Culture Articles

For America in a time of a drought

30 July 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'Alongside the ancient Siberian apple. I offer what I am to the alongside of it.' | Shelley Pauls / Unsplash

The rain in the old cemetery is simple. It falls on yarrow, clover, ragwort dispensing pearls into the grain of day, into the Yorick skull-clot of Devon clay. The tissue of the warm-wooded dead is wormed with the first drop of its showers, runs into the finger-hold of tiny oaks,...

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Confessions Of A Non-Violent Revolutionary by Chris Savory

16 July 2020 | by Harvey Gillman

'He wants to change society, bring about world peace, save the planet, and bring about respect for diversity.' | Book cover for Confessions Of A Non-Violent Revolutionary

This autobiography was written by a peace activist who for a number of years was a Friend. It is an easy-to-read, intriguing and racy record of a resonant journey. I learned a lot about someone with whom I was acquainted but didn’t know at any depth. Particularly striking was...

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Ahab in Rehab

16 July 2020 | by Anne Stephens

'But look here: imagine that if as you unpacked these nested dolls they were becoming successively larger rather than smaller.’ | Schwoaze via Wikimedia Commons.

Call me male-ish I enjoyed playing doldrums in our school orchestra. And there weren’t really any significant repercussions until I also took up the Bermuda triangle.

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‘Our own creativity can best come from deliberately-chosen places of quiet and silence.’

FREE 09 July 2020 | by Peter Varney

‘Painting can be a place where the Spirit flows and the painter finds calm.’ | Image courtesy of Peter Varney

Advices & queries 29 tells us that ‘Old age… can… bring serenity.’ But lockdown has taught me that it might be more widely available. The world’s religions frequently suggest we need places of waiting – places where we accept and go with the flow of life. Lao Tzu asks: ‘Do you...

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The Fabricated Christ: Confronting what we know about Jesus and the Gospels, by Paul Laffan

09 July 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding | 2 comments

'He wants to expose sleight of hand and imposture – fantasy and specious reasoning – in the gospels and in biblical commentary.' | Book cover for The Fabricated Christ: Confronting what we know about Jesus and the Gospels

In the beginning was a folktale – a folktale about a holy man, a man of the people, cruelly done to death by the powerbrokers of the day. The man was impish and witty. Some say he was a bit of a devil, while others say he could have saved us,...

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To Thine Own Self Be True: A spiritual journey by Howard Grace

09 July 2020 | by Daniel Clarke Flynn

‘There are two levels, and not just one, with which humanity reaches out to the Ultimate Reality. One is with the mind; the other is with the heart and spirit.' | Book cover for To Thine Own Self Be True: A spiritual journey

This is a small book of thirty-two pages but it is not a quick read – there is much in this gem to reflect on. Howard Grace recounts a journey of four score years from militant atheist, to becoming a believer in ‘shared humanity’ as a Christian, to, finally, a Quaker.

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Busily sculpting my foolish old life

02 July 2020 | by Anne M Jones

'Birdsong, a whole symphony embraces me on my daily bike ride in lovely Peckham Park.' | Corina Rainer / Unsplash.

Busily sculpting my foolish old life, well past sell-by date, Freedoms many: to curse expected trains that were cancelled or late. Adventures worldwide, limitless movement, grateful for all I could shape – Fanned delusional flames of eternal youth.

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The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss

02 July 2020 | by Joseph Jones

‘I’m not sure I always enjoyed this picture of Quaker earnestness, but I can’t deny its plausibility.’ | 'The Dazzle of Day' book cover.

This novel about Quakers travelling in outer space, published over twenty years ago, was reissued recently in a new edition. Its author is not a Friend but, like Walt Whitman, from whose poetry the title is taken, she considers the silence ‘after the dazzle of day is gone’. What happens,...

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Poem: Hope heals*

25 June 2020 | by the children of Dorking Meeting

'Hope is what makes us human' | banner made by the children of Dorking Meeting

Hope is a thing with feathers Hope is trusting and believing Hope is something that someone feels Hope is thinking of sunshine when it’s a cold winter’s day and raining Hope is what makes us human Hope is a light Hope is being determined and happy to do...

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As led

18 June 2020 | by RV Bailey

'This is a Quaker Meeting.' | Helen Cramer / Unsplash.

They are Quakers. So it will not matter That I am late, or that I bring the dog.

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