Saturday, September 30, 2006

Walhydra’s convincement

Walhydra admits she isn’t a very good Quaker.

Years back, she decided being a Quaker was probably the kindest way to do this particularly grouchy, misanthropic incarnation. Sort of like keeping herself on a leash—“choke chain” might be more accurate.

But it doesn’t always work very well.

“Most of the world doesn’t cooperate with me,” she complains. “Falling objects, other drivers, Microsoft products—they all go on their way with no regard for what I’m trying to do. It drives me crazy!”

Of course, she knows that’s silly. On her better days—roughly from First Quarter till Full Moon, if she squints right—she is able to stop herself at the start of a stream of blue language, take a breath, and say out loud, “It’s not about me.” That actually works. Sometimes.

Because it is, in fact, true. Most of the world doesn’t know that Walhydra is the center of the universe. It doesn’t even notice her unless she drives too slowly in the slow lane and it has to ride her bumper.

In those rare, squinting moments, however, Walhydra acknowledges that each conscious dust mote is just going about its own business, with as much clumsiness or finesse as it can manage, as much selfishness or love as it has been given Light to express.

That last paragraph, BTW, is Walhydra’s core definition of Quakerism. Or, rather, it describes our mortal condition in such a way that Walhydra can stand to turn the other cheek as she looks at the log in her own eye and does unto others.... Etc. (Aren’t biblical clichés useful?)

Obviously, the key to all of this is that Walhydra isn’t very good at lying to herself. She has been blessed with sure knowledge of what a temperamental, surly so-and-so she really is, behind her mutedly elegant Virgo persona. She acknowledges how important it is for her to feel secretly superior to other people—and what a silly old witch she really is.

Again, in those squinty moments, she sometimes realizes that maybe the woman sitting in front of her in the testosterone-poisoned muscle truck isn’t an arrogantly selfish office-worker who supports death in Iraq so she can pay less than $3/gal. Maybe she couldn’t compete as an independent construction contractor before she bought that truck, since she couldn’t haul enough drywall in one trip. She just doesn’t understand that we really do need to pay the full cost of everything we use, if we want to nurture Creation.

Oh, well....

Walhydra understands—in principle, that is—that each of us does our best "according to the measure of the Light" which we have been given. It’s certainly what Walhydra tries to do.

That’s another reason Walhydra became a Quaker. Whenever you admit that you’ve screwed up, Mother-Father God gives you another chance.

And you get points for trying.

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