Friday, January 31, 2014

Afterthought #24 - A Leading Is...

The January 2014 issue of Friends Journal offers several stories of people following what Quakers call leadings.  Their journeys are potent reminders of the joys and challenges of being open to a Wisdom within and beyond that directs our actions. I keep experimenting with ways to put into words this sense of presence and guidance.  Here’s what came out of a recent free-writing exercise.

A leading is…

          whispering words
          a shout from above
          a dog with a bone

        sun burning through the fog
         a water witch’s dousing rod
         a door opening
         a door closing



     a flashing turn signal
     a curve in the road
     a straightening in a curved road
     a detour returning you home

  a telephone call in the middle of the night
  an unopened envelope
  a rhythmic beat on a drum

                                                       a gate ajar
                                                       a breath.

This month begins my third year of posting an “Afterthought” on the last day of each month. It’s my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning's worship. I’ve adopted the form here for brief reflections on headlines, quotes, comments overheard, maybe even bumper stickers.


  1. Beautiful. I liked the contrasts...road curving, road straightening, door opening, door closing. And the photos!

  2. Thanks Gretchen. I had fun playing with words and images. Still feeling inspired by poet Kim Stafford's presentation in Jan. about digital storytelling. Someday I'll try using video and sound, too. Stay tuned.