Some thoughts on becoming eighty-five (85) PHP 418
The experience of long life and spiritual fruits of aging are the focus of this meditative walk through eighty-five years of William Shetter’s life experience: among Friends, in relationship, as an ongoing seeker and keen observer of the world. Reflections on death, impermanence, and increasing physical limitation are leavened with humor and a sense of play as Shetter examines the decades of his life. These thoughts on family, wisdom, humor, spiritual community, and the presence of God bring to the reader a distinctively Quaker perspective on the patterns of life and aging. Discussion questions are included to aid further reflection.
About the Author(s)
William Shetter has been a member of Bloomington Monthly Meeting (Indiana, Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting (OVYM)) since 1965, and has served in a variety of capacities, including two terms as clerk. The family joined Friends at Radnor (Pennsylvania) Meeting in 1963, and in 1971 spent a term at Pendle Hill. For four years he was recording clerk of OVYM.
In the wider Quaker world, his involvement has been chiefly with Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), Section of the Americas. On a number of occasions – including annual and triennial meetings – he has served as an English-Spanish interpreter, and in 1986 he was part of the first FWCC team to be invited to visit Friends in Cuba. For several years he and his wife Janette served as representatives to the annual sessions of various yearly meetings. FWCC activities also brought the opportunity to attend triennials in Mexico and Japan. He helped found and still works actively in Mt. Gilead Friends Retreat, a retreat center in the forested hills near Bloomington, and is currently involved in the organization of a series of workshops on various aspects of spirituality. One of the joys of his present-day increasingly placid lifestyle is serving as occasional book reviewer for Friends Journal.