Saturday, November 1, 2014

Count the votes. Always.


Tom Bo comes in. Working together on  a concert/worship experience for December  based on a strong poem written from the perspective of someone living inside a refrigerator box.  We also talk about other ways we can respond to or interpret Matthew 25, the least of these. …..

And then he takes the time  to work with me on a piece I wrote a long time ago but could never put together. It’s way outside of  my normal genres of country/folk styles. It feels really good to be working in this way.

Phil F of the Revolutionary Communists comes in  to negotiate the last details of an agreement for them to move into our place and use it as a command center for their upcoming big event dialogue between Chairman Avakian to be held at Riverside Church. They are, shall we say, pulling out all stops. And Phil, in their typical dedicated and details fashion, wants every base covered and no stone left unturned.

Out on 86th street, my old friend Philip N is passing slowly past the church. He smiles when he sees me, Long time mentor and friend. He performed our marriage. Preceded me at West-Park. (As interim) And recruited me for the job. One of my favorite quotes of his is  the problem with liberals is they don’t count the vote….     

That comes to mind often for me. Easier said that done. But when we did that hard work, in  Presbytery last November, we won. That’s just the beginning of what I learned from him. In his 80’s now, the quiet gentleness that was always there is more immediate. His smile,warmth comes easily. I catch  him up on West-Park and he starts back up the street. Slowly.,


The Aussie filmmaker has been here since 6 AM. He’s finally finished. Almost. Reshoots based on what happened his last day shooting here when one of his actresses backed out on him. So it goes. Small indie guys just have to deal.

Gregory again. I wish he didn’t bother me so much. Or that I could be kinder. I remind him it’s not the church’s money, it’s my personal money. And he tells me that he knows that and that there’ no one else he would hit up the  way he does me. He says this as if it’s a compliment. This bears some reflection.


Sean has decided to accept the help from BRC. Again. Start back in the shelter. Work his way back up. Again. And try to avoid those situations where he’ most vulnerable. Like the shower.  Promises to remove his stuff by the weekend. We'll see. 

Stephen W and Pat O in for a conference call and strategy session for our meeting tomorrow with the Department of Buildings.Manhattan Borough President Brewer got this meeting set up. We have to take it. Just have to be on  he same page as to how to deal with it. It’s always a sensitive issue with the bureaucracy.

The Con Ed meter reader has been working hard to get someone to notice that he’s there and help get down to the basement to read his meter.

Trish stops by as she’s clearing out her stuff from her open rehearsal/workshop of The Divinity of Hell: the handkerchief sequence in Shakespeare’s Othello. My friend John H, the Shakespeare scholar, friend and Center board member comes to see it with me. Shares my appreciation for the good solid work visible so far. Immersive use of the sanctuary, the Chapel and Mc Alpin. A natural ease with the Elizabethan iambic pentameter. A judicious cut of the play.  Focus on one sequence, according to John, perhaps the most important and laden with religious allegory. And a cast that was uniformly strong but unique in a Bianca who becomes here more than a plot device but a storing growing character of her own. I love watching these kind of efforts blossom. Trish is overjoyed. So a real production awaits in February.

The Revolutionary Communists are moving in like an orderly occupation. They’ll be living with us for almost a month. They continue to fascinate and intrigue me. I will watch this carefully.

They moved in when Othello moved out. I figure Robeson would like that.

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