Thursday, September 18, 2014

Somewhere between Swift and Orwell


Back to church after the monthly SWEAT rally in front of the Department of Labor.

Another meeting with composer/conductor Thomas Bo.  I share with with him our vision/plan for Sunday mornings as a time of exploring music with special guests. With a  flash of inspired connection, he reaches into his briefcase and brings out the score for his composition Prophecy from a Refrigerator Box, written to a poem exploring the inner life of a street person who sleeps in a refrigerator box. Scored for a jazz trio. It’s neither ideological nor didactic but makes visible and demands reflection on what is often invisible. And how homelessness itself causes people to disappear, becoming invisible leads to disconnection leads to a retreat into an interior world. I say that Marc Greenberg of the Interfaith Assembly told me the first year I was here that more important than giving money to homeless people was simply seeing them, acknowledging their humanity. Marc’s principles and Thomas’ score are right in line.We also talk about Kristen Leigh’s ideas about performance and the sacred, how a musical creation is its own doorway into the spirit without needing didactic road maps. The same thing we’ve been working on with Mario and Jeremy G. Okay, Thomas, we’ll do something with this.

Anna and I sit and talk about what it means to be Presbyterian. The good and the bad. Our horizontal governance. The equality of ordinations of elders, deacons, pastors. Differences  in function, not importance or value.  And how my main role is that of teacher, and facilitator, not mediator. After years of being a congregant participant, she is ready to make a commitment, become a member. All that’s left is to  make to official and to welcome her.

Brian S is busy repainting the 86th street door what I call Holy Spirit red, the traditional church door color. I had previously made a blog complaint about the color and he reminded me that I should have spoken to him before writing about it and that he gladly would have repainted. He was absolutely right. And as true to his word as he is to his work. I hope that there will be room for further discussion. He’s bringing back to life a definitive era of American drama.

Officially welcome back the whole Noche core, Martin, Marina, Soli, Mitchell. Good to have them back in the house. 

The Session meets for its weekly update. It can be draining and exhausting, all the bureaucratic ins and outs of dealing with the city. Soviet bureaucracy had nothing on New York City’s labyrinthine ins and outs of permits and expeditors and commissions and dead ends. Somewhere between Swift and Orwell.

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