We have come here, each alone, to this place beyond the reach of the net men cast to capture the unwary, the indolent, the stupid, the fearful. No entity elected us to this fellowship, but, having learned that the world within that net is not the only world, we now find ourselves together with others who have done the same, and this fills us with relief, and with gratitude.

We do not belong to each other, but, in this fellowship, we belong together. No person owns another; no one owns anything. As the Remnant say, I depart as I arrive, with empty hands.

What we do possess is what we do, here, in this present, and it is this work that we pass along to those who follow, just as those who come before us leave behind, for our learning and delight, the work that they have done.

Some in this ageless fellowship wait for us to join them further on; some wait for us to set off on that journey, so that they can take our place here. In the meantime, we do our work.

You have been told that other work matters more than your own; that you must not try the patience of those who rank above you; that people are depending on you and cannot be abandoned in their suffering and need.

You tried to fit your work into the work you did for these others, but then neither their work nor yours could be properly addressed, and you suffered remorse and guilt on both counts.

You were told that you are selfish, or naive, or arrogant, to give more thought to the work that only you can do than to the work that others believe you owe to them. These voices have hounded you, harrassed you without letup, colonized you.

Unable to withstand this ceaseless clamoring, you have submitted to it, giving yourself to the work of others, hoping to pacify them, perhaps even buy your freedom, by giving them what they demanded of you. But they only clutched at you all the more, and at last you understood that it would never end, not that way.

And so you chose your path. So did we all who are here, and all who wait for us. Let us begin our work together.