Tomorrow I make 79, begging the pardon of those to whom I probably jumped the gun some weeks. Anyway we were sitting in meeting this morning, all 7 of us. As usual I sized up the meeting (I've been doing that since I was 8). I realized that there were 3 octagenarians, myself, and 3 younger people. I felt led to talk about age. If you had been there about 11:30, you might have heard something like this:
(First I pointed out what I had just noticed about the ages of the group.) As happens frequently I have been thinking about the process of silence, the movement(s) that take place:
Seems like there are three psychic points of silence:
1. One experiences the usual stream of consciousness; ceasing this
2. One may grow drowsy, the frequency of which is closely correlated to age. Or
3. One may come through to a God consciousness, which of course may lead to any of several things.
Such is Quaker worship as I experience it. Of course the first message will interrupt that sequence in some way.
Then I started thinking about my dearest cousin, Carrie. I had a habit, when saying goodbye to an old friend, to ask them: if they got to heaven before me to prepare me a place. You'd be amazed at the rejoinders I've gotten from that idea. Carrie was very different; like a bolt coming from her lips, "You'll be very dear to me up there." Wow! you can see why I loved Carrie.
Last time I saw her she was 92. Mind still as sharp as a tack, but hard to stay awake very long at a time. We were having a family reunion in Clayton, LA, where she lived. About 30 people from 3 or 4 states came by to say hello. I introduced them to her one by one. She was very interested and gracious. Then she fell asleep. I hope my life continues to take the course that hers did.
It has been very gratifying (and surprising) to me to experience the approval and affirmation of so many younger people on the internet, especially on this and our other (blog). God bless you all real good.