ice & truth

Well we made it to Pendle Hill, Foulkeways and back - with a pleasant stop at Olive Garden and many small careful steps on several varieties of ice. And the dean of Pendle Hill cleaned an inch of snow off my car in between my carrying out stuff. The Wednesday after the lecture was their work day there and everyone worked. Except me. I was tempted, but I had work pending -- the 2:00 Foulkeways reading -- and wanted to be centered for that.

Forty two people came! I'm not sure who counted but somebody did. I read perhaps the least fun, most challening part - Tahija losing her job right after finishing the training program that was supposed to boost her pay. The nursing home job. I know Foulkeways is a continuing care community, a veritable resort (think Boca, with snow), but it has its hospital care wing, its last stop. And all the residents, as far as I could see, are white, very many of the kitchen and health care workers black.

But no one seemed offended. And a woman I knew from New York Yearly meeting (Quakers), who had hosted Kaki, Sue Clark and me when we traveled to one of the first readings (Purchase, NY), came up after and said she thought I should be on Oprah. That people need to hear this truth.

Oprah are you listening?

What truth? That the poor work too hard and are often cheated. That the poor work for us, our aging parents, our children.

Well, I thought I had nothing to say. I thought I'd just say - hi I have nothing to say I'll write later. But.

This was my first retirement community reading. It was great. The head of the library commitee, Jessica Ferrell (I think), had that place blanketed with fliers! And at ten to two she was on the phone reminding people to come! Maybe I should hire her as publicist. And I got to worship with Shirley Hathaway beforehand - the same deep concentration and gentle spirit I remember from New Paltz Meeting. She's the woman I referred to in the book as having taken her young family down to Mississippi for Freedom Summer. One of the rocks that keeps you from getting washed out to sea when first you dive into meeting for worship.

The book has taken me to good places, good people. What next?