friend twenty-two.

October 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

quaker meetings in the u.s. tend to be mostly white. there are lots of ideas about why that might be, and i’ve written about it a little bit at my other blog, and mean to write more about it… always. when i first started going to the sf meeting, i really noticed the whiteness. traditionally i’ve not been very good at noticing the whiteness of places, because i’m white and it’s easy for me not to notice. my college was mostly white and it took me years to figure that out. but i moved to the bay area fresh from attempts at trying to raise consciousness around diversity in another primarily white environment, olympia. so when i got to the bay area, which is much less white than olympia or my college, and my faith community was so white, i was aware.

and concerned. and confused. and guilty. and with very few answers.

when i’m new somewhere, i spend a lot of time scoping out the lay of the land. i talk and i listen but i don’t act. sometimes i never act.

but then came friend twenty-two. as a young trans-racial adoptee, friend twenty-two had lots to say about the whiteness of the quaker meeting. she made a lot of us uncomfortable with her seeking questions, but in general, i found her perseverance refreshing. okay, sometimes i was annoyed because my comfort was being disrupted and my new chosen community was being looked at with a very critical eye. but it felt like what was needed, because i didn’t feel well-informed (about race or quakerism) or brave enough to be so vocal.

also, as a young person, friend twenty-two was figuring out a lot of things about herself, as we all are, and eventually she stopped coming to meeting. she was going to move away but if i’m correct, then there was a boy… and now, excitingly, there is a baby, too! i’m so excited about the baby and friend twenty-two and i speak about getting together. but this whole being a grown-up business makes it hard.

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friend twenty-nine. friend thirty-four.

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