"How have you experienced God or the Divine?" With this query, Western Friend magazine invited Friends across the West to share their stories through art, poetry, fiction and essays. The contributions of nearly fifty Friends are gathered in this testament to the breadth and depth of spiritual experience in the Religious Society of Friends. Thematic sections are framed by simple queries designed to encourage readers to reflect on the ways in which the Spirit moves in their own lives.
The opening to my essay, excerpted from my memoir, Walking Nature Home:
Quakers do not break the silence of Meeting for Worship casually. When the urge to speak can no longer be denied, a Friend stands, heart pounding and palms damp, to raise her voice in the silence. The force that moves Friends to vocal ministry is, I think, the same prompting of the soul that stimulates any kind of creative work. A trembling within, a passion to communicate urges us until we cannot refrain from speaking out, putting hands to keyboard, chisel to stone, voice to song, body to dance, paint to canvas.
My summons began with a badger. ...