Monday, February 10, 2020

“Reach Deep Down into that Place:” On a weekend when strangers were not welcomed, Cannibal Girls roared, and connections lingered from Greenwich Village to Americus Georgia.





#canibalgirls rock the BnaiKeshet! — at Bnai Keshet, Montclair, NJ.


Greg taking in the Noah Davis at the David Zwirner, public bathroom anxiety, the teenager at Generation Records and other reflections. 

Charge ICE with murder. #ericdiazcruzmedicalfund
End Family Separation! #abolishice — at Foley Square.

Spider is a little sad Harriet did not win. — at Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.


Saturday,
 Greg and I ride bikes into Manhattan.
Over the bridge, West to Chelsea, to 19th street,
Images of Los Angeles extending into the horizon,
A father navigating an underground railroad into the sky,
A dreamscape, from New Orleans to the desert in a magic realist dialogue with a history of art. 


We walk through Printed Matter.
Looking  at the zines and stories.
A toilet that  makes me to chuckle.
Reading the messages on the wall.
Public bathroom anxiety everywhere.
Zines and DIY culture still propelling us forward.

Downtown and back up to 31st Street,
We wondered about the antinomies of resistance,
 contradiction between beliefs,
conclusions anywhere but at  hand.
Talking with the Marxists and moviegoers,
“Money is the universal, self-constituted value of all things, wrote Marx in On the Jewish Question.  “Hence it has robbed the whole world... of its proper value. Money is the alienated essence of man's labor and life, and this alien essence dominates him as he worships it.”

The impetus for the class is the impeachment and the struggle we find ourselves in this moment of democracy’s decline, explains Peter Bratsis.
There are questions about what will become.
What is the character the law takes –
as a command obey relationship,
 where authorities discipline  and punish.
The myth of Moses and the commandments or as the power to create?
As domination or creation,
what is being produced?
Politics as conflict or political activity deciding how we live together.
The clash  is everywhere.
War is politics by other means. 
Law as community or violence.
Constituent vs constituted power.
Obedient to constituted power.
Negri’s insurgency vs Machiavelli’s Virtu and Fortuna.
Free will vs fate.
Multitudes expanding and contracting
Along with public and private space.
We can create something new.
But the broader anxieties remain.

Down to Foley  Square, I meet my friends with New Sanctuary Coalition at a press conference, raging against the horrors enveloping us,  immigrants under  attack.
Doors  closing,  barbarism encroaching.
Ken Schles posts messages about what happened:
Eric saw his mom's boyfriend being accosted in front of their home in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn. He intervened in what he thought was a mugging and was shot in the face. Turns out these thugs worked for the government. They were I.C.E. agents. No badges, no uniform, shooting an unarmed civilian in the face in broad daylight in a residential neighborhood.”

Meeting the kids for the Cannibal Girls playing their first gig in New Jersey.
Out to the suburbs, creating something new for everyone.
Wondering what  we are doing.
Playing at the Serendipity Café.
Lots of choices, lots to learn.
Bowie plays as we ride, chatting about college and cancel culture.
And back out to Times Square, where  the street still has some grit.
From  high school to the world,  punk rock to politics,
How do we embrace a moment of so much flux?

In “The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House”
Audre Lorde writes:
“reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears… illuminate all our choices…”

The words scream out from the entrance at Judson Memorial.
I was thinking about the movies,
We loved Jojo Rabbit, the Two Popes, Bombshell, Pain and Glory. The End of Democracy is stunning. A story we all need to try to understand as we are living it.

Its sad that we have  to tell kids, ‘don’t be a nazi again,” says the director of Jojo Rabbit.
But that’s where we find ourselves.
Such are our times.

Inside, Micah talks about what happened.
ICE officers, emboldened, attacked on Friday.
Shot a man in the face not far from here.
A son protected his mother’s friend.
The agents followed the shot man into the hospital,
The community tried to stop it.
Members of the clergy pushed away.
We need to protect each other.
Charge ICE agents with murder.
We need to protect each other.
How do we locate love?
Love one another.

The congregation follows. 
Where two or more get together, I am there says Matthew.

New members stand up to tell their stories.
Rick, whose gone to the church for 26 years, reads the names of members for five minutes.
No matter where you are, you are welcome.

Its ok to question and doubt says Colin.

The abstraction allows  us to see our flaws as a part of our faith.
I am not sure where I am with any one faith journey, but I’m trying  to figure it out with you confesses Jillian.

Jimmy recalls a liberation community in rural Georgia, where he learned from the Koinonia Community.
This is a life giving grace.
Our lives are fleeting.

Listening to him tell us about himself, I flash back to Dad, dead for six years now, 
Who used to preach about the Koinonia Community.
Where he found a redemptive connection between his story and heritage,
The  place where  his father returned from the war and wounded him.
But he found forgiveness.
I had never been able to find out more about the space.
I looked up it up again and again, misspelling it.
I stand up to thank Jimmy, humbled by this odd connection between our Greenwich Village Community and  the Koinonia Farm:

“… founded in 1942 by Clarence and Florence Jordan and Martin and Mabel England in 1942 as a “demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God.” For them, this meant an intentional community of believers sharing their lives and resources, following the example of the first Christian communities as described in the Acts of the Apostles..
Koinonians shared not only faith and resources, but also work. We farmed the land for our livelihood, and sought ways to work in partnership with the land, “to conserve the soil, God’s holy earth” … From the beginning, Koinonians emphasized the brotherhood and sisterhood of all people. When we could afford to hire seasonal help, Black and White workers were paid a fair, equal wage. When the community and its guests and workers prayed or ate a meal, we all sat together at the table, regardless of color. Our commitment to racial equality, pacifism, and economic sharing brought bullets, bomb and a boycott in the 1950s as the KKK and others attempted to force us out. We responded with prayer, nonviolent resistance, and a renewed commitment to live the Gospel…”
I am in owe of the serendipity, sitting here in my small church in the Greenwich Village, recalling a lost connect with an community far away, back  home.

The stories continue.
“I forgave him. I’m taking back this story you put on my life. 
There was this light and he died,” confesses another.

“At 82, I am fearful of what happened in our land,” says another.

The lines between our stories zigging and connecting, interweaving.

I will be with you in pain, fear, anger and sorrow, says another.

We walk into the day.

To the record store and back to holy Brooklyn,
Greeting Felix on the wall,
 thinking about Americus Georgia.


That’s your next book says Caroline.
















































































































Still Margo points out,


“All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify."


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