SEA CHANGES by Marina Jenkyns

22nd November, 2019

4pm and 7pm at Oxford Quaker Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW

Tickets: £10, £8 concession; buy on the door or by searching “Sea Changes in Oxford” on http://www.eventbrite.com

Following on from its successful debut at the 2019 Camden Fringe, Sea Changes returns to the stage at the Friends Meeting House in Oxford.

Sea Changes tells the stories of three very different women who each offer an opportunity to identify with women’s experience of loss. Their interwoven monologues reveal their stories showing how to move on when tragedy strikes, less through the concept of ‘closure’ but rather through living with their losses and so becoming more fully themselves.

To accompany the Oxford performances, join the playwright, director and cast for a free Q&A at 5pm to reflect on the themes of the play and to discuss the creative team’s approach to bringing these stories to life.

Building Understanding and Tolerance in a Divided Society

Berks & Oxon Regional Meeting

Saturday 26 October 2019

Reading Quaker Meeting House

11:00 (coffee etc. at 10.30) to about 16:00

‘In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?’  – Advices and queries, 32

Quakers strive for the peaceful resolution of conflict. This applies as much to our everyday lives as it does to the wider national and international scene.

All are welcome to this Regional Meeting where

  • The morning speaker will be Oliver Robertson, General Secretary of Quaker Peace & Social Witness, who will give the keynote address on the theme of the day.
  • Martin and Robyn Appleton of Reading Meeting will facilitate sessions based on the themes that emerged from the “What Can We Do?” initiative at Reading Meeting in 2017/18. The meeting will use spiritual practices of attention, to explore, in a workshop setting, how we might open our eyes to the other through opening our eyes to ourselves. We will have two [1]workshops which will draw on different methods of building relationship used in faith communities, by political leaders and by international artists.
  • The workshop will end with a review of the day led by Martin & Robyn
  • Friends in the Region have the opportunity to get to know each other better.

Please bring a packed lunch.  Reading Quaker Meeting House (2 Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB) is half a mile from Reading station. Car parking is available in the street for disabled badge holders. Recommended public car park: Saxon Court, Letcombe Street, RG1 2SQ; or, on street metered parking in London Street nearby).

Directions at https://midthamesquakers.org.uk/reading-quakers/                 

Enquiries to John Crosfield, clerk of arrangements committee,

tel. 0749 337 0030, e-mail johnecrosfield@gmail.com

Provision for children’s activities will be made, but please let the clerk of arrangements committee know by 12 Octoberof any children intending to attend, including their ages, so that the Friends volunteering to provide such activities can prepare.


[1] Friends, one of the exercises will invite you to remove your shoes, so you may like to come with unholey socks.

Poetry Reading: Philip Gross & Lesley Saunders

In the series POEMS IN THE QUAKER MEETING HOUSE
@ 43 St Giles  Oxford
free admission +  a collection + refreshments 
@ 6.30 for 7pm till 9pm on Sat. October 12th

Philip Gross and Lesley Saunders will read from their book A PART OF THE MAIN: A CONVERSATION (Mulfran, 2019), a dialogic poem, even an improvisation, born of the difficult feelings and public discord arising from the events of 2016. Philip is a Quaker as well as a T.S.Eliot prize winner and author of 20 collections of poems. Lesley is author of several books of poetry, most recently Nominy-Dominy  (Two Rivers Press, 2018). She is a creative collaborator with many other ‘makers’ of  different art forms. Lesley and Philip first met through a collaborative poetry venture A Game of Consequences in which 26 poets were invited to share their thoughts and feelings about living in a nuclear age.

The December 43 Newsletter

Felt Connections between Quaker and Butoh Practice

As the novelist E.M. Forster once wrote, ‘Only connect’. This inspiring injunction has meant a lot to me throughout my life, and even become something of a habit. Today I would like to share with you some of the connections I see between my practice as a Quaker and as a Butoh dancer.

Butoh dance emerged in American-occupied post-war Japan and is still little known in Europe. It is not easy to define, mainly because of its commitment to resisting standard definition and easy categorization. Today though, many of us will be aware of it through the Red Rebels branch of Extinction Rebellion, whose movements and guerrilla approaches are quintessentially Butoh.

To evoke what Butoh seeks to articulate, its two founding fathers, Kazuo Ohno and Hijikata Tatsumi, called it a dance of both darkness and light; one concerned with preserving community in all its diversity, respecting messiness and shadows as well as the light within, and inspiring personal transformation.

Two key elements of its language, silence and a combination of charged stillness and movement, are used to connect with our humanness, move us away from seeing the mind as distinct from the body, and instead see the body as the home of thought and feeling. It is in such ways of seeking for a naked enlivening encounter with the source of our being I find first parallels between Quaker and Butoh practice.

It is also very much understood as a spiritual practice that can serve as a channel for grace: one in which refletion and experimentation lead to change and fresh perspectives. As Kazuo Ohno put it, ‘find the spirit and the form will take care of itself’. This resonates for me with my understanding of ministry, and the belief each of us has something new and of value to other others.

Finally, I see another connection in Butoh’s expression of deeply engrained, personal, and collective politics. Butoh was from the outset conceptualised as an activist dance form that rejects the ‘bad check called democracy’ (Hijikata Tatsumi). Hence it is often used to call attention to environmental and social issues.

Rather than my explaining more, why not come to watch a performance in Oxford? The group I practice with, Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre, are performing at Corpus Chris College on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January 2020. The show is called ‘Tipping Point’ and is a creative response to the threat of climate change. For more details, and to book, please see here, or go the Café Reason website at http://www.cafereason.com/

Juliet Henderson

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The online version of the December 2019 edition is now available.