I attended worship yesterday at the congregation of a friend from college. Very upper middle class, white and very educated and cultured. It was a music service and there was a piano, a cello and a 20-member choir with no fewer than four voices suited (and used) for solos. It was very cultured and high-brow. I don't think anyone there knew I was a teamster. But they all knew I was queer. It was interesting.
It was beautiful worship, please don't get me wrong. These folks offered up what they held dearest - fine chamber music - as praise for whatever shape the divine takes for them. It was beautiful (especially the Scottish/Irish-sounding bits). It was a bit of a shock to my system after my weekend in downtown Providence, surrounded by people of all colors and shapes and stripes and persuasions. Church on Sunday was a pretty homogeneous affair.
The clouds are lit this morning from beneath as the sun climbs. I cannot see it yet, as there is a house between me and it, but I can see its light reflected on the underside of the thin layer of clouds that is stretched over the city. They are the clouds that precede a snowstorm by a day or two, thin and grayish, like an old blanket worn thin. I can see bits of blue through the blanket in some spots. There is a hopeful-looking strip of blue along the horizon. Today will be a good day to meet some friends and then drive home.
I am especially looking forward to driving home.
I sit at a kitchen table in a nice apartment in Portland. There are Tibetan prayer flags hung in the window. Their letters are foreign to me - so many squiggles writ small on thin fabric. But they are beautiful. I imagine they, and others like them that I see all around, hold the hopes and prayers, thoughts of tomorrow, wishes and dreams written down and then hoisted and let go for the universe to absorb and care for.
A gray squirrel just clambered up the skinny branches of a tree in the next yard. He got to the eve of the garage's gambrel roof and dug his little claws into the asphalt shingles to haul himself up to the peak. He sat for a moment and had a brisk bath in the gray morning light and scampered off to find breakfast. He was lean for a gray squirrel, but I suppose that is proper in mid-February. I wonder if he can hibernate until food becomes more available or if he has to take his chances competing with cats and dogs and raccoons and skunks in people's trash.
I wonder if he is the same scoundrel squirrel who dug up every last bulb that the downstairs neighbor planted last fall, and sat smugly on the garden Buddha eating each one. I was here that day to witness his gluttony and her outrage. For the record, therapists are not always calm and healing people. She wanted fur-lined gloves that day.
Had an interesting talk this morning about personality types - as in Myers-Briggs personality types. I think it might not be a bad idea for me to do some reading. I need to know how I operate and how the people around me operate so that I can work effectively with them. Particularly if I work on a political project that I've been rooting for for a while. Still not sure how that all is going to work out, but I think something cool is going to come of it. We'll see.
The sun is up now, but I still cannot see it. It is 8:30 a.m. and I know it must be up, but between the close-packed houses and rooftops, the distant high-rise condos and the low-lying cloud cover, I never got to see it. I can't see the bits of blue through the thin spots any more now, although that hopeful slice of blue persists on the horizon. I think South Portland might have sun this morning. Maybe Scarborough, too.
It might be time to get moving. Worship this morning seems disjointed, awkward. Perhaps tonight, at home, things will change.