On the weekend of March 15 -17, 2008 a SAYF retreat was held at Nashville Meetinghouse This is our story:
I love you. I will miss you. I love you. I couldn’t have asked for a better last retreat – thanks to all for making it so wonderful. I hope that future generations of sayfers may find the level of community, joy and warmth that exists in this place now. Seasons change and people change, but the inner light that is SAYF is one that will never run out. I should probably so shout outs now, but there are just so many things to say and so little time. So I’ll keep them in my heart til we meet again – which WILL be soon, I promise.
With all my love,
The SAYF community never ceases to amaze me. This was my first retreat since April last year. It was phenomenal to return and see so many new faces, and so good to see everyone I knew already. I arrived in the middle of the day Saturday, only expecting to stay for the afternoon. Fortunately, I was able to spend the night and I was able to experience the beauty of SAYF once again. It was perfect. I love seeing everyone come together to make music, hug, share words, worship, and generally enjoy themselves. It brings a sense of warmth and connection to everyone. My mind is tired and my thoughts are disconnected, but I am sure of this. I love you all.
To those who are graduating, I wish you much joy in life and it has been so wonderful to know you. To those who have recently joined the community, it has been lovely to meet you, and I hope I get the chance to know you better. To everyone else, I love you infinitely. I love all of you.
Sayfers are like snow: they pile up everywhere, but melt away after a few days.
Ah, but the “melting” is so sad. Every retreat I don’t want to leave. The only comfort is that I’ll come back soon.
Let’s see....My one-word summary of the retreat is probably “hugs” or “love” would work too, but there is so much love in every retreat that love would be the one word every time.
The little field trip to the Pantheon was great even though it rained. the rain was also good in a way, because it allowed us to have more free time in which to do things such as braid Tim’s hair in a million braids.
So yeah, this was a great retreat. That worship circle was pretty great. I never knew people liked my hair so much! Thanks to everyone who was a “2” for your great compliments. Luv you all,
Hey all U sayfers I’m glad I came 2 this retreat. I’m grateful to know you all. My highlights were running in the race and contra dancing and of course hanging out with you all.
This is Colin’s first retreat and not thirty minutes after we arrived he was already running around with Phorest on his shoulders, yelling and sweating like a long lost Neanderthal who had finally found his way home. That night George and George both became rainbows and the next day all of us prayed to Athena. I was very disappointed to miss the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war peace march but running through the rain with a herd of bare-chested mongrels made up for it. I fell asleep during bear again, but I woke up with two people hiding on top of me so that made up for it also. Julie ate lots of food and I was so proud of her, and Joseph almost got over his fear of needles.
All in all –solid retreat, Dr. Z
This SAYF retreat was awesome as they always are. I had a great time talking and hanging out with people I hadn’t seen since the Knoxville retreat. It saddens me to know that I’m going to have to leave. I love all of you so much, you’ve taken up a HUGE part of my heart and you’ve helped me change a lot. I’m not yet sure if I’ve changed for the better, but I have been changed for good.
Samantha, you’re an awesome friend who can always cheer me up, even when I’m at my lowest.
Lydie, I love your hugs a lot and wish I knew you better. We should really talk at the next retreat.
Phorest, you’re a really funny guy. You make me laugh and cheer me up. Plus, you’ve made me look forward to every Nashville retreat seeing you taped to a pole.
Emanuel, you’re a really awesome guy. You’re funny, smart, sweet, and caring. In my opinion, if there were more people like you, the world would be a lot better off. And if someone ever killed you, I would be really sad, and then I’d avenge you with a baby caterpillar toy. You rock, don’t ever change. Every time I leave, I feel like part of me is taken away. But then I come back, to my home away from home at SAYF. I can’t wait to see you guys at the next retreat. I will miss all of you more than you know.
PS I want to keep in touch with you guys, so here is my contact info:
Myspace URL: myspace.com/l0v3_is_trU3_f0r3v3r
PPS If you guys want to call me send me an
email asking for it, alright?
I apologize if I haven’t seemed quite myself this weekend. Last weekend I was at a lock-in when we lost an hour, then suddenly I got absurd amounts of homework and extracurricular activities, no I never recovered the sleep I lost at the lock-in. Basically, I’ve been half asleep the whole weekend. When I’m half-asleep I’m really cranky and easily annoyed. I love you all to death, truly I do, so I apologize if I yelled or grumbled at you (especially during bear). I hope next retreat I will be well rested and fully able to enjoy the warmth and joy and odd laughter you all radiate constantly. all my love, Rachel
Oh, and Kody, I am still completely amazed that you managed to postpone wink so some people could contra dance. That was fun.
Hey SAYF.. well this weekend I had an awesome time with all of you wonderful people. I’m glad Dex came & brought Lucious with him. She’s cool & the funny sounds she makes are the coolest. I’m already running out of descriptive words cause I’m so sleep deprived but...I’ll continue anyway. Its good seeing Dr Z again even though I haven’t since.....SAYMA. Bajeezuis! Its cool & I’ve missed him tons. I’ve missed you all so much. Now I’m sad Joseph (black sheep) didn’t come cause he rn into some bad luck but maybe next time. I kinda needed SAYF this weekend. A large amount of bad news all arrived Friday that just made me need this more. CONRAD!!!! I haven’t seen you in ages! Boy I’ve missed you so much. I’m glad I got to see you again.
We went to the park & I don’t know bout the rest of yous but Samantha, Michael, Jacob, Colin, Bethany, Joseph & a few other random people had a puppy pile on the Partheon’s stairs. The rain was lovely & I’m glad that everyone enjoyed it. It was funny when all the guys just took their shirts off & I’ve got some that will be facebook so everyone can enjoy. Although some people that were coming didn’t overall it was a fun time. Now all I need is a fashion design by the original and witty Lucious! You can measure me later I guess since you’re 20 min. away. D Santha & Chrissy, it was cool hanging although this weekend didn’t go as planned. Doug looks great in a skirt. Bro you’re just a coolio lesbian. XOXO Michael it was great with gropetastichness & Colin I so remember you from Atlanta retreat even though its kinda to late now....
Joseph great meeting you. You’re awesome & play the ukalalee like a pro. Emily your music is rocking & your body’s popping (the sleep deprivation is catching up with me). Dex plz don’t hesitate to smack me if I say that again.
I Loves You All
PS...myspace: com/Kamrystarr and my facebook is under Kama Starchild. I doubt there is anyone else with that name. Oh’s cell is 615-881-2488 for anyone who wants to talk or needs to, I’m always here.
Even Nurturers need to be nurtured, and this retreat did so.
Its been so long that I started to forget what SAYF was all about. Yesterday I sat and watched and saw people laughing, crying, sitting and just loving. It was amazing, yet at the same time, seemed completely normal.
The warm fuzzy whisper game has always been one of my favorites, this time it made me cry.
bye now, Austin
PS Thank you Bonnie
I had a lot of fun this weekend, but I think the spiritual part was lacking. The one “Meeting for Worship” we had was great, but I think some sayfers treated it as a game. But, the whole weekend I had some song lyrics stuck in my head: “Big paradise, and put up a parking lot”. I think it means people don’t see beauty in the natural world so they build superficial stuff to please themselves. I don’t think any sayfer would feel the need to do that.
“ I woke up and for the first time the animals were gone.
It’s left this house empty now, not sure if I belong
Yesterday you asked me to write you a pleasant song
I’ll do my best now, but you’ve been gone for so long.
I know that I left you in places of despair
I know that I love you, so please throw down your hair
At night I trip without you, and pray that I don’t wake up.
Because waking up without you, is like drinking from an empty cup.
- Damien Rice (courtesy of Sam Fisher)
Who came to life, who’s thunder heard
that rattled the walls and shook the birds
from the pleasant sky toward heaven
so graceful when they came down
falling upwards and I, dazed to a point, I
wonder if this is truly how the world is.
If time turns around once in a
while for the lovers of things and space,
and we but particles riding a soft exhalation,
from the center, looking back.
and marching for answers.
marching for answers,
marching for answers.
We might fall and find our quarry
in the open place above
then break our idols,
then break our idols,
and break our idols
On the sky.
- Sam Fisher
PS Morning poetry’s the worst.
PPS You’ll never leave that picture, madam faerie.
Sup SAYF? Nice to see ya again after forever ago.
It’s nice to have a retreat in Nashville again, but of course that means getting taped up to the metal pole in the basement.
Bear was fun, but I did fall and make a small Lil’ hole in the wall. and the 15 minutes of wink that we played was fun/painful. And oh yea great food on Saturday. I liked going to ‘Da Park’ and talking/poking fun at the tourists. OK. See ya at the next retreat, oh wanna know somethin’ cool? The place we are going to is the place were Friday the 13th Part VI was filmed. It must be the best place for this Quaker Lovefest hugh?
- Phorest C.
A POEM: THE BEST EVER
Clothed like an Eagle,
The ruptured fairy weeps,
only Jabba can save us.
Sam Fisher equaled
only by pie.
But do not eat him
Unless you really want to.
It’s a monkey
that stabs people.
Beware the shoe
it suffocates feet
and explodeseses toes.
My neck hurts.
- George Pettis
This SAYF retreat has been so great. I’ve only been to four so far but this was definitely my favorite out of those. This past week was kind of tough for me, so getting here and seeing everybody again and just having people around me who I knew cared really helped. The planned activities were really fun but my favorite part was spending time with people I hadn’t seen in awhile. Wink was ok, I didn’t know I was so bad at it. But in my defense, Ivy is really scary when she plays wink. We had a really intense game of...I don’t remember what it’s called. It’s that stupid board game with sheep and wheat and ore. I didn’t know John the Quaker was so competitive. Also it was fun just hanging out with everyone and having “cuddle puddles”. (I don’t know if that’s actually what they’re called, Emma just told me that).
Anyway, it was great getting to know and spend time with everyone, and I hope I see you all at the next sayf.
PS Alex, Emma, Annie and Madeline – dead cow guts!
PPS Lydie and Bonnie you guys are amazing singers. You should sing even more at the next retreat.
PPPS Lauren & Emma you guys should definitely be massage therapists.
PPPPS Sorry I’m writing so many PS’s. I really hate it when people do that, but there’s a lot of stuff I forgot to say. Anyway, thanks again for a great retreat.
MY NAME IS PHOREST> I’M % YEARS OLD. I LIKE YOUR MOMMY.
Many expressions of love and gratefulness to Nashville Planners, Bonnie & Dick, and to the Nashville Meeting for your generous sharing of time, food, and meeting house. Kudos to Chapel Hillites for making the long road trip. Hope to see all your lovely smiling crazy selves at Hard Labor Creek in April. Don’t forget how cold it gets at night. Bring some warm sleeping stuff.
Your loving FAP,
I haven’t been to a retreat in a while, since the last Knoxville gathering. I’m really glad I decided to come, because I really, really missed some of you people. I felt like I was able to relax even if I do smell of armpit. I learned this weekend that ‘oozy sat in a sanitary zoo’ is the same spelled backwards.
I’m glad I brought Lucious, it seemed like at least a few of you guys liked her. I’m so glad to have such an accepting community – missed you guys, Dex
“ I heard a voice saying,
Even if the mountain shall fall
even if the hills shall be removed,
I swear my love & compassion for you
Thus, said the Lord...”
` Sweet Honey in the Rock song
I felt lonely & a bit upset this First Day when during meeting for worship I noticed people looking at their cells, and when our group got up & walked out in the middle of Dick’s message, who helped put on & lead this retreat. He was beginning the Nashville meeting for business by reading a query & I wished we had all listened. I had a moment to think on it before we walked out, to hear Dick tell the meeting of his thankfulness to the teens who were here. But that off my chest, it was WONDERFUL to be with you all this weekend. I felt welcomed & loved when I was greeted so warmly in the opening circle when I came in late, & then invited/demanded to come into the closing hug circle even though I’d been out of the beginning of that worship. We’re not perfect, & I love us for that. We are honest, intentional, truthful, full of Light & freely giving love. So this is what I mean to say in all these words.
Love freely given
love brings us here
& we find freedom!
In the Light,
Just anoughthere bird in the hall
Tryin to get out.
I was glad for the opportunity to share my passion for dance with others. I was happy to have individuals ask for it. They were having fun with it. This for me is what makes it real. This was not forced. This was for fun, just as it was in 1650. There is something inherent in the dance which cannot be destroyed.
I am also glad just to be here, since I was a last minute replacement. This retreat was not what I had planned for the weekend, but this is what I was supposed to do.
1st Silent Meeting
Laughter filled the air
Silence filled the room
Everything and everyone had become one
Time swung by, people changed
A candle was passed as people took their turn
Everyone was different
And everyone was perfect.
Who would have thought
Community, just being together
an impact that will last
like a foot print in a newly lain sidewalk
theres a Friend around every corner
a loved one right behind you
everyone is there
recount Entire week:
to sit and bond
to meet new friends
hugs full of warmth
people full of joy
joy and excitement to see new friends
you’d think it would stop
you think it would grow dull
the laughter continues
the hugs only grow wider.
When everyone is gone
back home to the past
the memories will be of the future
a world where everyone hugs
and everyone cares.
Willamae I lovezu. Ur awesome & I’ve missed u tons.
I haven’t been to SAYF in a while and I was somewhat nervous coming back. Were I live now I have good friends, good family, and people who care about me, but rarely do I get to have the deep connections with people that I do here. I have slipped pretty well into the constant grind of work and school and small talk, phony communication. SAYF for me, whether I am having a good time or not is a place that always brings up emotions. And I guess that has been hard for me lately because I am so use to people not really caring, loving or wanting to know about what’s going on in your life. People who don’t want you near them. I think this place is really good for me, even when I don’t think I need it. SAYF is a place were I can be helpful and know that it is appreciated. SAYF is a place that I can comfortably communicate with people of multiple generations. SAYF is a place that I can feel like one of those feelings that shutters through your body, touching every cell.
I never loved nobody truly
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart fully
I got lost in the sounds
I hear in my mind all these voices,
I hear in my mind all these words,
I hear in my mind all this music
And it breaks my heart, breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart.
I love you all and hope this weekend brought you joy. Be seeing you in April.
PS Conrad, don’t be a princess; I love you just as much as Lydie!
They’re playing Coldplay upstairs right, now. This epistle-writing feels so disconnected. I suppose that is the price that Chapel hill has to pay for stubbornly coming to Nashville. But it was worth it.
PS Lydie, you are beautiful and amazing. We’re all going to miss you immeasurable amounts.
So much love,
Yesterday during Karl’s presentation he said that he encounters people full of anger and hatred, and that he couldn’t reason with them. It seemed like he had no answer for that. As Quakers though, we do have an answer. Throughout our history we have shown that waiting/ keeping/ walking/ dwelling in the Light takes away the anger and hate. That is a part of our peace witness that we often neglect.
Thank you for all the love you show each other. You eac make SAYF very special.
With love, Mark Wutka
Another retreat has passed by so quickly! It makes me sad. And seeing the Chapel Hill people leave before everyone else reli sucked. But yea. The bus ride from Atlanta was pretty okay. There were like NO people on the bus tho. It made me sad! Cuz I wanted to see my ATL BABIES J (Alise, Lauren, Eli, Carmen, Ellen & Joseph). That’s a lot of people missing! I ♣ u guys still. yea....DEX!!!! I wanted to jump on you when I saw you! but I couldn’t cuz I had bags ‘n’crap in my hands. Nice to see you tho! And Lucious (IDK if spelt rite) is pretty kool! I hope you guys come back! So...on the retreat everything was pretty laid back b4 we went to the park...I thought walking back in the rain would be fun..... but then I realized that it was a reli long walk & had 2nd thoughts half way through it. And it reli sucked cuz we kept seeing Thomas (the bus) pass by us w/ dry ppl. * frown* Then I stole Dex’s hot co-co n I was all good (he wasn’t tho) but....I made him more when I was dry! ♣ u Dex! Hmmm The Worship thingy whenever you whispered stuff in people’s ears was pretty kool. Except whenever you had no clue what to say and you were stuck coming up with some cheesy line. My favorite one was “um...You have Blonde hair”. Duh! LOL Who said that? Oh! Bear was reli fun...but I got stuck downstairs 4 4eva & running 4 nothin cuz we got scared! LOL We r losers. N E ways...again... very few hours of sleep and reli tired in the end, but all is worth it being with you amazing people that I care for so dearly! I wish the time were longer with you all...until next time! Have safe trips home! J
xoxo hugs & kisses * xoxo*
I ♣ SAYFERS
PS On the way up here we saw these guys in this car & we were “racing” them in traffic...so once we catch up to them...Guess what...one of the guys mooned us! OMG!....Oh! & since Sam Fisher doesn’t ride up there with us...we saw him in traffic too! WTF? What are the odds of that!?!
I don’t have the opportunity to attend SAYF retreats more than once a year or so, thus, I don’t know some of you very well. When I am able to attend I enjoy seeing you. Seeing how you’ve grown and changed and ‘evolved’. I really like watching the dynamics of the relationships among all of you and feeling the love you so obviously feel for one another. Being a part of SAYF retreats, experiencing this loving, respectful community makes me want to be a better person. I also wish I could carry the physical demonstrativeness and affection you share with one another upstairs to the uptight and standoffish adults so they can know the warmth y’all give one another. So naturally Spirit is strong with you.
Thanks for allowing me to be a part of what you have created.
Mary from Nashville
I’m truly glad I came, more than happy actually. Coming here I met new people, and did new things. I had many realizations about some things, but that’s what made the weekend feel complete. I had a lot more fun than I would have expected, and did somethings I was proud of. To feel like I was part of this group was the best. True, at some points, I had felt left out but that did change. Doing the things we had done was very enjoyable, I think most of all I loved spending time with everyone. I’m really glad I’d decided to come with Dex and his family ‘cause then I’d never have met any of you.
Thanks so much guys,
Wow. Where do I begin? This retreat was amazing. Hmm Haiku time.
What’s up with SAYFers
And their Haiku obsession?
I may never know.
Cuddle pile time, Worshipful silence
Arms, legs all over the place Reigns supreme, opening circle
I wish I could breathe. Finally some peace.
This retreat, like all the others, has surprised me with the warmth, love and true friendship that you all have and share. Even though my sleep total for this weekend is approximately 10 hours, this has been my favorite retreat. Although I don’t have a lot to compare it to and I keep saying that at each retreat I go to. I MEAN IT THIS TIME. Seriously.
The walk in the rain was a great excuse to act ridiculous and I enjoyed it immensely. Leah, Annie, and Terra it was much fun splashing in puddles with you. Except when Terra stepped in dead squirrel tainted H2O.
One thing I thought I wouldn’t like but ended up having a pretty great time during was the compliment-hug circle, in which I received some very self-esteem boosting remarks. Sorry about the “compliments” that I gave. They were pretty bad. If we do it again I will make more of an effort to sound coherent and mentally sound.
Bear, I believe is only describable in haiku form. So here I go again.
Running and hiding I’m caught, in the Den.
OW! I hope I’m not bleeding I hope we get free real soon.
Where is the Bear now? Now the Den is full.
And Phorest like Forest, next time I’ll come free you all. If I’m not in the Den thst is. Well everyone, thank you for a refreshing and renewing retreat. this weekend has been just what I needed.
Love to all,
Leikey like Becky
PS LANEY WE MISS YOU! XOXO
Piles and piles of beautiful SAYFers J so comfy and warm....too warm. The tradition was carried on with Phorest, once again taped to the pole. Except this time without ice-cubes put in his pants. good for him. There were a couple newbies, they are wonderful and fun to hang out with. I hope to see you for many more SAYF retreats to come! I love you all and will miss you very much! Come to the next retreat!
PS I hate to see the end of another wonderful retreat L
I had an awesome time at Sayf. I don’t have much time to write right now but I met Zeke and had lots of fun with him. I also had a great time with Terra, Autumn and Bethany. That’s just a little bit of what happened. I can’t wait till next retreat.
PS I’m really comfortable here and don’t want to leave.
Thank you Thank you thank you, thank you Chapel hill for the beautiful ride down here! I cannot tell you just how much I appreciate being here.
I appreciate seeing all the beautiful faces and smiles right now. in my brief/long hiatus from SAYF, I had forgotten the unconditional love that I feel towards people like Bonnie, can also be found in new people...which makes a magical amount of sheer spiritual love. This place is amazing, and I’m so happy there’s so many young friends here to keep it going. Make it into what you want! If you want a really spiritual place, do it! SAYF will only be as awesome as people allow it. I don’t know about you, but I pretty much think it’s the cutest place ever.
Now for some shout out’s yo!
Annie & Leah – You all are pretty much amazing. Give it a minute and you will rock this house down.
Sam Fish - You guys are like the craziest boy I’ve ever loved, yo! Whad’up, homie. You got some sort o’ ghetto CUTE stuff going on.
George – Hey beau! I’m ridiculously sorry I kept telling you to be quiet. If I weren’t so concerned about “other people’s” comfort and respect levels, I would scream at the top of my lungs with you while crying to the high heavens about scaling the world with our bare hands,
Madeline! Hey girl! You know what’s going on here! You some sort of ghetto cute yourself!
Sam Miron – Dance partner? I think not. remember the secret I told you that one time. It’s true, but not the real secret! Come to SAYMA.
Austin – Beau. You are one hella’ amazing person. You light up my world and bring me a sense of security and comfort whenever I’m with you. When I’m alone, I want to call you to my side and hug you forever. To me, you are my perfection, comfort, and heart.
Lydie – O’girl. You know I’ll miss you like a blind man misses his sight. There’s no way....just be in my heart always.
Amelia – Hey girl hey! You know we got some stuff to talk about. You are such a wonderful person, and even if you don’t see the beautiful light you exude...I DO! AND ITS PRETTY LIKE UNICORNS!
Everyone else, you know I cannot stand the thought and soon notion of being separated from all your beautiful and shiny spirits. You are really one amazing people.
So much of all my love,
PS Bonnie. You are by far the most loving, caring person I have ever met. You make me smile and cry at the same time, while holding me in your sweet embrace. You mean the world to me and even writing. You are the sweetest love, and even though we never see each other much, I feel like I’ve known you for the better portion of my life. When I am down, you’re there. When I’m up, we’re running together into a fit of smiles and laughter and love. I can only hope, though I know, you feel similarly about me. Last night I cried because I knew you were honest and true. You have my heart. Now, let’s get married and have a lot of babies - -You and Jake would make good babies, and I could be the momma’. You know it’s true girl! See you soon!
PPS Vegetarian Mexican? Was my favorite dish.
This retreat I slept. A lot. Tim & Emanuel are comfy. * yawn *
yay! I love retreats. Dex first off I’m really happy to see you again! so car ride up haled less Atlantians than normal, so we mainly slept, talked, waved to random people only to get mooned. ew....so this retreat when I got here I was like dead tired cause of all the studying. I get here throw my stuff down and completely want to crash out but the excitement to see people overpowered me. I love the fact that we got to go to the park it was nice even though it rained. Bear is the funest game ever but when you are stuck diwnstairs with no where to go cause the den is on the stairwell and the bear keeps counting people it ruins the point of the game, cause I really wanted to get back upstairs. Anywho Dex you need to stay in SAYF, Lucious too! She is amazing and really fun to talk to! Wow I just realized how fast this retreat went by...:( I was so tired and worried bout a friend back home that everything went by so fast...wow... DUCT TAPE PHOREST TO THE POLE again! Wow this time was better than the first besides the fact that Phorest had ice in his pants last time we taped him to the pole...It’s great that Chapel Hill got to come! Well I’ve run out of things to say...so
I love you ♣
♣ free hugs ♣
I haven’t been to SAYF in a while but, I’m glad I came to this one. I now remember why I loved them so. I remember that even with the bruises all over my body and my constant mistake of forgetting a sleeping bag, I always have fun. Even though I loose stuff I trust people to help me find it. And now for some randon words:
pan hot chocolate
OK I’m done.