Sunday, April 22, 2012

We don't inherit, we borrow from our children

We have coffee. We have copies. We’re ready. Meeting with representatives of Presbytery’s Committee for Nurture of Congregations subcommitee of the Council  on Ministry and Nurture. We’ve prepared a status report. I’ve brought the coffee, Marsha the bagels.  
We go over all our current realitites. We are doing everything about our insurance  situation we can be doing, quotes should be ready soon. We need help on our legal issues. real ministry is being done every day. We do go places others don’t, have realtionships that bring insight, have a plan if we can get a bridge  to it, provide a space for the unexpected intersections of unlikely people. We can be a gift to the church. Yes, it does feel like we’re on a tightrope with no net. 
And yes, there’s a reason why our ministry has to be here to be  this ministry. This is a community based ministry. Our context is a calling not a circumstance. We are at the geographic center of the  upper westside. Our neighbors are the wealthy in doorman buildings and  the poor in projects and the unique cast of characters who make up the residents of Capital Hall. In a day when the poor and marginalized are more and more invivisble, they are present with us, in communty with us. We can be, we are a link, to the church, to the borader community. If we were somewhere else, it would be  a different ministry. It is transformational, wholistic, organic. We feel like we have been heard. 

* * * 
I don’t know what to make of this. The UNSOUND festival from Krakow, Poland has brought the largest crowd I have ever seen in this place. The downstairs sanctuary is full. The  balcony seats are full. There is standing room only.
The openng act is Jacaszek from Poland on computer accomonpanied by a harpsichord and someone on clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone. And a video projectionist. It’s not electronica, not ambient, though those are signposts to where this music is. 
At intermission, I text Leila tell her that lots of people are looking at their paintings, some taking pictures. And that the place is packed. 

The second half is a commissioned piece, Trinity, a collaboration between Los Angeles’ Lustmord and Norway’s Biosphere exploring the first nuclear tests in the New Mexico desert. Two men. Two computers. Video. 
Their music accompanies black and white video of the desert site, at the base captured ambient sounds from the desert. Occasional snippets of interviews, news fillms. In dialogue with the music until the black and white film bursts orange, high pitched siren like wailings then the aftermath. The last snippet of sound was a female voice, We don’t inherit. We borrow from our children. And this is what we leave them.... I found myself profoundly moved. 

When the light comes on, I see the two musicians are wearing short sleeved white shirts, thin ties and black plastic glasses. They could be computer nerds. Or atomic scientists on the Trinity project. 
Danielle was around most of the night, trying to capture with a photo the feel of this phenomenal night. Chris and Requiem in their Occupy NY shirts did a great job on security. Runi was by me for the dramatic conclusion as I explained history, that it was about something.  (Runi had pointed out that the harpsichord, clarinet and computers covered several centuries of music...) Outside, I see Leila. She had to come and see what was going on. (Although Berik thought it was drug addict music.)

I have to ponder what it means that two of our largest drawing events have been these music from the edge concerts. And I’m thinking that there’s a place where new (classical) music, eletronica/digital/ambient and free jazz are all headed like converging lines from different directions. 
I also have noted that the Williamsburg/West Park pipeline is still in operation.

Trinity Test Site

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