Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I have been living in Africa for about three years, two of which were spent in a remote, rural area without electricity or running water. During that time, I channeled my isolation into meditative prayer and contemplation, realizing unification with my environment. I read and reflected on important religious texts from George Fox to the Pendle Hill library. It was a time of great personal development.
I moved to the city in May, set on working at the next level of international development and strengthening professional skills to engage with issues/causes that I'm passionate about. The adjustment to the city has been rough, as I struggled to cope with the fast-pace, with the general unfriendliness of the city, and with living on a very limited income.
Despite the personal development cultivated in the village and despite brief moments of clarity (as in daily prayer), I find myself spiritually longing. I keep my ear and my heart open to the inner light but sometimes it's hard to hear the voice in the heart of the storm that is city life. I long for a spiritual community, for a meetinghouse, for the experiece of communal worship among Friends. There is one Quaker in the city but she is elderly and very busy, only occassionally free for a meeting. She has lived here for several decades and has tried to develop a Quaker community, and continues to, but her newspaper ads go unanswered.
I'm curious to hear about the experiences of other Friends who are currently in isolation or who have been in isolation from the community before. How did you cope? What were some of the daily routines that were helpful in developing or maintaining your spiritual identity? Is there any literature available and directed to isolated friends (especially literature available online)? Are there organizations or networks that link isolated friends?
Any general advice would be kindly appreciated.