If the angel
it will be
because you have
not by tears
but by your humble
resolve to be
to be a beginner.
by Rainer Maria Rilke
This is the poem I read out loud last Saturday. I read this after Laura and Jill had read beautiful poems but before Beryl and Ruth read excerpts (perhaps they will post them here or contribute them to the newsletter). It felt very grounding and was a nice end to what was a session where we talked about books. Many, many books. We've set up books for the upcoming year even though we didn't plan it that way. We just had so many books and it seemed to all come together.
Each month will be facilitated by a different member of the group. People feel free - and are welcome - to drop in to the books/months that only interest them (and a number of people who come along now are non-Quakers). Some even come along if they haven't read the book as the point of this is not just to talk about literary "things" but to get to know each other and more about "life" and other "cultures" and "experiences" (too many quotation marks, sorry) through talking about the themes of the book. Some of us do stay for food afterwards sometimes but not every month. If you feel hungry, invite people to stay afterwards with you though and someone usually will accept your offer.
Themes coming up this year (and continuing on from last year really): can we trust memory, perceptions of "truth", emigration, what is "home," how do our experiences with our parents affect our understandings of spirituality, can we connect to the spiritual or creative through food/nature/others?
Here is a quick list for the upcoming year (so far all planned for Saturdays from 4-5:30 at The Blue Moon but check the Sheffield Quakers website or the Newsletter to confirm times and books beforehand as these rarely but occasionally need to change).July 3: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The local Sheffield bookstore Rhyme and Reason (a fabulous establishment) is very friendly and can certainly order in any of these books for you: 0114 266 1950 or suggest "similar" books (as in "I've liked this book, can you recommend something similar?").