Friday, February 4, 2011

Frozen landscape

Ice glazed mounds, hills, of snow line the streets of Manhattan like icebergs in a frigid sea. This frozen arctic landscape isn’t going away anytime soon. When I get to the church, I’m happy to see that the paths I chopped through the ice earlier this week have remained open. Those last few inches by the bus stop are simply impenetrable.  
I’m looking for some things, representations of West-Park, to take with me to worship on Sunday at SPSA. We’re going back there one more time to say a goodbye and thanks. And to hold our annual meeting. Just too cold at West-Park. SPSA has been our temporary home for three years.
It’s a good memory, how we left our church and marched down the street to their sanctuary. How they welcomed us with applause. Some of us stayed outside, unable to go in, the pain of our loss too great. Others of us were moved to tears inside with the warmth of their greeting. We needed to be held for awhile and this seemed like a place that would do just that.
We expected to leave in triumph at most two years later. With a totally restored building and money to fund our mission. A real estate deal would accomplish that. That’s not what happened. So instead of waiting for a new “deal” we decided to go back and begin to recreate ourselves, take back our building, our life  on our own. 
I choose three things-- a tarnished silver communion cup we found in the clean up after the water break. Like us, in need of polish but with a history and still silver. Pieces of our building, the most recent to fall off, the reason this whole process began in the first place. And a gold cardboard crown to remember how we celebrated Three Kings’ Day with them with our music, Arcadia’s baby Jesus and our costumes. That was always one of our better days together.
Down the street, Marsha and I had breakfast. Discussed the new website we’re almost ready to launch. The upcoming New York Metro Industrial Areas Foundation assembly reporting on community organizing work in the areas of housing, education and the Ten percent is enough campaign to limit interest on debt. We remember how West-Park was a founding member and first home of IAF on the Upper West Side. We need to get some people together for turnout, for solidarity with our friends and allies across the city.
And we talk about the ongoing issue of the boiler. How stuck it feels. One more block of ice to break through. 
I go back outside to spread salt on that pesky stretch of ice on the curb by the bus stop. We will find a way to break through.

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