Posts tagged with “Quaker” and “writing”

April 19

Evil Haiku

The Quaker meeting which I attend has been doing a series of workshops along the lines of "Twelve Quakers and ...." where the ellipsis might be various things including God, Jesus, Equality, Simplicity, and, this month, Evil.

During the closing session on "evil" we were invited to write Haiku and although many felt the form could only be used in the traditional Japanese way to describe natural beauty, but I had no issues with taking the verse form and mocking the traditional Haiku stereotype with these efforts to capture something of the subject of evil.

There are four, each standing alone, and alternating the traditional with the free format form of Haiku.

 

Bloody splash

Taking life

Maliciously

No love

Just hurt


Abandon hope you

Held in the thrall of

All that is not love


Child eyes

Behold

Obscenity

Innocence lost

Forever


Mass graves were filled

Without thought or care until

Evil stared back

 

Addendum

I was concerned with the etymology for clues; which I now realise is really a red herring since the exploration of the spiritual meaning to a Quaker only concerns the modern udeage really.  However I did find what I turned up interesting, and I learned that any ideas of derivation involving "devil" or "Eve" are mistaken.

"Evil" has gotten distinctly worse over the millenia. Originally it seems to have signified nothing more sinister than "uppity," and in the Old and Middle English period it meant simply "bad"; it is only in modern English that its connotations of "extreme moral wickedness" came to the fore. It probably comes ultimately from "upelo-", a derivative of the Indo-European base "upo-, under (source of Greek hupo, under, Sanskrit "upa", at, to, and English "up" and "over"), and so its underlying connotation is of "exceeding due limits, extremism. Its Germanic descendant was "ubilaz", source of German übel, evil as well as English evil."

It seems this finding by John Ayto lines up perfectly with Scriptures. An example of this is found in Ezekiel Chapter 16 verse 49. When most Christians think of the sin or evil of Sodom, they usually think of the immoral sexual sins of Sodom of which homosexuality would be considered the height of their depravity. Yet this is how the Creator describes Sodom's condition:

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominations before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit.

This passage seems to line up very nicely with the original meaning of the word "evil." The modern church generally teaches that the "evil" of Sodom is the height of wickedness and that its fate of destruction by fire is an example of the destruction of the world which has not become a part of the church. However, the Creator says there is a worse condition of "evil" than that of Sodom's. Jerusalem is a type and picture of His own people, the "apple of His eye." Here is how He describes the condition of His own people, those who certainly would not consider "Sodom" as their own sister. Speaking to His own "chosen" people He says:

Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done. You who judged your sisters bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame because you justified your sisters. When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. When your sister Sodom and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.

It seems the word "uppity" seems like a good definition for the word "evil." It also seems like the "chosen" people are more "uppity" than Sodom and Samaria. It seems almost blasphemous to think that the wickedness of the Creator's own people will justify the likes of Sodom and Samaria and that they will be restored to their former state. That Sodom, in the eyes of God, is a sister to the "chosen" people. It certainly is not a sermon I have ever heard preached in the 200+ churches I have attended. But then I never heard that Sodom's primary sin was "uppityness," fullness of food, and abundance of idleness, and not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy. I have been in many churches that are exhibiting the very sins that are ascribed to Sodom. I have never heard a preacher describe their congregation as "sisters to Sodom." Can you imagine what would happen to all the hot air evangelists spew out if we actually believed the plain Word of God that the "uppityness" of God's own people have "justified" the worst sinners in the world? Why, it would completely stop all the hot foul wind coming from these "last days revival" messages preached by thousands of "ministries" trying to raise millions of dollars to save a few more before God finally destroys this "uppity" world. We just might repent of our own "uppityness" and let God restore this whole fallen mankind to its former state. We might then find the time to "strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy."

 

Credit to Gary Amirault for the above

 

09:53 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,
November 02

Displacement activity

OK well, so I sang the Verdi and that was great fun.  The best part is that unlike the first time where I went through months of weekly practices learning the piece and practicing (along with some singing lessons as I was new to singing then) this time it was one rehearsal a week in advance, then a rehearsal in the morning and sing my heart out for the concert in the evening!  What fun!  My stepmother says I am getting a "repertoire" and I tell her that is pretentious nonsense!  But it is lovely to get the chance to sing something you enjoyed again.

That recording is from a personal MP3 player with on board mic that I slipped in my pocket at the last minute - highly experimental and I am amazed I got ANYTHING!  There were mics all over and I'll probably HAVE TO buy a couple of CD's for family and friends (they'd kill me if I didn't).

But all of this is displacement writing!  I am MEANT to be making a start on my novel writing month!  You would not believe the things I have found that I just "have to do" before I sit down with the document open and type!  I have taken the rubbish out (early), done three loads of laundry (one a half load), formatted a laptop for a friend, burnt a knoppix DVD for testing, tidied my cable suitcase and filed a laptop charger...phoned a friend... emailed Quaker friends! All of these things I would normally leave for a more appropriate time or leave until they HAD to be done.

And now I am writing to my blog, because I have the dual excuse that this is also NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) where I am supposed to post daily for November.  That will not be hard to do (look at the count for October in the Archive!).

My NaBloPoMo profile 

Oh yes - I also wasted time changing a poem to "draft status" and seeing if I could install the Chyrp extension so that I could link you guys to a file where I'd put my novel to date - luckily for you that is broken but I may still do it by hand... esp. if there are more than a couple of comments expressing interest in that.

Last but not least at Quaker meeting I was (finally) able to take responsibility for the website! And I even repaired a linkback to it from London Quakers - so some of my displacement activity has been useful.  That site will start to get overhauled as soon as I have come up with content and it has been approved by the elders.

But enough keystrokes blogging - they all need to go to my novel really!  I have a name for the lead character - he is going to be Frederick Allsop, but he will prefer the Pseudonym of Anton Fehrnzeit!  So when things look weird on here with some blog entries if those names feature (or Lydia Dypchyk, the comic love interest!) then you can guess it is a "novel" blog.  I shall tag them all Fehrnzeit - if that helps...

05:23 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , ,