Thursday, October 17, 2013

And good news


Ted Mapes, Sr. 

A day with no breathing space. Finally get to the church after the Labor Assistance Professionals luncheon in Queens Village, a visit to the eye doctor and  meeting at my friend Elise’s Advent church.

Important to accept good things. the Labor Assistance Professionals group is an organization of people doing work with union people with primarily drug and alcohol issues. They gave one of their two annual awards to West-Park for our support of working people and working to heal the brokenness. And of our support for the 99%.

Speaking to the LAP group
Refreshing to be at a meeting of people with jackets and ties who are committed to labor, to progressive ideals and who actually supported out work with #OWS. And who start their meeting with the pledge to the flag. And I did the invocation. 

Teddy’s father was one of the cofounders. And he thanked us for saving his son. Tearing up at his memory. And I of course still miss him. His union, the Steamfitters, there in force. A good union, says Tina. She reminds me it was ten months since he died. Feels like longer. And also like he’s just around the corner. 

Late in the afternoon, RL comes by and invites me up to the studio. His friend Luba Dvorak (yes that one,yes he is...) is visiting. Just back from his west coast tour. They play for and with each other. Years ago Luba produced RL’s CD. The music is free and loose. And totally connected to each other intuitively.  Luba’s fingers smooth and easy on the strings. His music edging more country than I remember back in the P&G days. The finish with RL’s Pinto, Luba’s San Diego song and of course, Stay Awhile. The San Diego song has what RL calls Luba’s best line: I feel like a Bible salesman in a stolen suit. (

Lindsey and Brett back for one last session. Tonight we talk about how do they fight. And the difference between forgiveness, the letting go, the giving up for all time the hope for s different past; and reconciliation, the engaged process of reconstructing a relationship. How I wish sometimes I could go back and start over. But you can’t.

A woman comes in. Asks if this is a catholic church. Answer: no.

Before the night is over, I’ll have another challenging couples’ counseling session. It’s emotional;y draining when you really allow yourself feel the complex dynamics of another relationship. And important to know your  own boundaries. 

There’s some commotion outside. There’s large shopping carts overflowing with bags of cans and bottles blocking the sidewalk. I shrug and say, What’s up with this? And the angry man gets up in my face. Doesn’t like the way I asked the question. I should have asked it different. I didn’t show respect. You should have said, excuse me sir, can you please move this
Doesn’t matter.You can’t block the road.
It’s not the road, it’s the sidewalk.
You’re parsing words. Still can’t block it.
And then he goes off, eyes blazing, breathing heavy.Doing the whole you don’t know what it’s like to be homeless, not everyone's same, not everyone is so lucky, you have a warm bed...I’m waiting for isn’t this a church?

On the one hand, trying to guilt me here won’t work. This gang is hard. Younger. Tougher looking. Almost intimidating. Don’t give me the homeless guilt trip. On the other hand, I am losing my patience. Very tired. Need to not give in to cynicism.

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