”All God’s Critters Got a Place In the Choir.”
And being in the choir is work.
I’m not much for singing gospel songs; but Bill Staines, who wrote this one, was more of a folkie, and his tune, “All God’s Critters” is more folk than (Lord help us) “praise” music. But whatever the genre, I’m more interested in its theology, because I agree with it.
All God’s critters got a place in the choir,
Some sing low, some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire.
And some just clap their hands, or paws,
or anything they got now . . . . Continue reading ”All God’s Critters Got a Place In the Choir”–But Sometimes They have to Make (or Change) It
According to some of what I read and hear these days, I definitely should not have written this story, about a young slave girl and the Quaker saint John Woolman.
Why not? Mostly because of what I wasn’t: I wasn’t a girl (& never had been); wasn’t a slave (or even an enslaver, for that matter); wasn’t Black, and (late entry) had no plans to have the tale vetted by an ethnic/cultural sensitivity reader.
But also because of what I was: white, male, urban, not young, more or less middle class
I still am that last batch, except considerably more not young. Continue reading A Story. Could I get it published in Florida this year? Probably not. Maybe Not New York Either?
FOUR: Bringing Them, Home, and Bringing It Back
I managed to draft about sixty pages of my Nantucket novel, and several episodes of the quilt story, before cash ran too low for more room rent. Reluctantly I took the ferry back to the twentieth century, presented my carefully stashed return bus ticket, and jiggled and scribbled my sore butt back to Baghdad on the Bay.
Continue reading The Island of Two Stories: Part Four of Four
THREE — Across the Universe: Getting Home Is Hard To Do
I had moved to San Francisco from Boston in late 1975, following my daughters, who were there with my soon-to-be ex-wife. Starting over as a writer/reporter there kept me on a tight budget.
Continue reading The Island of Two Stories: Part Three of Four
Once long ago, in late 1976, I set out to write the great American Quaker novel.
Or at least, a page-turning historical potboiler.
It was to be be about Quakers on the island of Nantucket, during the American Revolution. Two of them in particular: the gruff but pious William Rotch, — who was the wealthiest Quaker on the island. He carried the double burden of a large fortune balanced against a tender pacifist conscience in . And a woman Friend, Kezia Coffin, with no fortune but boundless ambition and strong passions.
Continue reading The Island of Two Stories: A Four-Part Mini-Saga