Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An answer that just isn't there


A box of coffee mugs has been left by the door.
So when I  arrive today, Gina and her actors are rehearsing the gala play and a circle of Occupiers are rapt in attention watching them. It’s a good introduction to thier host. 
The pieces of the new boiler are on 86th street being loaded in through the street level door. It has begun. 
Marsha and Hugo arrive for our negotiations with Jane and her financial person Susan and her funder Ingrid. The conversation goes well. It looks like we’re ready to step out and make a commitment. We will try it...we’ll see what happens.
Marc has an idea about inviting people in for favorite music listening nights using the full sound system. Sounds like a great idea. He’d also like to get together and just play some music. And I would love that, too, if I can just get a moment to breathe.  Sunday, he laid a perfect red leaf on the communion table. 
Three of our occupiers are headed to Hope’s. She’s opened up her house to them. They were impressed to learn the socai history of the church.  
The day is growing late. I’m trying to leave. I think the place is empty. But first I find Leila in the Chapel measuring walls for her next New York Realists exhibition. And then I find another artist in the Session room. He’s got an installation opening in December. Needs to pull up some floor boards. Is it ok? Well, in the interest of art, of course it is. He is going to need another half hour or so. 

And then Mr. Martin comes in, ready to fix the Selmer piano. 
And then I find Russ. He was a late addtion to our sleepover group last night. There is much pain in his face.  I ask if he knew the others who slept here or whether it was just random. Random, he says. he’s looking for a place to sit and read. He’s got a stack of books that survived the raid. He likes the table in the Session room. I ask where he’s from. Nashville, he says. I tell him I know Nashiville, my oldest son went to school there. I ask him what he did there. I was a teacher, he says, I still am a teacher, he adds. I tell him I have to leave. He’s welcome to come back around ten. 
So I’m going to leave with Russ and an installation artist and Leila still there. I need to get to WBAI to get interviewed about the Dominos boycott. And then to my friend Greg’s cd release party in DUMBO, under the bridge. 
There is a certain pathos in the occupiers I have met. Along with romantic and optimistic students there are also folks who are clearly wounded and even lost. I’ve seen this before. It’s a natural collateral reality. Post 9-11, there were a lot of volunteers who wanted to live in 9-11 world. They had a hard time when the opertion finally shut down.  There was no meaning to their lives outside of 9-11. And so it is with Occupy. If for Jesus’s sake, you want to stand in solidarity with the least and the lost, then you stand with the least and the lost. That’s it. That’s what you do. No questions asked. 
I head to WBAI. Russ’ face haunts me. Looking, searching, for an answer that just isn’t there. 

(To listen to WBAI broadcast, go to

....first twenty minutes on last Thursday's #OWS march on the Brooklyn Bridge, then Rev. Brashear and Justice Will Be Served workers...)

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