Week 44: Spokane Friends Meeting, 9 November 2008

There isn’t a lot to say about an the “Unprogrammed” or “Simple Worship” in a Friends meeting.  This is because the service may not have anything that was “said.”  The Spokane Friends have a short note that they hand out to newcomers and visitors (in the meeting this morning, there were five regulars and five visitors. Michael is under the weather, so Farmergirl and I, plus three young men from Gonzaga were the five). Part of it reads:

Friends share the conviction that each person can have a direct experience of the Spirit of God. Our way of worship is based in the silence of expectancy in which we seek to come nearer to God and each other as we share the stillness of the gathering. Participants are not expected to say or do anything other than join in this seeking. Do not be concerned if silent waiting seems strange at first. We rarely experience silence in everyday life, so it is not unusual to be distracted by outside noise or roving thoughts.
Often a Meeting will pass with no words spoken.

This was our experience this morning . . . that is, the Meeting was a silent one.

It was a good time, too, to have that time of silent reflection.
And it was hard not to be distracted this morning.

Last night, when Michael and Farmergirl came to pick me up, our car was broken into, and several items were stolen, including my camera (and its lenses) , and Michael’s computers (and his work bag, and a year’s worth of notes, and our house designs), and Farmergirl’s backpack with her favourite jeans and a scrap of cloth that was of great heart-value to her. We spent a restless night of could’ves and should’ves, mourning each thing that we remembered was contained in those bags (the pictures of Farmergirl in a stunning green Vegas ballgown, assisting her friend Ray at his Magic contest, for example). The thief didn’t take any of the books (ours or the library’s).

My head was still spinning this morning. Farmergirl and I dragged ourselves out into the cloud that’s been sitting on the prairie for three days because we thought anything must be better than staying home moping.

The worst thing about all of this is how mad I felt at Michael. He feels I’m too obsessive about locking the car; I think he’s too lackadaisical. He felt terrible. I could feel how terrible he felt.
Just a big fucking pit in the stomach.

So this morning, sitting with the Quakers, and trying to calm my mind, I realized: I can’t really do anything about this. Farmergirl and I went and walked the area, hoping the thief threw away her backpack, or Michael’s, and that we could recover his book or her fabric bracelet. We got our toes wet, and I got a blister . . . be we came up empty handed. So I realized I can’t do anything about this. I’ve searched the bushes, made a report to the police, will watch craigslist and ebay and the pawn shops . . . but the only thing I have control over is this: how I react to my family.

And that was it.
It just kind of melted away.
I could even feel it, in my shoulders and between my temples.

The fucking crook might have my stuff, but he can’t steal my heart away from those I love most dearly.

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