*Afterthought #76—Sound Advice

Last month’s Afterthought offered my reflections on road sign guidance I received while traveling in the UK. I’m still reviewing and sorting my photos from that trip, and I’m delighted by all the sound advice I found posted on buildings, walls, streets, shelves, and T-shirts.

So. To end this month, I offer you a few images of wisdom from England and Wales. I think they speak for themselves, but I welcome your interpretations.

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*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 #75—Guidance from the Road

This month’s Afterthought has travelled a long way, as I’m part way through a trip to England. It’s my first time in the UK, and the introduction has been especially rich as it’s included a conference with the international group Quakers Uniting in Publications (QUIP) and a tour of the “the cradle of Quakerism.”

My travels are giving me a lot to think about, so perhaps this is more a forethought than an afterthought. But, this last-day-of-the- month post is brief as usual and was prompted by a road sign in the village of Grasmere in the Lake District of Northwest England.

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Much of my spiritual journey has focused on “giving way”—to the Divine, to the release of fear and worry, and to forces such as nature over which I have no control. Those acts of “giving way” challenge me.

These past few days, as I’ve sat in 17th C. meeting houses, walked through Quaker burial grounds, and read about early Quakers such as George Fox, Margaret Fell Fox, and many others who were persecuted for believing they had a direct connection with God, I’ve thought of their courage in not giving way to the Church of England and government. Of being able to carry the load of leading other seekers and putting their faith into action in ways that have endured for over 300 years.

However I look at it, though, the guidance to “give way” is good on the road, and in my heart.

*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 #74 – One More for Baker’s Dozen

A few days ago, I reached my limit when it came to enduring March weather. I dug into my bag of antidotes for the fickleness of the start of spring and asked readers who suffer from the same impatience to share their ideas to add to my dozen. Then, just when I doubted my spirits would hold up until spring is more predictable, Bruce Botts of Vita’s Wildly Delicious announced the return of Friday Wine-Tasting at this iconic Lopez eatery.

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IMG_1862 (1)Sure, we had to huddle around the fire as we sipped wine and chatted outside, but coming out of hibernation to reconnect with friends warmed me even more. Since its opening in 2001, Vita’s has been a gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Bruce has a knack for selecting delicious, affordable wines for the weekly tasting, and the pours help the week’s stresses fade and the conversation flow. IMG_1861

 

These photos by Sue Roundy give you an idea of the convivial atmosphere.IMG_1859

It’s a sad day in the fall when Bruce posts a notice that Vita’s will close for the winter. But seeing the door open, the lights twinkle around the patio, and hearing the clink of wine glasses gave me more confirmation that winter is behind me—and in just one more month, Vita’s open days and menu will increase.

SALUD!

 

 

*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 #72—Orcas Island Lit Fest 2018

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Sometimes opportunities come along that you never could have anticipated. That’s the case with an invitation I received last spring to join the board of the inaugural Orcas Island Lit Fest.

 

Press_release_1_Collage_DigitalAG_previewThe three-day festival (April 13-15) on Orcas Island will welcome a diverse group of emerging new voices as well as critically acclaimed and award-winning writers, poets, and literary figures from around the world to celebrate the literary arts. How lucky I am to be a part of the planning for this exciting event, just a short ferry ride away.

A couple of years ago I attended the Oakland Book Festival and learned how literary festivals are different from writing conferences. They’re both about books and writing and authors, but festivals, like the upcoming one on Orcas, bring together people who love to read books with the authors who love to write them.

Sam Gailey, author and OILF board member, describes it this way:

“The Orcas Island Lit Festival is doing for literature what the Telluride Film Fest has done so magically and intimately for filmmakers.”

There’s loads of information on the festival website (updates added almost daily), so that’s the place to check for all the details, to buy tickets (only $65 for a weekend pass), and to volunteer or support the festival in this, its first year. Until you click to the page, here’s a quick overview.

Darvills_Bookstore_Eastsound (1)The festival will kick off Friday night with a Lit Walk and open mic readings at locations around quaint Eastsound Village. Saturday morning, Family Lit Fun will host Thor Hanson, readings by characters in costumes, a kids’ coloring station, and readings by award-winning Young Adult authors. That same morning, the Book Fair opens at the Orcas Center for the Arts, featuring book sales by Darvill’s Bookstore, book signings, and exhibits by literary journals, independent presses and publishers. Food and a book arts exhibit will be available at the Center all weekend, too.

For those readers who also are writers, writing workshops will also happen at various locations around the island during the morning on Saturday and Sunday. There’s a workshop fee (scholarships available) to sign up for one of these four workshops by Ana Maria Spagna, Kevin Clark, Write Doe Bay, and Josh Mohr.

Two tracks of moderated panel discussions begin Saturday afternoon featuring invited artists, thought leaders, and publishing professionals. On Saturday evening, the Lit Fest’s marquee event (additional fee) takes place on the Orcas Center’s main stage, with readings by the festival’s award-winning lineup of invited authors. Afterwards, things get a bit more raucous at the Battle of the Genres gala after-party. Sunday morning is day two of the workshop program and more fantastic panels to attend at the Orcas Center, all of it capped off with a final closing event at the Book Fair.

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I hope to see you there!