Monday, May 8, 2017

Beyond Good and Evil ... the Quaker way

“ Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.” 
Imbolo Mbue, Behold the Dreamers

The quote above seems to capture exactly what Quakers, whether universalist or Christian or of whatever stripe are at core about--or what I dream they are about.

Jesus and George Fox preached in fields (and both would have talked about wrongdoing and rightdoing) but I also imagine in both of them acceptance and love, a genuine listening, an encounter--and isn't forgiveness, reconciliation and love of your enemies on some level about meeting in a field?

The quote moved me because it doesn't say their is no wrong or right doing--it acknowledges we all have our own ideas of what these are--but yet there is a place where we can meet each other deeply.

We don't have to talk about right or wrong. We can just meet.

I thought of Ken and Katharine's question about where love is calling us today. Maybe to a field where we'll meet a stranger.

I saw this on my friend Elaine Pigeon's blog ( and immediately felt an emotional response to it, though I knew nothing of Mbue or Behold the Dreamers. 

A quick tour of Amazon yields the following about Mbue's 2016 novel:

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • New York Times Notable Book • Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award • An ALA Notable Book
 The quote also reminded me of quote, written as grafitti on a wall in Havana: "We believe in dreams." I have long hung onto that--and feel the need more than ever to do so in these times.

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