Friday, June 03, 2005

Imperfect Serenity

Imperfect Serenity's the title of a book that my friend Eileen Flanagan is shopping around at the moment, looking for the right publisher. I've been lucky enough to read her manuscript, and it's very powerful and beautiful, a cross between a journal of quaker spirituality and a recollection of motherhood, all done with a political edge. For those who think the rightwing has a lock on religious talk, it's time to think again, and Eileen's work will help us to do that. Our daughters are in the same class at school this year, and I remember one afternoon, tallking with Eileen, about her work, all the kids around, as she looked up at me and said, "It's hard to find discernment with a four year old screaming in your ear." That just about sums up the book: how do you find an everyday spiritual path with children out and about, when so many of our models are of the singular man going off alone, or of silence, or retreat, or uninterrupted leadership. It's a great book.

And until it's published, all of us can have some access to her thinking, since she started a new blog called, eponymously,Imperfect Serenity ( which I've really been enjoying. Today's post starts: "Three converging activities have got me reflecting on how to practice the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity and Equality as a middle class parent: 1) we’re cleaning out our basement; 2) Bob Geldof is planning another rock extravaganza to help the poor in Africa; and 3) I’m reading God’s Politics by Jim Wallis." Go and enjoy; I know I learn much from Eileen everyday.

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