Someone recently asked me what the goal of Quakerism is, offering that the goal of his church is ascension. This brought me pause, because I have not thought of religion or faith in practice as having an end goal. The answer I came up with is Friendship or right relationship.
Right relationship itself is determined by many factors, so that what is right changes. Sometimes, friends must be allowed to fall down and all around themselves. Sometimes, friends must be stopped from going over the cliff’s edge.
Friendship is a practice of non-grasping. The devotion/attachment is love itself, free of identity; form. We can fail one another a thousand times. Yet the bond, blind to fault and open to change, remains strong. Forever is what friends are for.
Barefoot Friends or A Pair of Lucky Rabbits
If I were barefoot and you were barefoot
and we had traveled long over stone and thorns
to find only a pair of sandals and some salve by a dry watering hole,
I would rub your feet gently, put the sandals on my feet
and carry you until your feet healed.
Then, if you would do the same for me, eventually,
we could each wear one sandal
link arms and hop on