The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Seeing Stars

The Bread Winner is Quaker, mostly lapsed, but sometimes she revives her spiritual fervor and attends a meeting (rather than going to "church," Quakers go to "meeting" on Sunday morning). Usually, she tries to entice me along with her. I've gone to about four meetings this spring/summer, and today I grudgingly went again.

For those who don't know anything about Quaker meetings, you basically sit in a room, the benches lined along all four walls in an ever shrinking square, the idea being that everyone is facing everyone else (unless someone is sitting behind you). You sit in "quite contemplation" until the "light moves you to speak." There is no minister or officiant. No Friend (how Quakers refer to one another) is considered anymore important than any other Friend. At the end of a meeting, an "elder" stands up, signifying that the meeting is over. This is supposed to occur when "the light moves" the elder to realize that the meeting is over. However, "the light" always moves the elder to this realization about an hour after the meeting began. Then, the elder (or elders) will ask new people to introduce themselves to the meeting. Finally, the elder makes annoucements about events, births, deaths, etc. The end.

Well, imagine my surprise when one of the meeting's elders invited people to introduce themselves, and from slightly behind us and to our right, who should stand up but actor David Morse, who introduced himself (just by the name David) and his wife and three sons. David Who? you say. Well, he's mostly been a supporting actor, in movies like the Green Mile, Contact, etc. etc. (see his bio if you're curious). Most recently, he starred in the short-lived police drama Hack. This series was not particularly good, but it was set in Philadelphia, and I watch just about any show set in Philadelphia (there aren't many--I think only Cold Case at this point). As the scenes roll by, I jab my finger at the TV and say to the Bread Winner, "I know where that is!" She nods at me and smiles a smile usually bestowed on the mildly retarded, while saying, "Mm-hmm."

So I was surprised, to say the least, at the appearance of David Morse in a summertime Quaker meeting attended by maybe 20 people. He's a lot taller than I thought he'd be.


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