my computer lost its ability to connect to the internet a couple of days ago. i’ve been traveling all over the place, using internet in hostels, homes, trains, and buses. then, when we came to our brooklyn homebase, the apartment of t’s bff, i discovered i couldn’t connect to his internet. then i learned i could connect to no one’s internet.
somehow, right when i was thinking of going on a solitary field trip to an apple store to get my computer fixed, my brain did something like:
busy saturday–> sunday’s free–> go on sunday–> quaker meeting!
so for i made a 2:00 appointment at an apple store and then looked up the closest quaker meeting to where i was staying– the brooklyn quaker meeting. i learned it was just a couple of stops from where i was.
so this morning i woke up, went to the subway, went downstairs and sweated like crazy. in the train stations here, i don’t even recognize what i feel as heat, but my forehead immediately starts streaming sweat. i got off at the hoyt-schermerhorn stop, and started my walk. fortunately, i started off in the right direction. i passed the friends school family center, a teacher supply store, and the criminal court, and then knew i was in the right place, because i saw some foliage and a man walking a bicycle through an open gate.
i was enthusiastically welcomed into the beautiful old building by a young woman, and then walked up the stairs to the worship room.
before today i’d been to this meetinghouse, i’d participated in sunday morning worship at 3 meetings: whitby, england, in early 2001, san francisco regularly for the past 6 years, and the berkeley friends meeting once about a year or 2 ago. possibly because of that, or because i’ve been in “soak up my surroundings mode” for the past few months, or maybe just because it’s how i’ve been in worship lately anyway, i spent most of the meeting contemplating my surroundings and the people in it.
one of the first things that struck me was that there were a few people of color there, who all seemed to feel at home, which is something that our meeting has continuously struggled with.
i also noticed that the doors never closed. i liked the welcoming feel of that and didn’t think it was distracting, outside of the fact that i was distracted by everything anyway.
the other thing i noticed as i was scoping the room for my place to sit, and then afterwards, was that it had the old-fashioned benches, with the mysterious “facing benches” i’d mostly only ever read about. i remember when i first started coming to the sf meeting. the chairs surrounded an old braided rug. i decided that the people closest to the rug must be the most insider type people of the meeting, so i sat on the fringes (and even though the rug is gone and i’ve been told the rug means nothing, i still tend to do that). i couldn’t figure out the meaning of the facing benches at the brooklyn meeting, so i decided to just steer clear of them.
the meeting was good. people spoke. my mind was far too busy. the children’s program made a cute quaker village out of cardboard boxes in the social hall.
… and then back to the subway for the apple store appointment. i walked past some cop cars and some police officers and some more police officers and a newsstand and kept walking until i realized i must have missed the station, so i turned around and found it, right at the newsstand. like on the initial ride, i sweated like crazy, but i eventually got out at my stop, 14th street.
i walked past the 16th street exit, and the 15th street exit, and then got out on the right side of the street but then accidentally walked up to 15th anyway. i walked up to 9th and found myself at chelsea market with some time to kill, so that was fun. and then i got my laptop fixed. it took 4 minutes.
except then back at our homebase, it’s still not working. so it might be the connection here. but i know what he did to make it work there, so i will try it again with another connection.
after i got back, we went to the brooklyn museum. and as per their tradition, t and friend took me up to see judy chicago’s the dinner party. and even though i’m not a lesbian anymore and i know that the vag doesn’t make the lady… that may have been the most spiritual moment of my day.
or maybe i was just geeking out with my feminist b.a. in religion self, recognizing names and histories and references and connections. proud of what i knew. probably still thinking too much.