Metamorphosis – April 2015




Bellingham Friends worship at 10 a.m., Sundays at Explorations Academy
1701 Ellis Street (Creekside Building) Bellingham, WA 98225
P.O. Box 30144, Bellingham 98228

Query of the Month:  – #33 in The Little Red Book: Are you alert to practices here and throughout the world which discriminate against people on the basis of who or what they are or because of their beliefs? Bear witness to the humanity of all people, including those who break society’s conventions or its laws. Try to discern new growing points in social and economic life. 

Bellingham Friends Calendar

April 05, 2015Easter celebration with egg hunt and finger foods

April 12, 2015 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

April 19, 2015 – Quakerism, Experience It! Friends’ History Beginnings through the American Revolution, Allen Stockbridge

April 26, 2015 – Quarterly Meeting (extended social time)

Coming in May

May 3 – MfWfB

May 10 – Potluck (Mother’s Day)

May 17 – QEI – Don Goldstein, Quaker History II: Diversities Among Friends

May 24 – Memorial Day weekend (extended social time)

May 31 – County Comprehensive Plan – visioning workshop

Children’s Program Renovations

We are planning a community-wide party to familiarize people, particularly those with children, with Friends’ beliefs and practices.  This will take place in the fall.

We need to be better prepared to make families welcome, which means having a dependable program with prepared teachers.  There will be a session at our home to prepare prospective teachers, who will go home with a lesson plan and a knowledge of the format used in our children’s program.

We all care about our children, but few have felt ready to teach:  this is your chance.  Please contact me (Sharon Trent) at 714-6141 or if you feel called to do either or both things.

 Just Married!

On April 11, 2015, this editor attended her first Quaker wedding, and a wonderful time was had by all.  Wendy Beach and Don Goldstein were married under the care of our Meeting.  A harpist played lovely music in the lobby while people arrived.  Shortly after silent worship began, Wendy and Don stood to exchange their vows.  This was followed by vocal ministry which was joyful, honest and full of love.  Everyone was grinning!


Friends’ Leadings
Hospice Care

 My clinical background was related to end of life care, when that subject was not getting much attention. The opportunity to volunteer at Hospice House seemed in keeping with this earlier interest.  Spending a four hour time period each week with clients (patients), their families and the health care personnel was a privilege.  Often, our work was housekeeping, caring for flowers, or counting linen, but I always felt that our managing these menial tasks freed up the professional staff to do their important work.  At the same time, we did have patient and family contact, and in some way this felt like a sacred privilege.  The camradery with other volunteers provided support and happy times as we worked together.  Having that designated time period, Wednesday mornings, provided a rhythm to my week, and I dealt with it like a job.  I was consistent and on time, and it felt good to contribute.  At the same time, the support for volunteers was extensive.  We were carefully instructed and trained to do this work, and we were acknowledged for our contribution.

I have taken a hiatus since Tom’s illness and death, and I’m not sure what the future holds.  I began my Hospice volunteer stint when the Hospice House first opened, and I believe I was there for over three years subsequently.

Lorina Hall

Edward S. Curtis’  Native American Exhibit at the Bellingham Lightcatcher

 In 1906, when J.P. Morgan hired Edward Curtis to photograph Native Americans, his goal was not just to photograph but to document as much of Native American traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared. He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907: “The information that is to be gathered … respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.” Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Native American language and music. He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes. He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs. He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only written recorded history although there is still a rich oral tradition that documents history.  Mr. Curtis’ accomplishments, as shown in this exhibit, reflect those of a cultural anthropologist rather than a photographer. ]Hopefully, if you haven’t already visited this exhibit, you will get the opportunity to do so before it closes, after May 10, 2015.  I was informed, on a recent docent visit to this exhibit, that Mr. Curtis allowed his subjects to pose in their natural state.  Instead of suggesting a particular mood, he photographed his subjects while observing them.  There is so much emotion depicted in his photos.


In the summer of 1900, the American photographer, Edward S. Curtis, traveled from his home in Seattle to the Blackfeet Nation on the plains of northern Montana. The trip, Timothy Egan writes in a new biography, was a turning point. White Calf, a nearly 60-year-old chief, consented to let Curtis photograph his tribe’s village and its people, for a fair fee. He forbid photography only at the five-day Sun Dance, a ceremony that missionaries and federal agents were trying to eradicate. White Calf even agreed to be photographed himself, but when he showed up for his portrait, he wore a blond wig and a blue United States Army uniform. That wasn’t what Curtis wanted.

White Calf’s get-up perhaps referred to George A. Custer, who had met his end a generation earlier at the Little Bighorn. It also, in some sense, mocked Curtis’s impossible mission, which seized him on that very trip and which he pursued with monomaniacal passion for the next three decades: “The North American Indian,” a 20-volume encyclopedia of photographs and text on (supposedly) every “intact” American Indian nation on the North American continent.

In Mr. Egan’s “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis,” Mr. Egan might have emphasized aspects of Curtis’s life and work that truly confounded the Hollywood image of the West: the modern savvy of the Indians he photographed, the cosmopolitan nature of even the “cellars, attics and aeries of the continent,” the interdependence of East and West. (This seminal Western project was bankrolled by J. P. Morgan’s fortune.) Instead, he depicts Curtis as a sort of Daniel Boone for the REI customer. He also considers Curtis’ photographs thoughtfully, comparing the rich light of a photogravure portrait to Vermeer’s Milkmaid or describing a “face-painted beauty with a careless gaze, skin as smooth as a bar of soap.” Each chapter closes with a couple of halftone images discussed in preceding pages, which confirm Curtis’s darkroom genius.


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