When Traveling with an Extra Bonnet It is Wisest to Wear It

It has twice happened that I was traveling some distance on public transport and found myself in possession of two bonnets. I wear one bonnet every day, but to be in possession of two and to be traveling about is more rare. Now, I once traveled with a Friend in the same predicament and she accomplished it with no problem, so I will not say it is something anyone else would have to worry about. But I, I am inattentive to bonnets that are not on my head and I have allowed them to suffer squishing and crushing and other structure-destroying incidents. When I travel with more than one bonnet, I have learned to simply wear both bonnets. I look foolish and it can be uncomfortable and even awkward, but when the goal is to arrive home with two serviceable bonnets, that is how I must do it.

Which is somehow analogous to my use of plain speech, such as it is. I use it and I don't use it and I try to use it and I get frustrated at my failure to use it and I give it up completely as a silly, poor gospel. But it has become clear that when I am capable of using it, I am a kinder, gentler person. It also becomes clearer how much of a kinder, gentler person I really need to be, if for no other reason than people foolishly believe I am nice. I guess I must look nice, for even when I warn them I am not nice they simply don't believe me. When it happens that I am demonstrably not nice, and they suffer from my not-niceness, they are in for double or triple the shock. If the goal is for me to arrive at the end of the day being more useful to God, and it seems being kinder and gentler is on his agenda for me in that area, plain speech is a tool He seems to be using, no matter how foolish it may make me appear or how uncomfortable or awkward it may be, for me to arrive where I need to be with my soul structurally sound and serviceable.

It brings to mind that we may not know what God is calling someone else to, what Spiritual Need he may be meeting in a way we don't understand. I can imagine someone proclaiming that no one would ever need to wear two bonnets. But the Truth would be that I have needed to wear two bonnets, and while it would seem like foolishness, for me it is wisdom.

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Comment by Forrest Curo on 6th mo. 4, 2009 at 12:02pm
There is something bad about people suffering a shock?

I found smoking pot to be a tool that could make me nicer, but since it accomplished this by rendering me painfully emotionally tender, I thought it better to stop the practice & regrow my customary calluses, the better for occasional rough use!

Nice post, by the way. Thee is too funny to be altogether nice, and that can be a saving grace!
Comment by Raye on 8th mo. 16, 2009 at 10:11pm
I find plain speech carries with it a tenderness, too.

After struggling, first trying (in vain) to stick with it constantly then trying (in vain) to give it up, I let the thees and thys roll out as they will, at this point in time.

Plain speech comes out not just among Friends, though more frequently then. There are some in my non-Quaker circles who receive thees. I have heard a similar thing from a Friend, that in her work, there have been some people who seemed to draw forth plain speech, and others who have not. Funny, that. Perhaps it is a calling from heart to heart. I hadn't thought of it in those terms until I read thy post. Thanks so much.

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