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Saturday, February 11, 2012

She's gone, but i'm still shaving



2/9
I see the umbrella first. Then eventually the man behind it. I say, wearily, you can’t sleep here during the day. He says, I hear you, starts to stir. As he emerges, it’s someone I haven’t seen before. Middle aged white man. I ask him how long he’s been out. He tells me three weeks. Says the steps are safer than the shelter. Tells me his litany of bad things that have happened in the shelters  and names them one by one. Stories I’ve heard before and believe. I’m trying to figure out where to send him, but he’s ready to go off. We say to each other, have a good day. 
Matthew stops in before rehearsal. Talks about his play. Based on stories from 9/11. Missed connections. His cast has arrived. The music begins to fill the sanctuary again.  
Sarah waks in and I give her a big hug. I’ve missed her. A couple has come in to look around. Going to a concert at St.Ignatius tonight. As we’re waking through the church, I notice a sickly looking pigeon in the back. Oh no, not this again. I go to get Carlos to help me. The couple leaves. Between Carlos, Sarah and I, we manage to get the pigeon out. Sarah is laughing. Yet one more sevice you’ve done for this  church, I say. And she laughs again.
I take her to Popover’s to work on press strategy. How to regain the narrative. She believes we can’t do it from the side, we’ve got to go straight at Murdoch. Now how, that will be the question. 
Liz, one of the New York Creates artists is there when I get back, listening to Matthew’s rehearsal. She wants to know my construction priorities. Easy. The outdoor grate. The elevator. Fourth floor electricity. Pigeons. She’ll be back with an elevator man.
Jeff is here for the first time in a long time. He has the assignment of building an access ramp for people with disabilities for tomorrow’s Town Square. Teddy is here, too, things are a bit uneasy. 
Sarah hears his  rough Yonkers vocie and goes running through the door to greet him. A big hug there, too.  I notice Teddy has shaved. 
Teddy, must be your wife, right?
Yeah, I knew she was coming, bringing my daughter. I had to do it.
Okay, that was days ago.
Yeah she’s gone but I’m still shavin. 
And we all laugh.
Marc is checking out a box of intriguing odds and ends in the chapel. Including a mini digital piano. You don’t want to lose this, he says. He’s noticed the room above where he stores his equipment. There’s no way to get up there he says, without a ladder. 
Martin comes in for one last go round of negotiations. He’s got bad news. And good news. Okay, let’s make this happen, I want him in the house. And of course, he’s not gone long before Luli wants to come in just to check one more time. 
I step out, go down to Starbucks for a moment. Gio’s there. He’s been told if his girlfrend can’t prove she’s 18, she’ll have to leave. Which means he’ll leave too. She has a school ID, isn’t that enough? (So, I think, why isn’t she in school?)
sage and cedar
When I step back in the church, I’m afraid I smell smoke. Afraid there’s a fire. But it’s only Joseph, using cedar and sage to cleanse the sanctuary prior to tomorrow’s Town Square. He’s using an eagle feather to waft the smoke. He’s doing this while Piano Dan is working on the Beckstein, bringing it back again. That image, Dan at the piano, Joseph with his cedar and sage..Back in Oklahoma, my Native American friends used to do this with a new house. I figure we need it.  
Lope who was there the night of one of the wild spokes council meetings walks in. She’s got art work for tomorrow. Max is checking out all details. We talk about the ceiling lights. I show him the ladder to the speace above the ceiling. Then tell him the ceiling’s glass. Don’t want anybody coming through, I say.
Sarah is taking this in. All of this. She looks at me and says, I’d forgotten how much I miss, how much I love this crazy place. 
That’s all you can do, I say, love it. And I do.
Miriam comes by to talk about Presbytery. We head to the chapel.  In all her visits, she hasn't been in the water damaged part of the building. Somehow we’e got to get people to see what we’re doing here. That it is good for the church. How we are there. And that presence itself is a form of evangelism.  But it so feels like we’re living in different worlds, speaking different languages. Her encouragement, her wisdom, is heartening. She has quietly been here every time we’ve done  something. She sees, knows what it is. 


Late in the day Chirs arrives and he's clean shaven, too. (Gene Mc Carthy where are you now that we need you?) Whatis it with this clean shaven trend?
Jamie comes by to pick me up. There’s a conversation to be had about the neighborhood. About connecting normal people, the neighbors, to what’s going on. Maybe starting tomorrow.
Yeah, I do love this crazy place. 

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