Friday, 4 May 2007

bright eyes

Friends House
Originally uploaded by jez s.
Everywhere that I look, there are people with bright eyes, shining with joy, among Friends.

There are so many of my friends here, acquaintances, people that I have met at conferences.

And there are people that I had not met before, or I have come across by chance.

On Wednesday night, I worshipped at Westminster. I sat next to Stephen Cox. Before I went in, I noticed a sign on a board advertising his story-telling workshop at Sutton Friends Meeting House.

Afterwards, I asked him about it.

Ah, he said, there are at least two Stephen Coxes active in Quakers and he's the other one that I know about.

This evening, I was at a meeting organised by the Friend. I introduced myself to a man with a bright red jacket.

I'm Stephen Cox, he said.

He's the other one.

He's not going to be at BYM on Saturday though. He has some friends who go cycling together. They are meeting at midnight to cycle to the coast. They haven't decided which coast yet.

Apparently, the roads are a lot quieter at night, making group cycling easier and safer.

The meeting with staff from the Friend was good - everyone introduced themselves (including not-staff people) and said what their interests are and what they like to write about (note to self: find more photographers!)

There were plenty of people there and one woman gave an account of how, being blind, she copes with written communication. Her husband, David, is her email reader, for example.

David told me about one of his grandsons who goes to Quaker events, but gets ribbed by his younger brother for doing so. Hang on in there my friend and others, hold him in the light!

It is grey outside, as I write. I have a view of the window in the photo above.

I also met Laurie Michaelis earlier, he is leading a special interest group on environmental issues on Saturday afternoon, around 5:30pm.

John has set up a lunchtime meeting for us bloggers with some of the under-19s on Saturday, so watch this space. I also hope to find some over-91s and do some work with them too!

I went to the Salter lecture this afternoon. I won't write much now, for I am writing about it for the Friend too and I haven't fully pieced together my thoughts. This lecture was the annual lecture of the socialist Quaker society. There were over 100 people at the talk, but only about 7 looked under 40. I expect that I will have to catch up with them later and see how we can work together - I know many young Quakers whose viewpoints would place them left of centre politically, but I suspect that few would ever have considered themselves socialist. I think that many people who go to university, for example, associate socialism with radical lefties who seem, well, separate, basically.

The lecture was an interesting overview of trade union involvement in change, but did not, for me, really grasp the subject of sustainable development in any meaningful way. Considering that the United Nations climate change report came out today, with demands for urgent cuts in carbon emissions, this was a real opportunity to develop the issue.

I talked to the speaker afterwards and sensed some fiery passion on the subject. Hopefully I can draw on this for my report.

As I write, hundreds of Quakers are in the main session. I'm not (no typing by the bloggers in session, during session), but at least one of us will be going in around 8, if the doorkeepers allow.

Hopefully, we'll hear more later.

in friendship


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