‘I had some grounds for thinking stillness, composure, wisdom might come via writing, didn’t I?’

The write track? Jonathan Wooding remembers his first Meeting

'A pause – a hiatus – a gap – an omission.' | Photo: Ana Tavares / Unsplash.

At my first Quaker Meeting in 1985 in Westminster I was handed a pocket-sized leaflet called Silence, an adapted extract from John Edward Southall’s The Power of Stillness. I read this as I sat in the silence of that gathered Meeting, and I could read it now too as I have, miraculously, kept it all these years. I know it is the very same one as it has the writing on it which came involuntarily to me as I took in the faces of those strangers, the vase of flowers at the centre of the room, the striking absence of a hierarchy of esteem! I was writing, though, and not still.

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