“In all the best generations of Quakerism,” wrote Rufus Jones in 1927, “the ideal aim and the controlling expectation of the wiser members have been to live the simple life. It is, of course, a vague and indefinable term.”
Friends have come to differing conclusions about what it means to live simply, in regard to dress, furnishings and material goods, occupation, language, the arts, and entertainment. What has simplicity meant to you?
Quaker Life, vol. 6 no. 2, will be focused on simplicity. Please consider sharing, with the community of Quaker Life readers, your stories about practicing simplicity. Some questions that might serve to get you started:
• How or when have you practiced a simple life? Has it been the experience of a moment, or a steady current?
• In what ways has an orientation toward simplicity changed how you respond to others?
• Friends, like Richard Foster, talk about the inward reality and the outward lifestyle of simplicity. In your life, where are the places that inward reality and outward lifestyle are in harmony, and the places where they are in conflict?
• In what ways does your Friends Meeting or Church practice and embody simplicity?
What we are looking for in a submission is an account of your own experience with a simple life—personally, or within your family or work place or neighborhood, or in the life of your faith community. We are also eager to accept visual art: concrete or abstract images about simplicity, accompanied by a brief description of the piece’s meaning, or the process of creation, or both. We have no word limits for textual submissions, but, as a useful guide, most of our essays run between 175 to 1800 words. Images should be digital files between 1–10 MBs in size, in jpg, tiff, or png format. We are not able to accept handwritten submissions. If your visual images are not digitized, please send us an inquiry about submission.
To submit your work (text or image), or for more information, please email us. Also include with your submission a short biography of yourself, including the Meeting or church where you worship.
Submissions for the Simplicity issue should reach us by September 27, 2021.