Plain Speech Press

Staying True: Musings of an Odd-duck Quaker Lesbian Approaching Death
by Lynn Waddington

Staying True Cover

A sage, insouciant account of discovering one’s own path and staying true to it through life’s gyrations. This memoir rips, romps, stomps and frolics through the most meaningful mysteries of life and dives into topics any thinking person must wrangle with: illness, death, sex, power relations, a meaningful marriage, creating a future that befits the past, exploring why one is on earth and what one is supposed to do here. What is the true goal of education? What does the art of the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods tell us about that time and our cultural future? Can we approach death honoring the experience of each day? Staying True models faith as a living presence. This is the work of a brilliant eclectic thinker, a mystic, a student of many disciplines, one who models for us the work of a lifetime.

About the Author

Photo of Lynn

Lynn Waddington, a lifelong Quaker, was born in 1940 in rural southern New Jersey and raised in a “19th century childhood.” When the ‘60s came around, she went through participating—as a bisexual Quaker mystical artist. Her early education in one-room schoolhouses was in stark contrast to the academic and personal rigor of the Quaker boarding school she experienced in high school, and in contrast to college, which taught her much about the downsides of education—lessons that served her well as a college professor of visual and performing arts. As she faced her impending death she wrote about staying true to her path, and she pursued a passion that had possessed her for decades: the art and culture of Paleolithic and Neolithic times. This study prompted her to reproduce many of the hand-held figures of those periods and to produce a video titled When God Was Female, completed just months before she died. Lynn’s essays have been published in Enlivened by the Mystery: Quakers and God and Held in Love: Life Stories to Inspire Us Through Times of Change. She maintained her fine sense of humor right to the end.

Lynn, with deep honesty and insight, offers us profound reflections on love, marriage and the spiritual nature of being. This touching narrative tenders compassion for human foibles and insight into her personal journey of self discovery as an artist, educator and lesbian. As she reflects on her impending death, she offers perceptions beyond the veil to the other side, a guide to every human on a spiritual journey.

Susan Corson-Finnerty, Publisher and Executive Editor, Friends Journal (1999-2011)

Reading this book gives one a sense of great privilege—an opening into the mind of a truly insightful soul, a life story of compelling honesty and wisdom, a testimony to continually trying to do the right thing, ‘staying true.’ This is a book about being led by God into self-awareness and self-celebration, towards healing family wounds, and into a loving marriage. It is a life full of blessings laid before us so we too can partake in the grace and wisdom that characterised Lynn Waddington's journey. If we could all share so fully (and write so well), how much richer all our communities would be. Certainly we can be re-inspired by this wonderful book to stay true to our own call.

Ben Pink Dandelion, Woodbrooke Quaker Studies Centre and University of Birmingham

I love how Lynn’s free childhood wanderings in the wild waterfront area where her family lived gave her unmediated access to the world around her. She became “a naturalist without ever thinking of science” and “a contemplative without thinking of religion.” When teaching visual and performing arts later on, she prized this kind of experiential and transformative learning for her students: “I wanted to aim them back to their inner source and not to stand between them and it.” As a long-time feminist women’s health educator, I recognize and delight in Lynn’s approach to learning and teaching.

Wendy Sanford, co-author Our Bodies, Ourselves

Awakened by her terminal illness, Lynn refocuses and deepens her lifelong search for soul and meaning. Following decades of intensive study of Stone Age female imagery, she begins to sculpt in clay, sensitively reproducing the contours of Paleolithic and Neolithic figurines to commune with an ancient grace, wisdom, dignity and authority encoded in their forms. Through this intimacy she discovers herself reflected in these images of the Divine. She comes to know that God, as the source of life, who will receive her in death, is female. Lynn’s story is a profound gift, revealing that staying true to one’s path is a radical act.

Joan Marler, Executive Director, Institute of Archaeomythology

Books are available. $16 each. See below for ordering information

When God Was Female (DVD)

When God Was Female Cover

An illustrated recording of a lecture Lynn gave to a standing room only crowd at the first exhibit of the more than 50 Paleolithic and Neolithic sculptures she reproduced. She muses on the connection between these compelling images and the peaceful times they came from, on the role of creativity, and the importance of bringing forth the feminine now in both women and men.

Running time 42 minutes.

For personal and educational use only.

DVDs are available. $15 each. See below for ordering information

Ordering Information

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