As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t actually “blog” much, but I feel inspired after my recent visit the the US Pacific Northwest.  Although I only had public meetings scheduled in three places (Olympia, Whidbey Island, and Seattle), folks in Eugene, OR put together–on very short notice–a very rewarding informal gathering with some 20 folks from the local Quaker Meeting and from CALC (the Community Alliance of Lane County –, which is concerned with, as its website states ‘Educating and mobilizing for peace, human dignity and social, racial and economic justice.’  Not only did I get to learn a bit about this amazing local nonprofit’s work, it looks likely that I’ll be invited to do a public presentation in Eugene in the spring, possibly co-hosted by Eugene Friends and CALC.

Turnout at my bookstore event in Olympia was low, but on the plus side, I met some folks I very much look forward from seeing again–as Olympia Friends, with whom I also met informally after Meeting for Worship (arranged by a Friend I’d been put in touch with by my Whidbey Island host who, in turn, had been “recruited” by an unknown recipient (at 2nd or 3rd hand) of the invitation I’d sent out in September . . .). I then proceeded to Bainbridge Island and met and stayed overnight with the clerk of their Meeting (uncle of the Olympia Friend) and his wife–both “Quaker Jews” like myself.  It looks like I’ll likely be back there in the spring, too, as well as to a nearby “international” highschool (met a teacher/housemother on the ferry . . . ).

On top of all these pleasant surprises and inspiring experiences, I got to spend some extra time getting to and staying on Whidbey Island (arriving a full day before my presentation) to connect with yet another great community organization in Seattle (the Common Good Cafe housed in the basement of University Temple United Methodist Church –, and to find the best Korean tofu soup I’ve yet tasted (at a home-style Korean and Japanese restaurant on 15th Ave, not far from the University Book Store).  I’ll send a link to my tour photos in a few days.

Meanwhile, I realize that in order to keep my presentation “fresh,” I need to make another trip to Palestine/Israel before doing any further touring.  I’ll see how this unfolds . . .

Maxine in Ottawa (attending Representative Meeting of Canadian [Quaker] Yearly Meeting)