Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making History

No one has ever accused the Quakers of moving too fast. Maybe it's because we do everything by committee.

Last week's mail brought a freshly printed volume, the culmination of a project I'd been involved with since its inception, more than a decade and a half earlier. (It's been so long, I don't even remember the year.) The book is the latest 20-year installment of the history of our Meeting; it was published just in time to start working on the next one.

As the research, writing, editing -- and, yes, dithering -- ground on, I finished a graduate degree, fell in love, moved across the country, turned 30, changed careers, got diagnosed with ALS, tried various therapies, went on disability, moved back, bought a condo, and turned 40. I lived in six different places and owned three cars. I took at least six trips abroad and God knows how many domestic ones. I went from (relative) youth to middle age, from fitness to decrepitude.

I was still proofreading a month ago, my gnarled fingers clumsily making the last edits. I knew then that I would never be able to sit back and read the book for pleasure, but I hope others will. And I'm glad it's done.

There was a note on the cover from the head of the committee thanking me for my help and declaring me "an inspiration and a dear." Dan had his own edit: "an inspiration and a queer."


Michael W said...

Congrats on finishing the project! Yes, I'll have to read it. I never put it all together until now but my son once played a solo concert on his French Horn at your meeting house.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget blogging and keeping your posse in stitches.