Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Moons of Jupiter

Saturday's Silent Walking Meditation
We've taken 2 walks so far. How peaceful. How lovely. Silence really is enough. The waters drippling in the ditch. The green boards of the play bridges. Walking with my own peace. I am reminded of other walks. Of the moors on Nantucket, of getting lost in the cranberry bogs, of finding the hidden forest, of  the avenue of grapes. Walking, silently, I feel I am doing what I was meant to do and could do forever. This week, one of the security officers from TC3 walked with us for a few hundred feet. Besides Oakley, the walkers have all been outsiders, but each has taken the opportunity to tour the camp and meet the residents. It's been an effective interface and I, most of all, appreciate it. Lyn stopped us to check-in. "About hurrying," she said, "when you find yourself hurrying, something is wrong. Either the hurrying is wrong or what comes of the hurrying will be wrong. Look around. The trees, the flowers, the mountains--which of these is hurrying?" The next walk is Christmas morning. The one after that is New Year's Day. 10AM. I will be leading as Lyn is away for the holidays. Join me?

Getting Credit
After our walk, after taking Lyn and Vanessa to their destinations, after driving Clinton and Hugo to the airport, I drove back to TC3 and lined up for the Sunday service sign-up. Line forms at 3pm. I was 3rd in line. Whew! I did it. I successfully signed up for Sunday service at Wedgewood Presbyterian Church. Church is just up the street on Sunday at 9:30am.  Community credit, here I come! When Sunday rolled around, I arrived early and was asked to sign in and put a name tag on. I wore my cloak of 100 colors and received compliments from those in the pews around me. I'd never been to an Episcopal service. I was raised Catholic. There was no kneeling, no procession and no Eucharist. There was only standing and sitting and reciting and singing and hand shaking. And special Christmas songs. And a teenage rock band. The youngest children were called up to the alter and given lessons there in loving. I left immediately after the service. Though I felt the call to stay, I had a brunch to attend.

I had my things--my bed roll, my art supplies, my hip sack. I was headed to camp. Then I heard a song. From an open window? No. From down the street? No. Further, where? There's no church here. Further, a party? Further further... I walked 2 miles, down 100th to Sand Point to the Christmas ships at Matthew's Beach where a crowd was gathered singing and drinking cocoa. I was on my own. I was on my way. I had my things with me. I was in my cape. Half way there, I heard them announce, "This will be our final song." I'll miss it, I thought, but I walked on. When I arrived, there were no ships, a small group under a tent was packing away the cocoa and cups, a smaller group was huddled around a fire. I climbed the lifeguard stand and sat for a long while conducting it.

The Moons of Jupiter
There are 4 moons around Jupiter. With binoculars of a slightly higher power, we'd be able to see them as pinpoints of light strung out in a line around Jupiter. Jupiter is high in the southern sky and the moon is almost full. Clouds race in and out, wiping it away and replacing it. It is clear and cold. Roger talked, as he does on such evenings, of the planets and stars. The moons of Jupiter have names even the dullest could fall in love with -- Io,  EuropaGanymede and Callisto. Io is volcanic. Europa is icy. Ganymede and Callisto are planet-sized.
Research Club Brunch
I was asked to speak at Tessa Hull's Research Club Brunch at Pilot Books this month, along with Sprout and 826 and a some other wonders of Seattle. Do I have enough information about what I'm doing? What am I doing? What have I learned? Too much, not enough, I don't know. I spoke last. I talked about my experiences. I showed a few images. I don't know if I was cohesive. I was tired and worried about getting back to meet with Josie and Oakley by 3pm. I was going to be late, but I didn't have much slack time. After my meeting in Meadowbrook, I needed to be back on Cap Hill by 5 to facilitate an the Sonar Plumage. Ayiee! Brunch was so terrific and attended by a great group of interesting, interested artists and engaging speakers. The quiche was tasty. What a way to spend a Sunday morning! I'll be back to lounge in the little attic at Pilot Books and hear Seattle artists talk about their life and work. Thank you, Tessa!

Collaborative Artist Teams
Josie and Oakley, our 2nd artist team met on Sunday. The conversation started with music and musical talent, then moved to pop culture and Michael Jackson and Prince. When I left, they were just beginning to talk about how they might piece it all together. I had to be on Capitol Hill for a pilot test. I took the collaborative artist model to Studio-Current for Vanessa Dewolf's Sonar Plumage. What comes of collaborative conversations between successful performing artists? Amazing things, source materials, direction, support, conversation, liberation to do what the artist wants to do without the constraint of what is required, what is necessary. Free art!!

The Graveyard Shift
Before going to the Aloha Inn, I had to drive back to Tent City with my church program to prove I'd been to church. Proof has to be presented by midnight on Sunday in order to get credit. Well, after standing in line on Saturday and waking up Sunday morning and attending service, it'd be silly not to get credit. Then, I went to the Aloha. I worked the 12-6am shift Sunday night/Monday morning. I got to wash my sleeping bag and my now wet and stained sheepskin mat.
I arrived at 11:30pm and met Triple A and Chris in the carport. Chris and I talked and worked and laughed all night long. I drank sup after cup of green tea and tried a yogurt that must've been off, too sour, I threw it away. I stuck to the granola bars after that. I could feel my body getting sick though. Too many engagements. Too little time. Not enough sleep. Stress. I was fading by 4 and 5 o'clock. We finished our 24th bag of blankets at 5:30am and went up to the tv room to rest and wait for the van driver. The couches are, of course, too tiny to stretch out on, but that didn't keep me from falling asleep. When the van driver arrived at 6, we loaded the bags in the back and I said goodbye and went off to sleep. I slept for 11 hours and woke up sick. Blast it!

The number of donations coming into Tent City have been astounding! At the community level--individuals, churches, social groups, schools--we're giving on a level I never suspected. A man with one leg, on a bicycle, towing a trailer, brought a donation of 2 sleeping bags. A group of 7 Asian-Americans brought 5 pans of steaming chicken with fried rice. A grade school delivered sack lunches. The 4th-8th graders at Seattle's Waldorf School made, wrapped and delivered hand-knit scarves to everyone in camp. I tore mine open and wound it round my neck. It was a short, knobbly, mustard yellow, the perfect length. How loved we are! A group of older women from an athletic club brought bags of colorful, hand-knit lap blankets and hats and scarves and cosmetic kits with handmade soap. O! Gorgeous, again! I treasure my little blanket. I found this sign at the Goodwill a few weeks ago and brought it to camp. Someone hung it up above the sandwich table. Some things spoil. There is no refrigeration, outside of the natural winter weather, so when the temperatures fluctuate the food can and does go off. I've more than once thrown something out that smelled off. Best to eat the hot food when it comes in, in the evenings. It's amazing to think that most nights of the week the camp receives a hot meal from some loving source. There is Upper Crust Catering in Greenwood who have been delivering meals every Monday since they first stopped into the camp when it was in Greenwood.

No comments:

Post a Comment