GNL number 69

a report of doings at meeting #69, Sunday, February 10, 2013
including liturgical notes, major themes, and other odds and ends


Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.~~~Dalai Lama


Three of us were present at Sue’s house: Ann Adams, Anna Moon and Sue Spivack. Gail could not make it because her husband Cliff is in the hospital recovering from pneumonia and she needed to be with him. We wish Cliff speedy healing. Cynthia also sent her regrets since Cailie who has been failing, needed care. We send our love to her and to Cynthia and Ron. Nancy also was not present, still visiting children in Baltimore and needing to stay a bit longer to see her son who couldn’t make it earlier. We wish her safe travels home.

Since our topic was NECESSITY, we noted that we all were making decisions to be present or elsewhere based on what presented itself in each of our lives as the necessity of the day and moment. Adair also sent her loving greetings to us from Maine.

Nancy sent these thoughts on Necessity: Trying to see what’s essential, or even what matters most—I felt very little was truly essential to me beyond the basics— adequate water, food, cover from the elements—but on second look, these “other” necessities are very big indeed: contact with others, especially those I hold dear, and means to do that; access to Nature and fresh air; exercise, meditation, A few books, some music and means to hear and do that. Some paper and pens. Helping Life in some way. And I think I have to add: Laughter.

Then Ann began by reminding us that Necessity is the mother of Invention. She talked about reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea in which she found the vision of the natural world as a place to be free of the increasing bustle and mechanization of our hi-tech lives. This was already making itself evident to Anne Lindbergh decades ago. Ann also talked about the fact that playing Pickle Ball is a new necessity in her life, and all the reasons she enjoys it. She talked about the need for solitude and a sense of her own space, as well as for community and she commented that our necessities can change. Ann left home the quotations she found online — they will appear in the Afterwords.

Anna talked about growing up in the depression in a family that lived well on very little income and few extra possessions and how she has carried the habit of living simply with few necessities through her entire life. Anna feels that it’s always been easy for her to never want more than she really needs. Anna also remembered her father taking her to march on a picket line when his union was on strike, and how necessary standing up for the rights of working people was to her father.

Sue read some quotations which prompted her to talk about the way necessity is defined depends on the perspective of the people or governments who are claiming necessity as the reason for their actions. She said that as she gets older, one newly emerging necessity is to make sure she is not enduring situations if she feels there is little possibility for improving them. And she recalled learning in high school science that certain chemical events only happen when all the necessary causes are present. Some chemical may be present that are necessary but not sufficient to cause the reaction. This opened up a vision of existence as complex with multiple factors causing each event. Her quotations appear in the Afterwords.

Since there were so few of us we got into lots of easy discussion and ranged beyond our topic to talk about the differences between solitude by choice and isolation/not by choice, and how our families in the past often had different necessities and problems to solve than we do today.


One of the greatest necessities in America
is to discover creative solitude.~~~Carl Sandburg

A library is not a luxury but one of the
necessities of life.~~~Henry Ward Beecher


Sunday, March 10 (10:30), with Ellen hosting at the Klemms’ (directions to follow). The topic is even more open than usual: a continuation of February’s NECESSITIES, and/or CHANCE (which could mean to some of us POTLUCK, and anything burning in anyone’s mind!)
We totally forgot to collect $$ for a donation. Apologies.


Sue’s quotations

  • Necessity is the mother of taking chances.~~~Mark Twain
  • Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation.~~~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful.~~~Frederick Nietzsche
  • Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.~~~Edward Abbey
  • Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.~~~William Pitt, Earl of Chatham
  • Our necessities never equal our wants.~~~Benjamin Franklin

Ann’s quotations

  • Fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents.~~~Margaret Mead
  • Our necessities never equal our wants.~~~Benjamin Franklin
  • One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude.~~~Carl Sandburg
  • The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.~~~Nathaniel Hawthorne

6 wordies

  • Necessity is the mother of invention
  • Earth, air, fire, and water — the Grecian elemental necessities
  • My little boat, dog, garden, space — a few necessities

In thinking of what is necessary to me it is anything that is comforting, fulfilling, energizing, musical — think the natural world.


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