In this episode of Quakers Today we ask, How do you process memories, experiences and feelings?
For the best listening experience we encourage you to listen to this episode with headphones or earbuds.
Rashid Darden's Personal Reflections
The episode features Rashid Darden and his reflection of identity and faith. As a Black person in a predominantly white faith community, Rashid's experience is unique and enlightening. He shares, "The surprising thing about my journey in the Quaker faith is that I'm still able to show up as my entire self and not be penalized for it... and in fact, to be celebrated for it."
Rashid Darden is an award-winning, best-selling novelist of urban LGBT experiences, a seasoned leader of Black fraternal movements and nonprofit organizations, and a professional educator in alternative schools. He lives in Conway, North Carolina. Rashid serves as the Associate Secretary for Communications and Outreach for Friends General Conference.
Peterson Toscano draws a parallel between the Quaker faith and the literary world, focusing on Virginia Woolf, a renowned early 20th-century author. Some scholars suggest that Woolf's feminist stance and innovative writing techniques were significantly influenced by her Quaker aunt, Caroline Stephen. She is the author of the classic religious text, Quaker Strongholds. This connection highlights how Quaker practices of self-reflection and inner exploration may have impacted Woolf’s iconic stream of consciousness writing style, particularly evident in characters like Mrs. Dalloway.
Dig Deeper into Caroline Stephen and Virginia Woolf
The episode also brings us the story "Sabbatical" by Vicki Winslow. After experiencing the loss of her father, Silena Yancey travels from North Carolina to the American Southwest to find inspiration, which she hopes leads to equilibrium. Vicki shares, "My story 'Sabbatical' is largely a collage... In many ways, we're all on a sort of pilgrimage." This narrative invites listeners into the internal pilgrimage of its protagonist, providing a window into the process of self-discovery and reflection.
Adding a different flavor to the episode, Peterson discusses Donn Weinholtz’s book, Jesus Christ, M.B.A.: A Gospel for Our Times. The story is illustrated by David Weinholtz. Carl Blumenthal reviewed the short book for Friends Journal. He writes,
Conventional wisdom says that if Jesus returned today, he would be branded a heretic, a lunatic, or a criminal. Yet Donn Weinholtz’s satire on the Second Coming imagines him as a rabble-rouser, who, instead of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, plunges into the political fray as an independent candidate for the U.S. presidency.
Closing Thoughts and Invitation
As Peterson Toscano and the team begin preparing for the next season of Quakers Today, he invites listeners to share their experiences of the show and share feedback. Leave a voice message or send an email. You will find contact details below.
Question for next month
How do you process memories, experiences, and feelings?
Leave a voice memo with your name and the town where you live. The number to call is 317-QUAKERS, that's 317-782-5377. +1 if calling from outside the U.S. Or email email@example.com
Quakers Today is the companion podcast to Friends Journal and other Friends Publishing Corporation (FPC) content online.