GNL number 117

a report of doings at meeting #117, Sunday, April 9, 2017

INVOCATION

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Chinese Proverb & Eleanor Roosevelt
“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” ~Rabindranath Tagore


THEME

Marge opened with 2 ways she and Don make sure they bring light into their lives:

  1. The tour group Overseas Adventure Travel which has helped them explore wonderful places around our planet. They’ll be off on another journey in May to see the tulips blooming in Holland and then moving on to other nations.
  2. The interesting workshops they attend on the SUNY Cobl campus sponsored by the Schoharie County Home of Ongoing Learning.

Then she shared 6-wordies:

  • “In that forest, I can wander.”
  • “The gardener of the World, Sun.”
  • “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Gail also shared 6-wordies to convey thoughts on darkness & light.

  • Reddish blond hair, descends on country.
  • Friends help heal wounds of darkness.
  • Winter gray light. Snow brings Bright.
  • Are we sleeping with hopeful wishing?
  • Black birds eating on snowy morning.
  • Dark black cave. Bright sun opening.
  • Rain water mud—wet smell dog.
  • This morning—Sun, Birds & Friends.

Ann shared a childhood memory of watching the Dick Van Dyke show as he impersonated a tulip bulb sprouting from beneath the soil—with much spitting and spewing of dirt from his mouth as he pushed his way through darkness into the light. She still thinks of it most springs as she walks through her garden to see the tulip bulbs sending up their first leaves.

Sue shared quotations and commented on how they helped her see that darkness and light are two sides of one reality, and the ways personal experiences and public events affect our sense of the world in terms of darkness or light. Since Passover was approaching she told how the story of the Hebrews’ escape from Pharaoh & slavery in ancient Egypt including the plagues of darkness & the night of the deaths of the 1st-born sons has been interpreted by many Rebbes as finding our way through our inner darknesses to the light of connection with all that is beauti-ful/righteous/wondrous when we open to true presence with each other and the cosmos. See Quotations in Afterwords.

Cynthia sent this note to summarize her very moving report to us of Michael’s recent parole hearing: “Let me start out by saying THANK YOU ALL! The love and support of this little ‘church’ is so amazing.
Our hearing on March 22nd for Michael’s parole was not the miracle we hoped for-BUT- it is the path from darkness into light and we are thankful to be granted this opportunity. Michael was recommended for transfer to another facility where he could take part in more programs. After he is transferred from Martin Correctional to Sumter Correctional, Michael will FINALLY have a chance to enroll in re-entry classes, will be given more privileges and —  we HOPE — he will connect with people he can trust and follow to the gate of release and redemption. We are looking at 3 more years before his next — and I hope his final — hearing. I am sure that the thoughts and prayers from our extensive network of family and friends has surrounded us with a cushion to break the fall and we are ready to bounce back for the next round!!
I did have a “6 wordie” poem to offer:
Turn your face to the sun
A brand new day has begun
Skippy meetings always make me feel so much better emotionally, and I expect to feel much better physically now! AND…. my ‘uncomic’ BOOK OF DAZE continues- I know we will survive this administration because of communities like Skippy, Peacemakers and so many other pockets of humanity!”

Nancy who felt too ill to be with us sent this message for our newsletter: “Wish I’d been with you guys, and later I did get to feeling better enough to go for a little walk in the beautiful afternoon.” Here’s a few quotations w/ comments:

  • “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” ~Sir Francis Bacon. (NS—Yes, as night into day, both parts of the whole—so darkness into light.)
  • “Truly, it’s in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.” ~Meister Eckhart. (NS—Maybe we need the quiet of night to hear, feel, see more clearly and deeply our dark fears and denied pains, so we can find more power to face and deal with them as part of this life.)
  • “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~Albert Schweitzer. (NS—I think no day of mine passes without such a rekindling, by family, friend, or yes, stranger, who’ve given me their presence, eyes and ears, and even kindness unexpected.)
  • “To love beauty is to see light.” ~Victor Hugo. (NS—And this has been true for me, a path out of darkness. Not only music—whistling and singing and dancing, but seeing and being in the beauty of the big natural world, and surrounding myself with signs of nature too—like rocks and leaves, as you know.)

OUR OFFERING of $100 today was taken by Cynthia to support Michael’s Parole Advocate Ken in his work for all inmates. To learn more about that work, visit Ken Cooper Prison Ministries, Jacksonville Florida.


BENEDICTION

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr
“There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” ~Leonard Cohen


NEXT TIME

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 10:30 am, at Ann Adams’ home at 107 Pavillion Ave., Sharon Springs. (Gail will be backup location–we’ll let you know) The subject is “Time & Change As We (S)age”


AFTERWORDS

Marge

  • It is very nice to think;
  • Beat the drum, here we come!
  • Gail: What’s to come—sadness not knowing.
  • Light Spring Family—Friends Nature Outdoors.
  • Dark feelings future—Politics population world.
  • Chinese at Mano Largo—Trump’s personal property.
  • Discussion on information—Educational & action.
  • We thought Bush was a King.
  • Is this a preamble to doom?
  • Singing of frogs on spring night.
  • Shock, disbelief fear—Sadness and hope.
  • Bomb white death—white snow softness.
  • Darkness of fear—Light of Reason.
  • Evening with Virginia—fun with games.
  • Life goes on no matter what.
  • Back and forth—what life is.

Sue: Quotations:

  • “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” ~Carl Jung
  • “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” Francis Bacon
  • “What interests me is the sense of the darkness that we carry within us, the darkness that’s akin to one of the principal subjects of the sublime – terror.” Anish Kapoor
  • “You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light.” Edward Abbey
  • “All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.” John Ruskin

“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this too, was a gift.” ~ Mary Oliver, “Thirst”

  • “Yet, no matter how deeply I go down into myself, my God is dark, and like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke, The Selected Poetry
  • “When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin
  • “In the beginning there was nothing. God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.” ~Ellen DeGeneres

Nancy:

  • “I am in the world feeling my way to light ‘amid the encircling gloom’.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Night brings our troubles to the light rather than banishing them.” ~Seneca
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