Arts Articles

‘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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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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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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Spring 2020

11 June 2020 | by Jean Harbour

'In all this exuberance and sunshine...' | K. Mitch Hodge / Unsplash.

The quagmire that beset the lane in winter became spring’s dusty track, lined now with straggles of forget-me-nots and clumps of healing borage. Further on mellow docks nudge nettles. Everywhere may and cow parsley merge, shoulder high.

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Growing Hope:  In Woodbrooke’s Online Learning

04 June 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 1 comment

'Our teacher explains that now we will grow hope in our bodies...' | Christina @ / Unsplash.

Our teacher explains that now we will grow hope in our bodies,  yet first we must start on the ground of despair. We descend to the floor. I curl like a foetus, let myself feel the fist of meaninglessness and impotence banging.

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The Wood (lockdown memories of an autumn walk)

28 May 2020 | by Leya Spiers

'The autumn leaves danced around me...' | Tanner Boriack / Unsplash.

‘Here I am’ I said to myself, ‘The one place I can be free.’ The trees greeted me like I was a queen going into her palace.

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Silence Like Rain

FREE 21 May 2020 | by Philip Gross

'Silence, like rain, falling / on the Quaker Meeting...' | SpicyTruffel /

Silence, like rain, falling on the Quaker Meeting, on the congregation of rooks at the edge of the wood, on the sangha where a young monk enters late, at the back, folds his saffron robe in place a little too carefully, then even he forgets himself

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‘Somehow we even managed to fit in free time and a Saturday evening entertainment.’

07 May 2020 | by Barbara Parry

‘Singers were united in the joy of working on some of the best examples of choral repertoire, ranging across many centuries and styles.’ | Jonathan J Castello / Unsplash.

It must be more than twenty years ago that I first took part in the annual Quaker Choral and Chamber Music weekend at Charney Manor, where singers and instrumentalists of all ages gathered to sing, play and live together for a weekend of intensive musical and spiritual fellowship. A lot...

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‘His sermons are filled with a humour born of setback and humility.’

07 May 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 1 comment

Portrait of John Donn. | By unknown artist, circa 1595.

With the simple and deep gift of time in my hands – time in our garden – I find myself dipping into John Donne’s sermons. It feels right. He was writing them in a time of plague and he was a man who consistently believed in mercy, in prayer and in...

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