Friday, July 29, 2016

If we are separated....

Travelling Together
by W.S. Merwin

If we are separated I will
try to wait for you
on your side of things

your side of the wall and the water
and of the light moving at its own speed
even on leaves that we have seen
I will wait on one side

while a side is there

We’ve made it through another annual session of Northwest Yearly Meeting, and we’re still together. We were unable to come to consensus on last year’s decision by the yearly meeting elders (among whom I serve) on releasing West Hills Friends Church from membership in the yearly meeting. I rejoice that this meeting is still with us, although the process—Lord, have mercy—is ongoing. Our deliberations were gracious and peaceful on the surface. (We behaved with civility). Yet the underlying tensions were obvious.
So our unity feels tenuous to me, and all the more precious because of that.
Early this morning, W.S. Merwin’s little poem spoke to my condition and seemed like a love song I could sing to Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends.

And so I offer this to you, whoever you are. Wherever you are. Friend, friend, or both.


  1. Dear Nancy, I have just an hour ago made a gift of your new book to our hosts here in New Hampshire. Your joy in words and word play dance off the pages of your poetry, and in a difficult week brought laughter to me, one of your devoted f/Friends. -JP

  2. Thank you, Nancy. I love you!

  3. Here on the other side of the ocean, this poem and post really gave me comfort.