Saturday, August 10, 2013

Inherent flaws in the lyre and five broken cameras


Jacob from NBC is in scouting locations for Michael Fox's new show on NBC. Loves the space, just not right....Bella conducted him on his tour. She' in  for another long day of sorting, cleaning, general helping out..we'll miss her when she heads for college....

RL has David S and Max and  Gabe hard at work in the little chapel opening up more performance space and working on the floor and sealing up floor board spaces.

Mary from Bread and Puppet Theatre is in to check out the space in planning for their 50th anniversary in November. Remembering them for so many years as a constant presence at marches, rallies, etc., it's exciting to look forward to their being here.

A woman is in the sanctuary, crying. Takes out her phone, starts to talk. Later I see she's still crying. I want to ask, but she seems guarded. I watch her walk out the door, wipe her eyes, hail a cab.

Mr. Martin,  who tuned our home piano for years, comes in to take a look at the piano as it has now taken up  residence in the chapel. He sees some inherent flaws in the lyre, the pedal assembly. Asks me to keep it safe in my office. Later, Marc sees it there. He looks at it carefully. I can fix that. I try to explain Mr. Martin's view of things, but decide, OK, give it a shot....

One of RL' s  yeoman crew is a long time super. (He has an amazing capacity to enlist high quality workers on the basis of his vision, hey if it's important to RL, it must be a good addition the crew of people with diverse skills  he keeps on retainer...) There are reports of bathroom issues so we go on a water line safari. I stay with him until I have to run out and get supplies for tonight's film..

Tonight we show, Five Broken Cameras, the Academy Award nominated documentary about Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat turned filmmaker and his, well, five broken cameras. With his Israeli partner Guy Davidi, he painfully documents the story of his village, B'ilin through the story of his cameras. Through the story of one village, we see a picture of life under occupation.
In the discussion after,  there are these comments:
* He got his first camera to document the life of his youngest son...that son's entire life has been one of increasingly constricted occupation with the constant presence of the Israeli army. And resistance. What does it mean to grow up in those kind of circumstances?
* It's a common criticism against the Palestinians that if only they would practice non-violence, if only they would be like the civil rights movement...what we see is exactly that ..five years of disciplined, creative, persistent non-violent resistance.
* The occupying Israeli soldiers are all young. Their constant demands to stop filming indicate they can't feel good to what they are doing to others on their own land. Don't want it to be seen. So they smash cameras. 
*  Hugo has his sense of identification, beginning with his own experience of his participation in the Nicaraguan resistance movement. And then with his experience here in this neighborhood, including his arrest and explaining that to his grandchildren. This church has been occupied, he says. This church is occupied.

A woman approaches me. Tells me how she and her late  husband Mac, a longtime activist and convener of a long running weekly freedom songs gathering, was married here by Pastor Davidson. And as she is leaving, she says, and  he baptized me too.

Later that night, I talk with Joe and the gang. The two women ask me about how to find cheap housing. They're putting money together. Joe says he wants to find a place before winter. Sooner, I say.  He seems to have found a place that can help with id's. I mention that the Church in the Village does that and is connected to the Interfaith Assembly. Keep it cool, I say, OK?
A change in policy may be coming..

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