Third Haven, New Haven, White Haven nexus

wouldja guess Maryland’s official sport is? jousting! (no, I wasn’t jesting, ’tis truly) these tabs from Fitzwilly’s and the Whitby Winery Uncle Charlie! what on earth’s on the radio? maps of New Haven and Providence sorry, such minutia, leisurely spans the Eastern Seaboard only to realize what had been removed to Tampa whoa! Prairie Home Companion it ain’t present background noise, roll the dial this rumbling would appreciate new Verdi’s Falstaff any better? reminded to pay bills, catch up hardly boring and ask how many of them practice, whatever . blessings, stick to it

The first and most learned

pattern of fern shadows cast by candles playing into snug culmination rented theaters where hillsides tottered in the unspoken gamble of her slightest motion, some indication if anyone commenced singing against the walls and ceiling of an unclothed expanse of potential a warm hand broaches, scratching its initials on frosted windows and then a lower back arched for precision a cappella with the choir we clocked a blizzard of treetop squirrels far below whatever our season and there you have it . tenderly

Regarding the myth of the self-made man

You know, “I did it all on my own,” with no credit to anyone else.

It’s not the way things really work, for one thing. Think of all the support needed to survive, learn, and achieve — family, teachers, coaches and mentors, colleagues, customers, buyers, employers, friends, partners.

For another, every man for himself leaves no room for God, much less other people.

Deep down, that has to be incredibly lonely. How does someone like that mask the pain or the fear of falling?

Long time no see Clio

tracing the contours of a phantom state accounted for relentless confessions her glances endorsed the mountain ice fields above clouds juggling a chaste topography climax or spring tide shattered in a brutal outburst of emancipated crescendos how swell I thought sonatas scaling the savage exhilarating tempests . still she sought cinematic relics shelved along slender promontories where I stood wary of early snowfall or lightning in countless triangles or gale-force gusting with sleet we barely escape being tossed overboard or disemboweled on crags above tree line, its keepsakes reminding of her mercy when she sat on my lap in echoing climax

Within a sixteen-bar chorus

down for weeks on our heels constantly, commiserate how those children realize the glee of self-deception having lives of their own or a loving minute of introduction four-part cappella singing “Jesus Loves Me” at the reform school and then winter meeting in Fort Lauderdale lunch with Rukeyser and flew off to Chicago in windy subzero January the weekend the Los Angeles Rams stayed at our hotel before being trounced by the Bears and the city went ecstatic seemed appropriate to be flying out of town in that kind of hoopla for I was in new love, Praise the Lord, really, kiddos

Sweet Bev

should I have let all the correspondence lest it expire right there they’d mostly fall away in any case, too quickly ignoring the besotted side of Santa Claus beneath the chipper vocalizations, no dispatch of cards or presents the holidays came upon me to quickly, perhaps in part just constantly on the road; then, too, this felt so contrived and coerced compared to Christ’s power and expansive love I could see Christmas as an especially wicked flu to carry in such travels, wake up, voiceless, coughing and sore when we need rest more than carols and ditties, do tell


after several attempts to figure out how I’d list only what time and last-minute barreling impulses or friendships I wouldn’t want to lose these connections of phone calls and homespun meals in the absence of wild affection I’d lap up even distant lines as in conversation overheard ditto worship to lasso random thoughts and outline a start, so in the mailbox and an income besides to say nothing absolutely nothing about Jesus or just so many wildcards you keep some order re: the recording clerk, both our annual budget and a reminder the dues are due chock full of gossip I’d veer in adoration toward lunacy any day


She was truly one of a kind

In reflecting recently on the Quaker tradition of creating memorial minutes for “weighty Friends,” I was surprised that one example I had never posted was of another clerk of our Dover Meeting. She was struck down by a particularly virulent, fast-moving cancer, and it’s hard to me to see that nearly five years have gone by since her passing.

There’s much more that I could tell, but the approved minute will give you a good sense of her vibrant character.

Jean V. Blickensderfer

November 11, 1946 – June 16, 2017

Among Dover Friends, Jean was the flash of gold in the morning, a welcoming soul others naturally confided in, a faithful worker who eventually filled nearly every organizational position – from children’s teacher and treasurer, to co-clerk and finally presiding clerk.

Raised Unitarian-Universalist in Methuen, Massachusetts, she came to Friends in the early ‘80s after she and her first husband, Dean L. Davis, had settled in Eliot, Maine, and were seeking the right church for a family that included daughters Thaedra May and Sarah Joy. They were quickly entrenched among us.

Jean was twice widowed.

She married Dean the day after his graduation from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1967, and then managed their home during his long assignments at sea. During his interludes ashore, they built their own post-and-beam house on the banks of the Piscataqua River and could often be found boating, sometimes to visit other Quakers upstream, or on his motorcycle, which they rode to Meeting in good weather. He died in a freak automobile collision in 1992, an accident his wife and daughters survived unscathed.

In 1998 she married Del Blickensderfer and worked as his partner at Del’s Service Station until his passing of lupus in 2006.

Deeply grateful for the mentoring she received from seasoned Friends, Jean was a stickler for Quaker process and, over time, became the memory of the Meeting’s business itself. She sought to walk a line between holding her tongue and being direct, when needed. A witness to the movement of Christ in our midst, Jean’s infrequent vocal ministry could be powerful. Her skills as a professional typist assured the Meeting’s minutes were of archival quality and, combined with her business-school training, led to the Blue Books for committees and their clerks detailing their responsibilities. She was particularly fond of drawing on the Advices and Queries from London Yearly Meeting’s 1994 edition of Quaker Faith and Practice as guideposts for our own action. An avid knitter, she took comfort in seeing others do needlework during our business deliberations, their patience reflecting the work before us. In time, a midweek knitting circle became what she called a “wicked good” time of refreshment, nurture, and fellowship.

More pressing obligations had precluded her attending yearly meeting sessions, a “bucket list” item she resolved to achieve. All along, she warmly welcomed the wider world of Friends to Dover.

Other delights in her life were yoga, visiting with neighbors, shopping and dining with dear friends, walking the beach, doting on her Pomeranian Sumi, and especially being with her grandson Jonah. His living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, did not prevent her from accompanying much of his childhood and youth, from celebrating birthdays and holidays to attending his piano recitals to cheering him on in mountain bicycle races, whenever she could.

In all, her presence, generosity, and deep and lively spirit were a gift.

With loved ones at her bedside through the final days of her cancer, she passed at age 70, peace and grace abundant.

APPROVED by Dover Monthly Meeting July 16, 2017, Charles Cox, clerk

 ENDORSED by Dover Quarterly Meeting July 31, 2017, at North Sandwich, Erik Cleven, clerk


For that round face both puzzled and kind

to catch up on the overdue exchange rather than taping up all those goodies and it’s still good to be home just two days into a lunatic week already a day behind whatever gets no better all housework’s piles of homework and up in the midst of keyboarding with a broom a general epistle to all who send cards or other missives & ought to be acknowledged, at least this could be personalized hey, you! unlike those photocopies everyone loved that one remarkable year, finally we’re coming round to sunshine