Culture Articles

My Life Story: A Child Of The Windrush Generation, by Xystus Sestus Marcell

21 October 2021 | by Anne M Jones

Xystus writes of ‘not bearing grudges’, ‘because ultimately God is good’. | Detail of book cover of My Life Story: A Child Of The Windrush Generation, by Xystus Sestus Marcell

This small book tells the story, in his own words, of a man who came to the east end of London from St Lucia, in 1972. Xystus Sestus Marcel’s name refers to the book of Exodus, a reminder of enslaved people coming into emancipation. He was fourteen when he arrived,...

Read more

The Deepening Stream, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

21 October 2021 | by Kate Macdonald

‘Fisher was a serious and committed novelist.’ | Book cover of The Deepening Stream, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s 1930 novel will soon be available in a new edition from Persephone Books, and has a particular interest for Friends. Fisher was not, so far as I can make out, a Quaker herself, but her vigorous involvement in pacifism, war relief in the first world war, child...

Read more

Oh my darlin’

21 October 2021 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'can you my woodpecker make remembrance of how I loved you' |

Witness this my turgid blossom pearl warbler O my darlin’ witness how we ache in ivory – billed heart break

Read more

Living Presence: The Sufi path to mindfulness and the essential self, by Kabir Helminski

14 October 2021 | by Angela Greenwood

Book cover of Living Presence: The Sufi path to mindfulness and the essential self, by Kabir Helminski |

Over the years I have heard a number of Quakers comment that, while we are passionate about valuing and sharing silence, there is little substantial teaching on how to use and go deeply into it. There are of course various ‘enlightened’ spiritual teachers around, ancient and modern, who offer teaching...

Read more

Activism for Life, by Angie Zelter

14 October 2021 | by Steve Whiting

Book cover of Activism for Life, by Angie Zelter |

Angie Zelter is a social change phenomenon. She is a dreamer of campaigns, creative strategist, meticulous researcher, persuasive negotiator, movement organiser, team-player and leader by example. She has an irrepressible vision of justice and peace and, naturally, a world free of nuclear weapons. Activism for Life recounts her story.

Read more

The long grass

14 October 2021 | by Geoff Sawers

'as we lie down in the tall tall grass and dream how to build an ark' | by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

The grass will grow, green and tall   our children fade from sight the grass will blow to yellow dust   all children hold the light

Read more

A modern Meeting

07 October 2021 | by Howard W Hilton

'We need to feel the warmth of shaken hand! Devices help, but lack the twinkling eye, such wealth!' | by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

Switch on the Zoom, and enter these, our homes, Our little fancies all revealed, The pictures on the wall, the tired or tended plants, Our tastes in texture, colour, unconcealed.

Read more

Goshen Friends Meeting

30 September 2021 | by Caroline Balderston Parry

'I beseech You, Spirit of the slow-ticking wall clock, expand my sense of Mystery, infuse my aging adult days with timelessness' | by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

Shadows of my childhood family align along this plain meetinghouse bench in Chester County, where I have come to worship. Once our row was anchored by my strong blue serge-suited Father. Now I sit immersed in today’s quiet, seeking Source.

Read more

A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit

23 September 2021 | by Helen Porter

'When all are levelled by the literal levelling of their homes, people share whatever is saveable: clothes, food, and comfort, and others rush to provide help.' | Book cover of A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit

Ten years before Rutger Bregman’s Humankind (see review 14 August 2020) Rebecca Solnit pre-figured his view of human nature as fundamentally kind and co-operative by analysing our response to catastrophe. It chimes well with our desire to recognise ‘that of God in everyone’.

Read more

Never again

23 September 2021 | by John Lampen

'...the tall boy bowling doesn’t foresee the khaki kit and his departure...' | by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

In our writing group a few weeks ago we were given the prompt ‘Never again’.  It was a good choice, because it points in two directions. It is the cry of protest at an injustice or cruelty: ‘This must not happen ever again!’ And it holds the sadness, the...

Read more