Thursday, January 5, 2012

The ninth day of Christmas: Flamenco, Occupiers and the Virgin Mary

It’s a day off for most people but I’m at the church to meet Martin. I talk about how much I appreciated his flamenco performance at Joe’s Pub on New Year’s Eve. How the sound of the music from Andalusia so captures the confluence of muslim muzzein and Jewish cantor and gypsy singing that took place in that golden era. And how so much of it comes from a place of passion, pain, peasants  in flight, as I recall Eva Encinias describing it years ago at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. The sound that sounds like a grito, a cry from the deepest part of the soul. Feet pounding as if they could stamp out the devil, dig into the earth or set the very ground on fire. And what a exploration it could make if we could really get the Cordoba Initiative to come and explore these issues together.  
We tour all the spaces again, trying to find what  would best meet his needs. And ours. And I tell him I need to see something in writing. 
OK, so where’s the heat? I call Chris, our boiler guy, he’ll send a crew to discover exactly what’s going on.  
Having to tell the #ows no one can move in until we’ve fully reached an agreement, getting Pastor K at SPSA to get his  board to approve one more night there. Talking with Jeff and Billy and Stan explaining what we need on our part. They will have something in writing by tomorrow at 3 PM.
Deacon James comes in looking for his broom. Turns out he brought the Virgin Mary. Wanted to make sure that she didn’t get lost. I showed him that she was safe in the corner. 
Bobby comes in looking for assistance. Carrying books and strange stories. Another of my Capital Hall congregation. Marsha, Hope and I go to find some place warm to work on the budget. We stick to bare bones and still come up around $90000 short.  One thing is clear...we’ve got to have a revitalized West-Park congregation if the Center  is going to have a chance to succeed.  
Chris has arrived with his crew. Shows me a pipe completely filled with crud and the brown muddy water in the boiler. There’s your problem, he says. We’ve got to run this thing all day, see if we can clear  this out. 
All too soon the #ows group starts arriving to keep discussing how they might live together as a community in our space. SPSA has given them one more night. I’m trying to figure out some interim solution until we can reach a full agreement through my session. Like #ows, we have a process, too. I am not an autonomus decision maker. My role with session is as moderator. Somehow Presbyterians tried to wrestle with what they’re wrestling with centuries ago. We came close, but...And any well intentioned process dependent upon people of good will can be subverted by those without....

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