Lake Erie Yearly Meeting: Call for Workshop Proposals: Due March 15. Yearly Meeting, July 26-29 at Bluffton University. Back by popular demand, we will have 2 days of workshop presentations. The theme this year is: “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges.” Workshops related to peace and social concerns are particularly welcomed. Please send a brief description of the workshop you would like to present to the Program Committee in care of Valerie Vogel, by March 15. A brief biography of the presenter is also helpful.
Quaker Voluntary Service: Quaker start-up organization is developing local programs in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon. Applications due March 15. Young adults 21-35. info.
AFSC: Saturday, March 8 Bricolage Fifth Wall Series will present a program of film, theater, and speakers who will focus on the increasing threat of sexual assault in the military. Co-sponsored by AFSC‐PA, free admission, 3-5pm. http://www.onebillionrising.org/events/stop-sexual‐assault‐in‐the‐military-performance‐and‐talk‐back/
AFSC is American Friends Service Committee
“A Leading to Read”
A regular column by the Library Committee reviewing books in the Meetinghouse Library
THE DURATION OF GRIEF by Liane Ellison Norman. Reviewed by Pat May
Liane Ellison Norman, at one time a vital member of our Meeting, is well known to those of us whose attendance goes back some years. She is the author of Hammer of Justice, which is in our library; Mozart’s Mother, and three more recent books of poetry: Driving Near the Old Federal Arsenal; Keep, and Breathing the West: Great Basin Poems.
In the preface to The Duration of Grief the author says that she was “without words to try to understand an experience I could not—cannot—fathom. Then I found that poetry, which I had not attempted for over 40 years, worked for me better than my familiar medium—prose.” The experience of which she speaks is the “impossible loss” of her daughter, Emily Norman Davidson, a gifted musician and the mother of Katie Rose, to cancer at age 36. Liane writes in the hope that “my experience and what I have to say about it will be of use to others than me.”
This is the story in poetry of a mother’s love, of shock and disbelief, of the daily reality of fighting for the life of your child, and finally of sharing the dying. This is the story of families, Liane and Bob’s family together, Liane’s family of origin, and her experience with a friend. She tells something of their living and of their dying and some of what has formed her.
The beauty and the pain in nature, in music, in architecture, in gardening, in everyday tasks, in loving fiercely, in her daughter’s life and courage, are painted in words and feeling throughout the poems. Her friend George Zedenstein says of this collection that the poems touched him “in the place where every grief I’ve known in my own life is stored. I feel that somehow, and without diluting the concentration of . . . personal experience, [she has] spoken for each of us who grieves.”
I find that to be my experience as well, but I also find the poems to be about more than grief. For me, they are about the full range of the experience of life in its many forms and stages, in the universal language of poetry, which gives voice to that which we sometimes cannot name.
The holdings in our Meeting library can be checked from your computer at home at http://www.librarything.com/catalog/PittsburghFriendsMtg..
With gratitude and good wishes, Eric Starbuck
FCNL: Scholarship available for young adult to attend FCNL Spring Lobby Weekend March 22-25. Contact Jo Schlesinger or Scilla Wahrhaftig for details. http://fcnl.org/events/slw/.
AFSC: Monday, March 3 screening of Yellow Oscar Winner film High Power by Pradeep Indulkar who will discuss his film about risks of an Indian nuclear power plant. CMU 100 Porter Hall. Co-sponsored by AFSC‐PA, free admission, 7pm. http://www.highpowerfilm.org/.
FCNL: Friends Committee on National Legislation (lobbyists)
AFSC: American Friends Service Committee (work toward social justice)
Bible Study: On March 2, we will begin the study of the Epistle of James in the New Testament. This is a text that was written by/for Jewish Christians, and it presents us with some of the ways in which Christianity integrated principles that originated within Judaism. Its best known verse speaks to the importance of the role of “works”—the care we give to one another— in the life of people of faith: “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17). All are welcome to join the discussion held on the first Sunday of each month.
Child care is provided. Contact Mary Parish.
Friends are reminded that children who are NOT in in child care during post-Hospitality activities such as Bible Study, Adult Ed and Worship with Attention to Business, must be supervised by their parents while playing upstairs.
Hospitality: Hospitality Hosts continue to be needed for all Sundays, including Second Sunday Potlucks. There is a sign-up list located on the bulletin board just inside the kitchen door. You can also sign up at this Doodle link: http://doodle.com/4p8ehwshgrbwknt4.
Nominating Committee: Now is the time for Friends and Attenders to reflect on their leadings for participation in the Meeting’s committee work for the new year, that begins in May 2014. Our committees are crucial to the many activities, ministries, and responsibilities of the meeting that bring life and vitality to our community.
We wish to thank House Committee for greeting in February, while keeping our building in good repair. In March, Sunday greeters will be provided by the Library and Archive Committees. The Library committee operates our Library and our archivists maintain our meeting records.
submitted by Jim Morgan