On the weekend of October 20-22, 2006, thirty-two Southern Appalachian Young Friends met for retreat at West Knoxville Friends Meeting. The theme of the retreat was creativity through spirit. Young Friends explored the theme through workshops on drawing, collage, haiku, and music. This is our witness:
Silence is truth. Out of this truth comes pure creativity. However, do not be so naïve as to think silence is only being still. For me, I find stillness & centeredness when I listen to music or hop around in circles. It is only then that I find true silence & can offer myself up to the creative spirit.
It is a relief to know that even though Matthias is not physically in this room, his legacy of crazy, make-up-the-rules-as-you-go-along games live on through Conrad’s delightful “Silent Football”. Thank you Mr. Fx. For this truly exquisite addition to Quaker entertainment. There is nowhere in the world I would rather be than in a swarm of rambunctious anemones wriggling & intertwining with my legs, toes, hair, elbows, etc. This has been one of the best birthdays in Bonnie history, it would definitely be on my
top 8. heh, alrighty then, fair thee well my fine Friendly friends.
PS Anna Graves gives a holla of helllllooo all the way from Nashvegas.
When I first got here, I was feeling a little shy and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But everyone was so nice to me, I started to feel like I fit in right away. I had so much fun at this retreat and I can’t wait for the next one! Anyway, I’ve started to wonder how natural it is to worship in silence, I can’t imagine that worshipping in silence is a form of worship that most people naturally fall into, so why do we tell ourselves to worship in silence if it is such a deliberate activity? Moreover, are we banishing the spirit in our children by telling them to stay silent on Meeting? Or are their words not yet words of the spirit? Yeah, I’m just in the kind of mood where I ask stupid questions.
As for the query, I feel that silence can produce creativity but so can noise. Really, I believe that creativity is ever-present and sometimes, in silence, this creativity can be put towards some creation. Usually, I only need a few minutes of silence for my creativity to solidify. I can ponder an issue in any conditions. Then, I need a few minutes of silent planning within my own mind, and I am then able to carry out my plan in any conditions. But those few minutes are key to solidifying my creative plans.
Yeah, I know that all I’ve written here sounds...odd...and I’ve used the same words to the point that some have lost all meaning. But I don’t feel like I have the time to make this sound perfect; words fail me.
A piece of my heart resides with SAYF and with all my Friends here. I have little bits of y heart everywhere I’ve been. One’s heart can start to ache when more and more bits are given away. And yet; I can only hope that those with little bits of my heart take care of them. For my heart, though not the most beautiful, is beautiful. Thank you for helping make it so. I love you.
This was my first time at SAYF and my highlight of the weekend was definitely playing wink. My second favorite was playing ninjas with Conrad and Corrie. I have come to the conclusion that SAYF is very amusing, especially at 12:30 AM. I think it’s very sad that I got here when a bunch of cool people are leaving next year/this year/ year after next. Hopefully, a bunch of cool people will join soon.
This is my fourth SAYF retreat including two SAYMAS, and being here, in this loving environment, continues to confirm the fact that I should’ve come to more retreats last year. I especially enjoyed the workshops of this retreat because it was really great to be able to get a chance to freely express myself in a creative way. Among the workshops, I really enjoyed the collage, because it called for self examination which is something that I haven’t done in quite a while.
With Much Love, Emily
Dear Friends –
Thank you for your friendship, your acceptance, love, and trust. I was a bit reluctant and a bit stupid last night about asking to be held in the Light. Like I want to think my surgery tomorrow is “no big deal” – lots of people have much bigger problems. But I am just stupid and too big- headed to think that I, alone, need no one’s concern and support. No, this is what sustains us more than meds, nutrition supplements or high tech medical procedures. When I finally asked to be held in the Light – I could actually feel it – love and concern in and around my body. Thank you for this and the hugs and expressions of care afterwards.
In Meeting just a wile ago I was feeling that while thre is so much wrong with our human world that we just don’t seem to know how to fix, what we really need is LOVE – ever flowing love that we generate and receive and generate more of until it flows into every corner of the world and to every heart. Especially where it has never been or has not been for a long time. And this means that we never quit trying to understand, trying to care for the OTHER, the Other Ones. Don’t hold back.
There is a wonderful old Shaker song which bleads “more love, more love...”
It speaks to my heart.
Gary, Asheville Meeting
This was my first retreat. I came with my friend. I met some new people, and saw some that I had met before. I never really considered myself a quaker until now but I had fun with all of the games and activities and hope to come again.
Announcement to friends
Last month we lost a dear friend/graduated Sayfer to a tragic car wreck. Please hold Raj & his family in the light through this hard time.
I had other plans for this weekend. They fell through and were cancelled about 45 minutes before the retreat started on Friday night. So I threw some clothes in my bag and grabbed a pillow right at the last second. I know that everything that happened here is waaaaaay better than what would have happened if I had stuck to my original plan.
Thank you all for being such great humans, and making this retreat what it was. I probably won’t see most of you for a pretty long time....it’s too bad.
ANYWAY! Again – great retreat. Had a blast. Love you all.
Knoxville is a great location for a retreat as the seasons change. It was great to drive from Chapel Hill with a seasoned group of SAYFers relaxed in each others company.
There is a wonderful mix of personalities in the Knoxville SAYF community. I am saddened that Ernest did not let his light shine as he did last year. Ben was forthcoming in keeping us abreast of activities. Conrad did a good job of following the plan but we all would have benefited with leadership from Mark, Ben, Ernest. Joe has a delightful personality and after a few more SAYF retreats will be a terrific leader we he already is a presence.
I was surprised at my ability & willingness to spend hours on a collage. Haiku writing was a challenge and an accomplishment. Art & music are soul nurturing. I wish we had come together as a group to share the results of the experience; in particular our sense of ourselves in the larger community.
This is a great group of SAYFers. We seem to be headed for a year without great drama or personality conflicts.
With effort it should be a time for spiritual exploration and growth.
Crisp October day
Young Friends writing epistles
Joyful, sad, sleepy.
Thanks to all the wonderful young Friends for, once again, coming together to create our joyful and loving community. Your joining in spirit is the essence of creativity and your love for one another may be the highest form of self-expression. May we continue to find and honor this spirit in ourselves, our worship communities, and the world as a whole.
Thanks also to all who helped with planning, shopping, transportation and food. This wonderful weekend would not have been possible without you.
I was here Kody Kontz
OK, so everything I was about to write just exploded out of my head from my hair follicles....which is spelled wrong cause I’m good like that.
So instead, I’ll say what everyone else says, that it was a great weekend. All I can say is that I’m glad I don’t have speech issues and say ‘ulee’ after every hic-up. It would be a miserable life. Everyone would laugh at you all the time, and you’d never be able to pay attention to any one thing for very long. Think about it. Let’s say you’re walking down the street, and your shoe comes untied. So you stop and bend down to tie your shoe but in doing so you somehow give yourself the hic-cups. So you’re bent over, tying your shoes going ‘hic-ulee hic-ulee hic-ulee”! over and over. And then a hobo walks up and starts laughing at you, so you finish tying your shoe, stand up, look the hobo in the eye and say ‘Ya well, you’re a hobo, so go find some Chinese Take-out”. And the hobo looks at you like you’re crazy (which you are, because you’re still going ‘hic-ulee, hic-ulee) but then he turns into a giant man eating banana, and tries to eat you, but then a monkey jumps off a building and kills him, and you’re so happy that the monkey killed him that you marry the monkey (who looks like Sean Connery and sounds like Darth Vader choking on a chicken bone) and you have three kids and live happily ever after until you both get pneumonia and die.
But seriously, it was a good retreat. The last time I was at this meetinghouse, I was deathly ill and found out later I had whooping cough. And now I don’t know what to write.
So, dears, see you guys next month.
Ellen: Will Harmon is beast
with furry tail and face head.
He reeks of sewer.
Will: armer rhymes
ith dirty slime snail covered
n vomit nuggets
Ellen: Will is the suck at
the spelling of words and such.
His brain is eaten.
Will: ave face that reminds of gross
ecaying slug poop.
Ellen: Vomitus reindeer
crap is Will resurrected
in the next life place.
Will: I would bathe face in acid
Make big improvement.
Ellen: Demon monster runs
from Will’s face of doomness and
Will: ogs eating Ellen today
ut it just Ellen.
This retreat was sort of different than I expected. I have been to every single retreat location besides Knoxville, I thought that it would be a huge meetinghouse that I would get lost in! but yet it wasn’t. Well the past 3 weeks I was waiting for this retreat because I needed it the most, I cannot wait for the next retreat! It has to be next weekend! Ya newho. Wink was intense! But I finally got across the room! The healing circle was great & the music stuff, poetry & or writing, drawing & the other thing from which I can’t spell! Oh ya “collage” lol ok....it was a reli quick weekend. Last retreat when I wrote in this i had a note book on my head, but this time I didn’t! I am going to try to convince my sister Becca 2 come but first I have to convince her mom....my sister (the actual one) skipped homecoming 2 come see you peeps! But yes I wish I could see ya’ll everyday but we all live apart. We didn’t get stuck in traffic this time! Well ya I lyk this community Wow a lot of scratch marks are this page...ya I hate my sister at the moment! I shall kill her on the way home! Just kiddin. I love you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!
PS Congrat to my sister & wink after she got trampled. It needs to happen more often!
This was my first Knoxville retreat and it was great. I had a lot of fun, and liked all of the workshops. I brought one of my friends which turned out to be a good idea. Mmmmm....tacos.