Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FGC Gathering

Last week we attended the Gathering ("Quaker camp" in church terms) for the first time. This year it was at Bowling Green University in OH. It was a mixed experience.

The best parts were: the plenaries (pre-talk singing, George Lakey, Phil Gulley, mini-concerts); the week-long workshop (mornings 9-11:45; we attended the workshop on non-violent communication); and the people we met.

The worst parts were: the distance between buildings (7/10th mile from the dorm to the main building; 2 miles to the parking lot where our car was); the heat & un-airconditioned dorm; Amy's & my own injuries. I have a stress fracture in one foot, which is painful but not horrible; still, it swells after a day of walking around. On Monday of the Gathering, we were riding on a golf cart from our dorm to the dining hall for dinner; we were on the backwards-facing seat. My hat wasn't secured with the chin-strap & flew off my head. While I was contemplating options, Amy stood & stepped off the cart, went down onto the concrete sidewalk on one knee & bounced off it onto her back, hitting the back of her head (i.e., her superhero cape didn't work!). Results: a strained ankle, twisted & abraded knee, & mild concussion, which we didn't realize at the time. She insisted that she was okay enough to go on to dinner & the plenary, not to a doctor, & I wasn't insistent enough until Thursday that she see a doctor. We did get her knee cleaned up, & an energy-worker sought us out before the plenary. I felt guilty about my hat (& kept the strap on after that!), embarrassed about needing to ask for help, miserable with the heat, & grouchy about the noise & chaos of the dining halls. On Thursday afternoon, the doc wrapped her ankle & told Amy to stay off her feet & keep the ankle elevated & iced. We came home a day early, after our workshop concluded & we ate lunch on Friday.

I was grateful for the healing center, the volunteer doctor, the organizer who got us into an air-conditioned dorm (even if it was only for 1 night), the volunteer golf cart drivers (yes, we kept riding!), & those who helped me move from one dorm to another.

Our "lend a hand" volunteer gig was a couple of hours in the healing center (massage & energy workers had 10-12 tables set up in the room; compassionate listeners could use the loft). We "held the space in the Light" (aka prayed & meditated & concentrated on the energy flow of the space). I experienced really deep worship/meditation, & afterward experienced a couple of hours of serious grouchiness. Does this happen to others? Why?

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