On the weekend of September 14 – 16, 2007 the Southern Appalachian Young Friends gathered at W. Knoxville Meeting House for our first retreat of the year. The theme was community building. This is our epistle:
I will miss all of you. There’s hardly anything else to say that I can think of. This is only my 3rd retreat and I was thinking that really I’ve been with you guys, at most, 6 days. It’s amazing how much you can do with someone in 6 or 4 or 2 days. This has been so much fun.
This SAYF was super fun, as they all are. Everybody is so unique and they’re wonderful. It doesn’t even matter who you’re with, you always know you’re gonna smile. Everyone is crazy and hilarious! I’m gonna miss all of you!
This SAYF was a lot of fun. I think the ride up here was amazing. I got to know new people and made friends! I also think that when we played wink that Sam broke my finger, but that’s okay because I have nine more fingers that should still work.
What does it mean?
To me, a community, a true community,
Is a group of individuals functioning as one.
Like a hive of bees or a colony of ants.
It’s a place of comfort and joy
Where people have their difficulties but
Get through them with help and love from
I learned that I am Winnie the Pooh. – Jim
This SAYF retreat was really fun. This was my first time at the Knoxville Meetinghouse. I’m so glad that I got to see my friends. There were some new people and that was cool too. I can’t wait until the next retreat. I’ll miss everyone. – Emanuel
Shiny happy faces
This is my world when I fall apart
Or perhaps it is simply
The world in which I fall apart.
I have no energy. That is, you have to understand that the past two weeks have been the hardest yet equally the best & worst weeks ever. From speaking in front of 500 -700 people, to losing the best friend I ever had to another, to having Best Photograph in the Tennessee State fair, to trying to make it work, to having my own exhibition. I have thoroughly felt the expression “life is roller coaster” with not only things happening to me, but how I choose to react to them. If there’s one thing I can tell you all is that “we are responsible for how we feel, & no one can ever make you feel anything...It is in your control!” However, being proactive in a time of grief and loss is particularly draining. Which leads me to the fact that I have no energy.
Which is really strange for me because I never run out of energy to give to people. Giving energy is so rewarding to me. However, when you’re skimming raw skin it becomes scarred.
Thank youfor being really cooperative this weekend I’m sorry that I might have been a bit off, especially to those who I’m particularly close to. You are in my heart, always, but your notions have taken a temporary leave of absence to let me regain my self. I appreciate your love and care to no end. Austin, you have been really supportive & I know I would have walked out the door without your encouragement.
On that note, you all should know that my mind has been elsewhere this weekend, looking past it. I have feelings of obligations to this community, a feeling not expressed to me until this weekend. Liza once said that the thing about SAYF that she loved was that she never felt obligated to SAYF. That message has been really dwelling in my mind.
Don’t hold it against me. I’m not blaming you all at all. It may seem like I’m distant with you, but you have no idea how close I want to be with all of you. You all are really beautiful bunch of people.
Alise, Will Harmon, Sam Fish, Sam Miron, Laura, Therese, Elizabeth. Thank you.
With all my love & more,
P.S. I’m feeling a bit happier this morning, but I’m going to the mountains....so. ♣
How many times can I listen to “Piano Man”? What’s that you say? “Piano Man” is a great song? Well, I think you’re right!
“John at the bar is a friend of mine,
Gets me my drinks for free.
And he’s quick with a joke,
Or to light up your smoke,
But there’s some place that he’d rather be”.
Well, there goes another great S.A.F.E., I mean S.A.Y.F. I had a great time this weekend. It really beat what I was planning on doing (nothing). Wink was fun, but I’ve heard more reports of ru burn than ever before. Piano Man is playing in my head over and over and over, oh I have it on repeat.
I really like this Meetinghouse but there’s something about it that’s just Cold in the morning, with no socks, pillow, sleeping bag, or clothing.
I can’t write any more, I’m tired. See yall again.
I feel a hole in my weekend since I missed so much of this retreat. There are many new faces and I have not learned the names. But I will catch up on the next couple of retreats.
What a great-looking group of newbies! Thanks once again to W. Knoxville Friends for sharing their beautiful Meetinghouse and forest.
Thank you SAYFers for again making me so much a part of your community.
Grammy Ceal, FAP
SAYF, my haven. It is truly the most amazing place in the world. It’s a bit different this year though, because so many wonderful people left last year. I miss them L Anyways, back to the amazingness of SAYF.....OK, so there isn’t much more to say,
SAYF = amazing
And that’s it.
Wow, repitive much?
Oh! OK, so this retreat was cold. I froze every night snd got rug burns from wink (I shall cherish them for as long as they last J). I met lots of new people, and talked with people I never really had a chance to talk to before. Things got shoved down pants, hug orgys were everywhere and several min. food fights occurred.
PS Conrad has fuzzy legs!
Thank you. This retreat could not have been what it was without each one of you.
Why is it that when we are looking at someone and they turn and meet our eyes, we uickly look away, instead of returning their glance? It’s a form of protecting ourselves. We don’t want to be embarrassed or vulnerable. Why can’t we just smile at them and share a moment? You can gain so much by sharing a smile with someone. Look into their eyes and understand them. When you look at someone, you show that you want to understand them; when they look back, they show the same thing. Why not take advantage of your shared desire and benefit from it? If we can learn to understand each other in a moments’ glance we will know Love.
Message from Bonnie Hardie: I friggin miss you all and the sex you gave me.
I always get the last say in a conversation. OK. Willamae. OK. Good now you understand. Hey I spelled your name right. Cool.!
It is wonderful to be back in the midst of all this caring SAYF energy for the brginning of a new year. I loved all the games.
Thanks to Conrad & Mark LeMay and many nurturers for pulling it all together.
Black comb on the sink
Pink hairs wrapped up in its’ teeth
Ahh yes, Phillip’s comb.
Thank you all for letting me be a part of this weekend! I am awed by the respect, honesty, support and love I saw and felt among you. Y’all could teach most adults I know a thing or two (or more) about community! Mary McKinney from Nashville
I really loved this retreat, even though we were a little crowded. I really enjoyed seeing people I haven’t seen since SAYMA, and I enjoyed seeing new people as well. The first night here was awesome because me, Beth, and Terra were all hyper off of Monster Assault energy drinks. So we all were jumpy, needless to say. I enjoyed yesterday’s activities, although I started crying during one of the earlier ones. Before I finish, I want to say a few things about some people, and even if you’re not mentioned, I love you anyway.
Ellen: It was nice to see you again, I can’t believe how much I missed you since SAYMA. I hope we keep in touch, and be good friends for a long time.
Emanuel: You got your hair cut! I like it, and I just have to say this, it was so soft! It was fun seeing you again, telling more stories; remember to keep in touch through Yahoo!
Phillip: You rock! I love your now pink hair, and I’m uber jealous of your pink & black striped socks!
Dex: Thanks for making me laugh yesterday, it helped to cheer me up a lot!!! J
Will: Thanks for the head massages yesterday! It tickled and made me laugh a lot.
Ian: You’re awesome too! And even though I said I wouldn’t say thi, I can’t hold it in: YOU HAVE SUPER SOFT HAIR!!! And I had fun listening to the dream you tried to fabricate for Terra last night. Plus, you make Joseph all sunny inside.
I also had fun tickling Terra until she half woke up last night.
I’m going to miss all of you (except maybe Ian, Terra, Taylor and Bethany because I see themevery day!!!) so much. I can’t wait for the next retreat!!!
PS Embrace the cheese!!!
Ah, the beginnings of another hectic year of SAYF. I’m glad those who came were here and that I was here to keep them company. Happy birthday to Doug, and all those other Septemberers (me included on the 24th). I just got my hair braided by (well grrr! Forgot er name) Thank you to whats- her -name!
The End, Hope to see you all next month,
Even though I knew maybe two people before I came here I received a warm welcome from everyone. For maybe the first ime in my life, I felt accepted, belonging community (there is the key word). Rachel was absolutely right when she said I’d love it here. I’m glad I came. All the love here has restored my faith in the world.
Hooray, for seeing people that I haven’t seen for 3 months! I got here, and I was rather nervous because (this being my 2nd retreat counting SAYMA) I didn’t know many people. That changed dramatically over the weekend. Having an immensely huge nail polish collection can actually help you meet people! (This is likely because removing old nail polish is exceedingly boring and allows room for conversation)
.I also learned that staying up most of Friday night makes you sleep like a rock on Saturday night. After, that is, listening to Ian mess with Terra’s dreams. Oh yeah, and don’t let Beth sleep on the floor next to you. She will steal your sleeping bag when you get yp to use the bathroom.
As for the activities, my favorite was probably the one where we had to pick yes, no, or somewhere in between, since it sparked so many conversations.
I think this line from the poem Desiderata is very Quakerish & needs to be shared:
“Go placidly among the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence”.
Love you all, Taylor
PS Embrace the cheese!
Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful retreat. When I think back on it, the words that came to mind are nail polish, BOOGERS!, sparkles, odd noises, and awkward. I loved singing with the few people who joined me last night. Alise, I cannot remember seeing you laugh as hard as you did while reminiscing with Emily.
To those of you who saw me and hugged me during my miserable hour on Saturday, thank you. I have a few really bad memories from junior year which were brought back to my mind last week during school. Apparently my defense mechanisms made me oush those thoughts and some more recent events to the back of my mind. I started to think about them and it hurt. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to talk about it, so for now I’m going to hope I can just not think about them again for awhile.
I’ve had this song stuck in my head since I sang it yesterday, and I do believe Laura and Greg were singing it this morning, but I’m going to write it down.
How could anyone ever tell you, you are anything less than beautiful.
How could anyone ever tell you, you are less than whole.
How could anyone fail to notice, that your loving is a miracle
How deeply you’re connected to my soul.
I love you all so much, Rachel
PS I really want to do the “put your thumbs up, put your wrists together” thing again. I miss Conrad’s accent when he led that.
Dear Friends – It’s so nice to return to another year with SAYF and to no longer feel like a fresh FAP, wet behind the ears and clueless. I almost know how to behave now, although I don’t always behave like a grown up. That could get a bit boring. Best of all, I feel like I am really getting to know many of you, and am feeling like I really belong here. I much enjoyed our diagonal across the room where do you stand exercise Saturday – especially to hear from thosewho spoke about why they stood as they stood on gut issues. And I most enjoyed singing with Rachel last night, in lieu of “wink”.
Well I got the last two letters of your name wrong. Give me some credit . ok. Oh my gosh doug. I was just trying to tell everybody at SAYF that I loved them, but then you had to go write “LOL” on my paper. DO Not disgrace the English language like that!! OK, I’m giving this to Rachel.
This was an awesome way to kick of the SAYF year! I really felt the warmth and acceptance I’ve come to know and love at SAYF. All the newbies I met were awesome (especially Lilli) and I hope you all come back to many more retreats. I felt I didn’t do very well/much as nurturer this retreat ad for that I apologize, I promise to do more next retreat. I love you all so much my heart breaks a little every time we have to leave. See you all next retreat!
Thanks again to al the young Friends for coming together in a spirit of love too re-create and share this community. I always feel honored by the opportunity to join with you. May we all carry this community in our hearts wherever we go.
Peanut butter kisses...no real kisses with peanut butter used as lipstick.... Dex I don’t trust you when you have peanut butter on your lips again! It got all in my hair! Okay so ne who....had to get that out. On our way up here there were all girls and one boy (who slept the whole ride pretty much, while us girls talked about random things. When I got here Friday all my energy left when I saw the nice comfy looking floor. I don’t see how all that energy drained because of the eight energy drinks I had at school for an experiment. Opening circle when answering that query “What is important to you about community” made tears come to my eyes when I finished speaking. This place has been a big relief for me! I have finally laughed again since Monday, owing to the stealing of a best friend into homeschooling. No who...yesterday came with tons of fun and energy. The shark game & the other games. I’m betting me and my sister will start playing randomly in the middle of a grocery store, mall or somewhere...i have a feeling, well I had fun messing around Saturday in the kitchen with Christina, Ivy, Dex and of course Alise. Peanut butter + Dex equals kisses haha....this retreat made me think a lot. I had a lot on my mind and didn’t know where to put all of it. I got sleep for the first time this week, & played wink for the first time since Nashville...i think it was Nashville...who cares, it was fun. Dex, no groping! Okay? Emily & Chistina...you guys were fun to hang with at the zoo over the summer, & speaking of which...CHRISTINA! NO TAKING MY BLANKET! Anyways. I loved singing hymns with people in the back room, it was nice! Joseph, Sam & Austin Gui-tar lessons please. You all are amazing!! We should have a band at SAYF...unless I am late in saying that. Neways, I ♣ u all so dearly and Dex...thanks for the talk in the kitchen, and for being there, Christina too!
I enjoyed this a lot...ok hang on, yes Phorest, Derek shall marry you! He told me last night cause you wouldn’t stop bugging him to death!!!!! Haha!
PS please email me or instant message me!
Yahoo+aim = twigstipp38
PPS (This is Chrissy, yes on Samantha paper) I forgot to say “WELCOME NEW-BIES! Love you! Hope you guys come back!”
PPPS Samantha now....wait forget what I was gonna write. Oh...writing this reminded me of the essays in Mr. La Guardias class.
PPPPS wait there were 2 guys on the bus here. The other one was reli quiet!
Thank you to the whole community for welcoming me into the group. This weekend was amazing. Please share with the outside world each of your inner lights, because they are too beautiful to be hidden.
ily, you PERSON take it back! No I won’t! Please? Well seeing you said please. OK! You’re have officially taken back). Awwwwwww, thanks. OK. I take the past about you being the best back too. You didn’t even know how to spell my name. Well, LOL then!! Ha meanie. Anyway......
Bow-chicka-wow-wow! So I guess that I will start with the car ride up here...it was so quiet! (This considering that George nor Nate were here). They would always fight over what music they wanted to play! I miss that! But other than that...the bus ride up here was pretty okay. When we got here I was surprised to see Kody and Dex. Kody...cuz he hasn’t come in awhile...and Dex cuz he said he wasn’t coming. But yea. So we got off the bus, put our stuff up & hugged bunches of ppl. It was nice to see all of their faces again! So, um yea. The activities were fun! I like Momma Shark (or whateva) and the one where you kept having to put your elbows in. (Elbows in → in an accent) that was fun. Wink was fun too! I actually got somewhere this time J. Then I went and listened to Joseph play his guitar and he really was good J. Wait...I listened to his music...then played wink...my bad. After all that..Me ‘n’ Alise started to take strange pics with my fone, when we saw Philip’s fone all lonely, se we took pics on his fone...and saved it as his background! Aw....fun times! I ♣ u Alise! (And like you said to me...I’m reli glad we are friends!) Then...lights out...and I was passed out! So I woke up today and found myself freezing so I stole my Sissy’s blanket, AND RAN! (haha...Alise....”AND WE RAN!) She got angry at me...I ♣ u!! Yea....I’m tired now. WAIT! I forgot...DEX...me + you=peanut butter all over ppl’s faces! Then sticking crackers on them....then picture time J smile real big for me now! Real fun! Then I shove millions of crackers in your mouth...then you shove my fone down your pants....Gross1 Well...yea...I broke my record for writing! GO ME! I ♣ u guys and hope you have a safe trip home! (And as for Conrad...BYE, I know it’s a little late, but oh well). It was nice seeing you all again!
PS Me wifey (Emily) won’t rite N f thing in the Epistles...so I say she says “Hi” (with her really weird wave) I ♣ u wifey!
PPS Samantha here....my sister beat me on the longest worship journal (ha! I shall call it that!!) (Watcha gonna do?!?!?!)
PPPS Happy Birthday to you Doug (tomorrow!) ♣Samantha & Chrissy (ur wifey).
Chrissy: hey Samantha! I’m bored!
Samantha: hi...wif? I’m not....you’re strange.
Chrissy: We aren’t having a convo on that...I’m bout to ask Kody why he didn’t rite N E thing....”Kody why didn’t you rite anything in the epistles?!!
Samantha: Woah....I’m lost!!! Kody...:) Why didn’t you write anything?
Chrissy: He didn’t wanna. So he made a smilie! Haha...so yea....I’m gonna ask Terra, what’s up?
“Terra, what’s up?”
Terra: lol not much brr my ass is cold!
Samantha: Nice warm chair. J Yay! Christina...I’m writing on your crotch!
Terra: Well...wow And I know TMI but it’s just true!
Samantha: I wanna stand up & dance Wanna join me?
Chrissy: Nice terra...now you have a chair...and do Sam...I don’t!
Terra: I don’t want to join the “dance with Sam” club either! LOL
Samantha: * crying * fine...i will by myself & embarrasse yall!
Chrissy: You spell embarrass wrong. You do what you want.
Terra: * award silence *
Samantha: * standing up dancing * DANCE, DANCE!
Chrissy: Liar...i don’t C U dancing! My feet are cold...
Terra: I agree – she’e definetly NOT DANCING! I want a fuzzy blanket!!
Samantha: ANTI Dance
My dance in the middle of Walmart!
I ♣ IT!
Chrissy: I’m joining you! Haha Terra....
Me 2! My toesies are about to fall off!
Terra: Wow you guys are SUCH good spellers1 And yes that dance is awesome, And my toes already fell off....(or at least it feels like it!)
Samantha: * still dancing * * athitapig...
PIGGY...i have no clue where in the hack that came from....
Chrissy: Yea...re-re! Gosh...stop riting so big! And...um...yea...IDK...LOL....this is fun...(dot dot)
Terra: Good God people Wow.....I can’t think of anything to write either. Um....Austin’s hair is springy? OK...LOL!
Samantha: * tests that Austin’s hair is springy & Yuppers!
Chrissy: Convo over!
(What we did during Epistles...sry....Will
It was a great retreat. I am looking forward to the next one. I can’t really think of anything else. Perhaps I will think of something next retreat. However I can proudly say that I enjoyed this retreat. Pat
To commit to writing the legacy of a SAYF retreat is an overwhelming huge task. One that usually puts me in a position in which I can not, and could not with any real intent, begin. Usually a few feeble scribbles on a paper, which will later be "re-spellularized" in such a way as to make me look like a presumptuous illiterate, sate my desire to write on the topic. But that's the fault of my hand-writing not Therese's wonderful wonderfulness. To be brief, nothing has changed. I simply have a new technique to work around this gargantuan word-barrier. It is a simple list of partial phrases in no context and with no form which stem immediately from my experience of the retreat.
Intrinsically Differentiating Spacial Finger Print of inflation.
Common Local Factor
Wave-Particle Condensation event time table versus Speed of a firing
Neuron...and the winner is the particle. Damn damn damn. We could have been magic.
But don't we still have hope? Just don't watch that stupid movie about
bleeping and knowing anymore.
Myron Smarts -5 points, +3 points, + 22 points
Stannion Smarts +3, -2, +19
Fisher Smarts Evil----------------------→Good (?)
Believing in everything non-quaker
Like.. A LOT
But I can't swear here. But I already did
Catastrophy and the Cure
Eerie Coincidences. At night no less.
Water.. Now. AHHHHHH
Once again, a new day? Maybe?
Not worth it.
Voluntary Termination of Attention. And Jesus too.
At least there were no bears or Hitler or stuff.
Aristo-cha Aristo-cha Aristo-cha-cha