The little church I attend embodies the contradictions of its impoverished, artistic neighborhood, just the sort of San Francisco now receding under the tech money tidal wave. Let me offer a translation of a couple of lines from the middle of last week's service leaflet, reproduced above.
For the security of your belongings ...
"Hang on to your purse when you take the bread and wine. Possessions sometimes walk away around here."
"Enjoy a professional quality performance during the communion by Mr. Daniel Pickens-Jones. In other venues he gets paid, but here he sings for love."
We live and thrive within the mix.
I'm in the Sierra foothills this Sunday, but I thought readers might enjoy this apparent paradox.
My musings on current events, current projects, current anxieties and current delights.
I started this under the Bush regime when any grain of sand thrown into the gears of the over-reaching imperial state seemed worthwhile.
I have worked to elect more and better Democrats -- and to hammer the shit out of them once we get them in office so they do the things their constituents want and need. It's a big job.
I have endured the dashed potential for a more transformational regime under Obama. The man has made himself an accomplice in the imperial crimes of his predecessor as well as committing his own. He has also almost certainly been the most progressive president most of us will live to see. I fear we'll look back on his years in office with mild gratitude for a respite from national leadership that was habitually stupid and vicious, as well as wrong.
Visitors here will find a lot of commentary on books I'm reading. I am very intentionally reading intensively offline these days. When it feels hard to find direction, it's time to learn something new.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. I am currently an independent consultant to organizations seeking "help when you have to make a fight."