Saturday, July 31, 2010


There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.
Anaïs Nin

I feel a weariness with arguments, about universalism versus Christianity or being Christian versus Pagan. All we need to do or are asked to do is love one another. A truism. But true.

And yet--I get pulled into the arguments. And I want to say, that language matters. Language--in the great discovery of 20th century philosophy, building on Nietzsche--is not a clear window pane into reality. Language is tainted. The early Quakers knew this. Women and minorities know this. Anybody who has been damaged by the culture knows this. So when people say, oh the God stuff, it's just the different words for the same concepts ... the words themselves are the concepts, we're caught in the prisonhouse of language, and context changes concept, and there's always context, always baggage, and if the words really don't matter, why don't we all use the Christocentric language of our culture?

i feel like telling you everything
talking until my words aren't a part of me anymore
they are part of the air
and suddenly they are not my problem
and i am free

So maybe that's why I'm "just saying." (These quotes come from a blog called paperdollblewsaway.)

Last weekend, Roger and I went to Toronto. We stayed Jaya's apartment. We visited an art museum, ate Thai Food (thanks to Jaya's parents), shopped in bookstores, went to an island where it rained and sat under umbrellas at sidewalk cafes.

In the meantime, a stray dog and a stray kitten have shown up at our house: Larry and Junior. Larry was a kind old hound dog who followed us home one day. Then he followed us around the lake, to the campus proper, hung out for awhile, possibly understood people were talking about the "pound," and wandered off again. Or maybe he's simply a wandering hobo of dog and it was time to hit the road again.

Sophie brought home the stray tabby kitten, who, we were told, would be put to sleep by the shelter should we take it there. Too many cats in the world. Junior, who is a minature version of our gray tabby, Andre (hence the name junior) is so quivering with the very life force of the universe, so full of intensity and joy, that we can't imagine the death sentence. We also can't keep him. Right now, he's living outisde--and before long, we'll have to figure out what to do. It is coincidence that these animals keep all of a sudden wandering into our lives?

Tomorrow I leave for a writing class Earlham School of Religion.

I will try to stay in touch.


Hystery said...

I often weary of the conversation too, but it is an important conversation. I get tired of going over the language, of twisting and tweaking, and tortured meanings. I get sick of being misunderstood and of misunderstanding. I'm tired of the urge to dismiss it all in a kind of safe and bland niceness. Language is inadequate, but it matters--whether we want it to or not.

But I am thankful that you are one of the people with whom I am having this conversation. I am thankful for your honesty, for your integrity, for your listening, and for your kindness and good humor. I am thankful for you. Just wanted you to know.

AbiSomeone said...

Your purple abbess also is weary ... which can be noted in the fact that I rarely have much to say these days.

I find few are willing to invest in the challenge of using language to actually communicate -- or, better, to think clearly. I'm with M. Scott Peck in his opinion that the lack of clear thinking is THE problem.

Blessings in your journey, sister....

Unknown said...

One of the things that made me realise that trying to be a Quaker was something I had to do, was when I read in 'Quaker Faith and Practice' the old testimony from Balby meeting -
'for the letter killeth but the spirit giveth light.' Keep that little light shining friend.

Diane said...


Thank you so much and same. I'm so afraid you will wander off some day ... that I will say the wrong words ...

And Abbess,

You too--i am so glad you are here. So glad


Thank you for the encouragement--maybe we will be cyberfriends one day.



Hystery said...


My dear friend, my friendship with you is not reliant upon whether or not I agree with you on any given point. I'm afraid you're stuck with me. :-)

Ted M. Gossard said...

I am indeed amazed, Diane, that God uses words, often stammering words, to reveal something of himself and his will in Jesus. We can't stop at the words themselves, but they are indeed important in their time and place, it seems.

Bill Cook said...

I so appreciate this. I am a Methodist Pastor from NJ. I keep talking and talking because it is important, and yet what I am trying to say is always beyond words.

Perhaps I feel like I am chipping away at marble, trying to set free a sculpture still hidden within the stone.

Something in your post resonates with what I am attempting to do, or to get at.

Thank you. - Bill