrawang Mission. Forty years later, she confronts her racist blunders, her cultural ignorance and her family’s secret past. And so begins her journey of reconciliation and friendship, taking her into a world she hardly knew existed.

 

Congratulations and thank you to all of these fine writers. Let the rains begin; I’m ready!

*Afterthought #66 – Poetry as Pause

shannon
Poet Shannon Perry

As July comes to a close, I continue to seek rest when I can. Poetry often offers respite, even when it spurs me to act. I found such rest—and prodding—through a poem by Shannon Perry in the current issue of SHARK REEF Literary Magazine. Here’s how it begins:

 

On Trump’s Election

by Shannon Perry

If I encounter knife-edged voices
I will remember cool water running
in a strong stream
I will let the water be my voice.

SRYou can read the entire poem here: http://sharkreef.org/poetry/on-trumps-election/

What poems allow you to pause?

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.

*Afterthought #63: Quakers in Politics

As a newly-elected public official, I’m reflecting on the long history of Quakers involved in politics. As Marge Abbott explains in a recent QuakerSpeak episode,

Friends have always been very active in addressing our government and its rule. They had started out in the earliest days having to try and change laws that were affecting them directly. As time went by a century later they were among the most active lobbyists to end slavery, active in women’s suffrage, in temperance movements… many, many places where they were lobbying over the centuries.”

Quakers in the World is another source about Friends’ “long tradition of being active in, and seeking to make a difference to, the world in which they find themselves. In their actions they seek to put Quaker testimonies such as equality, peace and integrity into practice, as best they can.” The site’s overview of Quakers in Politics is good grounding for me as I serve my community as a commissioner for our new Public Hospital District.

alice paul

Suffragist Alice Paul is one of those Quakers who worked diligently for equal rights for women. I don’t expect my entry into politics to be anywhere as demanding as Alice Paul’s efforts, but I look to her as an example of service.

 

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.