Mary’s Joy – Farewell North America Performance


Mary’s Joy at Toronto Friends Meeting.

Toronto Friends Meeting today – a beautiful, historic, big, wonderful Quaker house in downtown, just a few blocks from the home of my dear friend with whom I’ve been staying the last month.

One of Mary Dyer’s descendants was there – that always humbles me. I also went early and attended Meeting for Worship. I have never gone so deep with the performance, and I think that has everything to do with everything.

Photo by Susan Andrews

Now, sipping Alberta Premium Dark Horse Rye and watching the Grammys. Life is nothing, if not interesting.

Next week, Brighton Meeting in the UK – a very old Quaker house, with history that goes back to 1805. Brighton Quakers go way back – they have a wonderful page about their history. Anglicans attacked early Brighton Friends, which is so difficult to imagine, today. But that’s at the heart of Mary Dyer’s story – the deep conviction of the very first Quakers, and how their commitment led them to making sacrifices so profound that we cannot begin to imagine making them today.

Have we made progress?

4 responses to “Mary’s Joy – Farewell North America Performance

  1. Dear Jeanmarie:
    Peace is with you.
    Thanks again for presenting your Mary’s Joy! yesterday.
    It is a remarkable achievement! Vivid, moving, compelling, daunting, haunting, inspiring.
    From what I have come to know, a work cannot be realized beyond the inner realization of the author-creator.
    It may be that we cannot really know much about Mary, or anyone else, but to the extent that we focus on our inner being -and surrender to it- we come to know everything and everyone!
    I know that you know something about yourself.
    You have realized the advice Socrates proclaimed, “Know thyself!”
    It is really what our George was trying to express when he kept on about “…that of God in everyone.”
    It is what C. J. was trying to convey, according to the story about him, when he explained that he was in the “father” and the “father” was in him. (The Christians just don’t seem to get it!)

    Humanity is individually distinct but divinity is never, ever, separate. As humans we go to great lengths, up to and including killing each other, when we forget that all this formal material stuff, all the distinctness and duality, conflict, crime, adversarial litigation, violence and, lest we forget, war …is temporal, temporary, timed, terminal, limited and, as is said in Sanskrit, Maya (illusion). Within this dream of seeming, being born, reborn, flying, falling, crying, dying, within all the spin is the changeless simplicity of being. The “I am.”
    The ontological fact, is what our ego-and-sense-driven personality, mind-and-body mostly ignores. It is so simple, it seems too easy, or too prosaic, or too plain, or too silent, or too obvious… So, we go with the material evidence we sense. We ignore that perception is a result of projection. Perception is NOT reality. Projection makes perception.
    We engage in what I call, the “Cultural Trance.”
    It can be beguiling. It certainly has had my toes tapping, more than twice!
    But reality is not a malicious trick beyond the extent that we make it that way. Reality is not a video game but The Game of being. Play it!

    As I heard one Quaker put it, “Are we being media-driven or spirit led?”

    In f/Friendship


    • I saw your performance in Toronto on Sunday. I waited a little after your incredible performance to offer you my personal congratulations and thanks, but you were swamped with so many grateful people who you seemed to have touched so deeply, so I slipped away but wanted to write with my deep thanks.

      As I wrote to my Mother and Sister in the UK:
      “This Sunday I went to meeting and afterwards attended a one woman show about Mary Dyer the Quaker who was hung in Boston in 1660 for being a Quaker, mum and I visited the statue of her in Boston when we were there a few years back.

      The performance was for me transporting, transfixing and transforming and the actor Jeanmarie could not have been better if she were Vanessa Redgrave herself before us…..”

      Thank you Jeanmarie, I cannot really begin to explain how important it was for me to experience your performance right now, it was an enormous gift……. James


      • I am deeply grateful for that, James. Thank you. I will strive to be worthy and not let your compliments go to my head. What’s important is that you experienced Mary’s story and were moved by it, as I am. Bless you.


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