“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I
have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
The Society of Friends
You are my only friend
but I am a worm and not a man
a breath left on a glass
mud and spit, a blade of grass
grown from the dust, soon dust again
not even good for a servant.
But at the word you shake your head,
hold out your hand and call me friend
and though you set each star on fire
built every bird, invented night
and drowned death with your own blood
I love this wonder best of all:
that to this pile of bones and dust
only waiting to be burned
you spoke the secrets of the world,
and made a friend of God.
From Carey: John 15:15 is the foundational verse of the Society of Friends, better known as the “Quakers”, whose social justice and fiery mysticism were rooted in the idea that Jesus didn’t consider his followers servants, but friends. I was raised Quaker, and the early training I received to listen for the “still small voice of God” laid the foundation of my creative life, which I also see as a practice of radical listening and obedience.
Carey Wallace is the author of The Blind Contessa’s New Machine. Carey was raised in small towns in Michigan. She is the founder of the Working Artists Initiative for the International Arts Movement, which helps emerging artists establish strong creative habits, and The Hillbilly Underground, an annual arts retreat which draws nationally-recognized filmmakers, writers, fine artists, and musicians to rural Michigan each summer. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Find out more about Carey at www.careywallace.com.
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