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.
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
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. Will work for justice.