Thursday, December 6, 2012

This is it

This is it. This is the day...
Anna comes into my office with puppy. I have come to truly appreciate her. Intelligent, wry humor, well read. One year at Chicago U. And amazingly self aware and open about her struggles with bipolarism. Her self awareness and openness makes it easy to talk with her. It’s the ones who don’t know that make it impossible. We’re deep in conversation about the mental health system, where to get help, prescriptions, when Martin tells us our guest is here. With her advisor/evaluator. The person who stepped in and saved us when we faced the abyss. The deus ex machina as Ted put it.  
I give the sanctuary tour. Teddy comes to join us. To open doors. He’s worked hard to make sure everything is ready and taken the day off from his Sandy clean up job. Jamie meets us, all the necessary papers and information at the ready. 
We cover every inch of the building. I hope that she won’t be overwhelmed with real estate detail. I keep looking to see a sign of what she’s thinking, feeling...We finish. She wants to go back through with her advisor again.Jamie and I sit and wait anxiously until she has to leave and I wait alone. 
Our visitor comes back in. She’s got more people to talk to. We will talk again another time. 
Our team of St. Agnes boys, three this times, arrives. Teddy gets them to work. 
Isis from Dzieci arrives. I ask her about being a shaman, and she explains her training, her ordination. RL pops in and I say, shaman meet shaman. He asks her and she replies Celtic, he nods and says Yakima.
Her roots go back to Tulsa. She went to the magnet school in North Tulsa, Booker T. Knew my friends who had started and maintained for 38 years the best regional theatre company in Oklahoma. I tell her of my work with the Oklahoma Eagle, my secret identity as I wrote reviews. 
The we head out into the cold. Since I woke up this morning, the temperature has dropped 20 degrees or more. It’s dark and cold. Dzieci wants to do some singing at a number of residences tomorrow to help build an audience for their 5’o clock performance. 
We start at Capital Hall. They’ll put up the fliers, but they’re under reconstruction, can’t sing there. At Goddard Riverside’s Community Center, their calendar is packed. And everyone leaves after bingo anyways. But they’ll put up fliers. We stop by Euclid Hall. And then go to SPSA. The legal counselor is there. Everyone else has left. Programs end by late afternoon. One final stop at the Michalski AIDS Residence. (Named for a former West Park member.) Again, fliers. No warm up performances. 
I feel very discouraged. Sorry that I hadn’t had the time or emotional space to work on all these connections. The subject doesn’t automatically connect. And yet I know that if we develop a relationship with Dzieci,work on this, one relationship at a time, it would work. Would bring these places closer to us and our vision. The connections are there, but will take developing. I walk Isis back to the church. Watch her onto her bike, pedal away. I so want these performances to be  a success.
Back in the church, I see someone in the darkened sanctuary. Looks like someone from the street, deep in prayer. But its Jamie, deep into her IPhone. We’re meeting with a colleague of hers to discuss another strategic possibility. 
Soon enough, our Center board is arriving. As is the board of the neighboring condo for their annual meeting. The movie people have arrived. And Jane’s Course on Miracles people are coming in. This is where it gets a little crazy. Teddy is all over it, directing people to where they need to go.
I greet the condo board. Hug an old friend. Think of history. For a minute.
It’s up to Jamie and I to explain to the board the roller coaster we’ve been on since Thanksgiving week. And where we now are. Our visitor has been googlevetted and comes up solid. Another suitor is in the wings, won’t wait long. 
Bottom line: this is our last shot at the whole dream, the big dream. We’ve kept that possibility alive way longer than it seemed possible. But like Rachelle’s stuff, the time is now. Otherwise, we will have to give up half the property, regroup and refocus in the sanctuary building. Possible, but I’m wearing out. Everyone is clear. We’ve got Ted and Mim to show what we’ve got on our side of the table. They’re anxious to meet. Can’t really plan anything else until we know. A year ago, it was the boiler. Now it’s all. All on the line.
Head to dinner with Mim and Kimberley. This is it.

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