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Friday, June 24, 2011

I am Human Being


See all Bridge Concert Series photos:


6/23
Ted and I meet with a contingent from the Mannes School.  Mannes is the music school of the New School Unversity. It’s only a block away. They would be a perfect partner. We give them a tour. They've used our space before, back in the day. Again, lots of needs, ideas. Not so much money. They need a music library, class rooms, performance space. Thoughts of social engagement, an afterschool program. It’s exciting. But possibilitites are starting  to wear me out. The money is fast running out. We need something real. Soon. 
Time to move my car and come back. Catch up with Danielle. Lots going on. Aaron comes in with Amanda to say goodbye  before flying back to Portland. Marc has brought his team in to visit, to get a feel for the place. Mr. Martin, who tunes our piano at home, has come in wanting to tune our piano. He’s amazed what great shape its in. 
Stephen from Woodshed wants me to see what they’ve been up to. I follow him down into the basement. And am taken by surprise. They’ve converted our trashed out basement into a speakeasy. All from pieces found in the church. Furniture, paintings, pews. Thye’ve set up a kitchen, a bar, a poker nook. I am speechless. It’s happening.
I make sure to take Marc and his  crew down. Marc says it’s ridiculous. I also take Theo. My clergy group was divided on the banner issue, but only K from SPSA said hang it regardless.  Most others said what we say to the public about ourselves is important, and few would get the  welcoming inclusiveness of sloppy, misspelled signs. Marc’s people, Theo and his friend, are blown away by the speakeasy.
Marc and I are reviewing my list for the gala. Also talking about how important it will be to connect with the session. Hear them. Before finalizing a campaign. The photos from tbe middle of the night shoot are beautiful. But I’m not sure about the tag, Not your father’s church. Kind of patriarchal, that. Get the idea, but....
Out on the steps, a man has set up camp. I walk over. Introduce myself. Ask his name. I’m human being, he says. I tell him I can see that, but what is his name? I am Human Being, motherfucker, that’s my name. Can you not fucking  hear? I done told you already. And I am an angry motherfucker.
Why?
Been to the army. Been to prison Been to rehab. Been to clinics. Been through motherfuckin programs. Do I get a job? A place to live? Been to every fucking shelter. Name one, motherfucker. Just go ahead and name one. I been to them all.  And the goddam police.  Motherfuckers. Not there when I need them, but when I'm just around, not doin' nothin', won't fuckin' leave me alone. I AM motherfuckin pissed....but I shouldn’t be...and with that he puts his head down, starts to cry. This will not be easy. I want to go in and call Goddard, the Reachout folks. 
But its very crazy. Hope is here with Theo, discussing the closing of H &H Bagels. Marc has more to go over with me. Stephen is leaving and I have to make sure he keeps it cool with the neighbors. Miguel comes in to pick up some of his stuff, makes sure we'll keep the rest. 
Later, as Amanda and I head  to Brooklyn to follow up with Octavio Brunetti, the tango pianist, I have this funny thought. We go to Brooklyn to find what’s cutting edge and hip. Now Brooklyn’s young and hip are in my building, working at making West-Park the next cutting edge place. Reverse gentrification. That raw space in a gentrified neighborhood thing. The attractiveness of counterintuitivity. It’s pretty crazy. As Marc would say, ridiculous. 


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