Monday, August 01, 2005

Space for Comments

Friends, these last few weeks I've been posting about some really heavy, intense, and emotional experiences. I haven't really seen many comments about any of it (though there were a couple here and there - not discrediting those, I promise).

I would like to offer this space (this post) as a place for any thoughts or feelings that may have come up while reading any of my recent posts. It could be something that seemed too insignificant to say at the time, or something gigantic you didn't feel like saying just yet, or anything in between. I just feel that I've been posting rather rapidly, considering the topics, and sometimes that leaves no clear space to comment.

If you don't feel the need to comment, that's ok too. I just wanted to offer this space.

Love and Light,


Blogger Liz Opp said...

Hey there, Claire! ...Comments on The Good Raised Up have also slowed, so I attribute it to a couple of things:

1. Summers are crazy for people. Vacations, long hot days to attend to gardens, extra family time while school's out, etc. Maybe reading blogs gets bumped down on the list of things to do.

2. Reports of things I have done carry a different sense than posts about questions I am living with. My sense is that readers of Spiritual Journeys and of The Good Raised Up read our reports with interest and even joy, perhaps, not feeling a call to comment as much as a chance to enjoy our witness.

I like the idea of having just a space for reflections and comments, though. Perhaps over time, others will visit and add their thoughts.

Liz, The Good Raised Up

3/8/05 5:30 PM  
Blogger Contemplative Scholar said...

Hi Claire,

I've been reading your postings with much interest -- sorry not to respond sooner. The reasons are very much as Liz describes!

There is a lot in your postings about FGC. I was sorry to hear that some of the participants used alcohol and marijuana, and I can understand the sense of betrayal that others felt. I remember too hoping and trusting that Quaker settings would be free of that. I even went to a Quaker college that was supposed to be a dry campus, but found that there was some alcohol use. But it didn't dominate campus the way it can on other college campuses. Alcohol and drug use are big problems where I teach now.

For example, one time I came to realize that a student who came to one of my classes drunk did so because he was so stressed out by a presentation he had to do. He later came to talk with me, and he apologized, and shared with me how he had stayed up all night the night before, terribly shaken by the impact of the ideas we were studying and how those ideas made him re-think his entire worldview. When he saw that I was sympathetic to how traumatic intellectual upheaval can be, he talked with me more frequently and no longer came to class drunk.

Needless to say, I myself was rather shaken by this. Coming from a shy background, having been embedded in a rather anti-intellectual social world, where people would laugh at me for thinking that ideas can actually be powerful, I could not believe that the philosophical ramblings I uttered before an undecipherable crowd of students could throw someone into crisis!

But I began to supplement my lectures with words of emotional support, which I think my students have really appreciated.

I find myself thinking about alcohol use among high school and college students differently now. I can't help but think that it is a response to growing up in such a confusing and unpredictable world. It may not be a good or effective response, but it is a response.

What can we all be doing to help each other face the challenges of today's world more effectively? This is a question I keep asking myself.

So, these are some of the thoughts prompted by your postings.

Thank you so much for your sharing! I was sorry not to be able to go to FGC -- I've appreciated reading your and other Friends' postings about it very much!

3/8/05 10:34 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Thanks so much for your responses. It's true that it's summer and everyone's all over the place doing all sorts of things, leaving blogs lower down on the priority list.

Contemplative - Yes. What can we all be doing to help each other face the challenges of today's world more effectively? It's a tough question, but a very important one. How do we work to gently prevent people from entering the downward spiral of drugs and alcohol? or other damaging habits or behaviors? Thank you so much for sharing your experience; I'm glad to have read it!

Love and Light,

6/8/05 12:23 AM  
Blogger Aj Schwanz said...


Such a small world: I read your YM sessions through Quaker Ranter and it inspired me to blog about our YM sessions. :) Thanks for the comments: so good to make friends with similar concerns - sad that the concerns exist, but at least we're not alone.

I greatly look forward to connecting and hearing more from each other. Blessings to you in the rest of your weekend!


6/8/05 1:24 AM  

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