Friday, May 17, 2013

It all goes back


The wheelchair man is back, tucked under the 86th Street railing. I wake him, tell him he’s got to go. He tells me give him 5 minutes. Inside, I tell Stephen. We go back outside. He hasn’t stirred. I tell him again he’s got to move.  
I told you, give me five minutes.
You told me that last time and you here 24 hours.
I was sick, man.
And you left a serious mess.
Don’t say another word, man, not another word.
But you have to go. 
And with that he raises himself up quickly, taller than Stephen and I, even with no feet. In a voice filled with anger and rage and violence he says, I’m beggin you man, you got both your legs, I’m beggin you.
You want me to call someone?
Call someone? Call someone? Call fuckin who? Stop fuckin taunting me, stop fuckin tauntin me.
Stpehen intervenes, Sir, he’s not taunting you.
All right, all right. I’m goin through some serious mental stuff man, serious mental stuff. I’m goin, I’m goin.

We back away. Stephen says, He’s getting up. Let’s leave him alone. I was scared. He moved fast. Taller than us. even with no feet.
And he’s right, I say, I have no idea who to call. Maybe where he got the wheelchair...and this feeling of sadness, helplessness fills me. And I can feel his frustration. His anger. His rage. Next time I go out, he's gone. 

Deacon James passes. Breathing heavy. How are you James?
Usually says, OK, this time just looks at me. Not so good. I’m strugglin, man.
You’re moving, you’re breathing, you’re here. You’re hangin in. Hope to see you Sunday.
He smiles. God willing, he says. I see his African beads, his Korean vet hat. Remember him as my sweeping partner. Shoveling partner. Hope to see you Sunday.

The Red Bull people are in to see Stephen. He’s closing in on finishing the contract. Later, NBC will be in to talk about a long summer filming. Some serious space use.

Catarina is in the sanctuary working on her projections for Saturday’s concert work with young Japanese dancer/choreographer Kiori Kawai. Very detailed work.

An older woman, hey maybe my age, comes in. Was at the candidates’ forum Monday. Lives across the street. Long career in politics. Wants to put us on the map. Thinks she could do the job for us. I feel confidence. And need. I ask her to write a proposal. 

Catarina and Kiori still working. Dzieci is arriving for the monthly healing circle. Martin is still looking for the answer.

Dzieci now alone in the sanctuary. No circle this time. Sitting in silence in the pews. Then a note. Then two. Then voices begin to join in. Unison. Then harmony. People rise, one by one. A circle begins. 

A circle, circling. People move to the center. Find their voice. Each individual. For awhile, the chant sounds like yah-weh. The sound of breath. The name of God. Sometimes sounding  tribal. Sometimes medieval. Gregorian almost. And sometimes like wolves. Or coyotes. All wordless...

The setting sun is pouring through the rose window bathing the sanctuary in light. Like honey. Like melting caramel. I feel like I’m in some corner of Westeros. Maybe with the wildlings. Game of Thrones.

We sit and talk after. It felt gentler. Quieter.  I talk about the ritual created by the theater group with the wolves and lambs, the cast of 30 for an audience of one. Rite of inititation. Theater. But here, like reaching back through our ancestors to roots. Pre-Christian. Pre-Jewish. Roots. Dzieci can’t commit long term until they see that the future is secure. That they can count on being here.  I am so tired. Of saying. Just a little longer. Just a little longer.....

I'm going with Isis to the B for conversation. My neighbor Rabbi Wildes walks by with two congregants. Or friends. I greet him. Shavout, I say. Right, he says. We were up all night studying. Then a rooftop breakfast. 

Sunday for us, I say.
He looks. Pentecost. Shavuot.
Of course, he says.
Our pentecost goes  back to yours. 
It all goes back, he says, it all goes back.                                                                                                   

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