Saturday, June 11, 2011

Like urban caving

Today is the official birthday of the church.  We will celebrate, low key, tomorrow. I get to the church early, 7 am, to let in Vinnie and his crew to deep clean the carpets, scrape and paint the bathrooms, help us get ready for the week ahead. Before I leave to coach soccer, Vinnie wants me to see the color of the carpets. How the old dull gray green has returned to a lustrous green. How the rugs themselves have perked up.
When I get back, the place is buzzing with activity. Hope is helping our office regain at least a semi-professional look. I climb up to replace light bulbs. We go into the closet to start cleaning it out. Lily and Alma are upstairs, cleaning out Mc Alpin Hall so it can be used for the concerts. Luis is there for the heavy work. Soon Samantha will arrive as well. Theo is planning something for our scaffolding, getting his paints and canvasses ready. Dave is trying to explain to me his latest assessment of the lighting situation. He’s taken down the big heavy cans to check them out. People keep walking in off the street to check things out. Danielle and I put our timeline back up on the wall. 
We find a door in the back of the closet. Danielle shines a flashlight in a and sees a ladder going down. She and Theo and I go down in, back into the bowels of the church. One small room  leads to another, all under the sanctuary. It’s dry, scraps of wood and other debris. Some places the ceiling drops to 4 feet or so. it’s like urban caving, this exploring.
There are networks of pipes. In one room, there sits, upright, a small child’s chair. I find that kind of unsettling, says Danielle. There is an old Pepsi bottle, recent times Poland Springs bottles. Who was down here and why? When? Theo finds an old oil can, still full. 
Off in the far distance we, see a light, at the end of the crawl space we’ve been through before. All these paths connect somehow. We’ve clearly made our way to the border of the office building. Danielle finds an  opening into the room where the meters are. It requires bending, sliding moving some pipes and crawling down. we’ve crossed from under Amsterdam to under 86th Street. we stretch, good to be able to stand upright again. I wonder waht the Woodshed folks could do with all these spaces. 
Then we take Theo through the crawl space to the small back opening then through the kitchen to the back yard. There are never installed wood organ pipes, tools, chairs, everything put there by somebody intentionally at some time. We look around the patio. The carcass of Danielle’s air conditioner added to many other carcasses, computers, a file cabinet, an old picnic table. All very strange and mysterious. We try to imagine the speakeasy Woodshed wants to create.
On the way back up, we stop to admire the work Vinnie and company have completed in the bathroom. 
I go to the copy shop to pick up the poster inviting people to come to worship. Then Danielle and I climb the scaffolding  to put the poster up. Luis brings a ladder and we put up concert signs. The Open House sign we’ll put up tomorrow. 
Frustrated that we weren’t able to get a dumpster. We were under the impression that one was coming from  Landmarks West! There’s still something puzzlihg about communications.. and why is it so impossible to get things done? Like even a simple e-mail announcement!
Hauling garbage (that dumpster again) is our last job of the day.

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