Itís 1:30 am and Iíve just finished cleaning the bathroom. Because what else would I do in the middle of the night? Iím not on speed, just insomnia. Lying in bed and not sleeping is soooo boring. I hope I donít wake up my flatmates crashing around. They say they canít hear anything through the really thick concrete walls of the church, but at this time of the night everything sounds so alarmingly loud.
I had a bath, before cleaning it. I donít usually have baths, but this is my second since moving here. I think itís cos the Hutt is so damn cold, and our shower such a pathetic dribble, a bath is the best way to thaw out. This morning my windscreen was frosted over, so I poured two litres of water over it, and the water just froze. I had to scrape it off with a bit of plastic. My dad tells me that where I was born there were always ice-scrapers at the checkout, along with the candy and cigarettes. So really I should feel right at home. Which led to me Googling and finding these winter pictures of my state of origin... arenít they stunning. Makes me want to go there. Like, in time for the next winter. Actually, Danís photos make me want to go to Florida and Utah too.
Bob, on the other hand, takes lots and lots of pictures of signs, that don't make me want to go anywhere.
We had decent frosts in Rotorua, but living in Wellington has softened me. I still love that crisp fresh feeling. For some reason it always feels like easter, that early morning thrill, knowing that sweet treasures were waiting to be discovered.
Anyway, in the bath I was reading Birthed from the Womb of God, a lectionary for women, compiled by Rev Dorothy Harvey. Dorothy is one of my colleagues at St Andrewís, and she gave me the book ages ago, but I havenít read much of it until now. Itís awesome! Iím doing some preparation for the SCM Australia womenís conference, which I am going to in a few days. The Aotearoa contingent are meant to be doing a presentation on women in Aotearoa, and a women-themed bible study. I am realising how little I actually know of the bible. Iíve learned a lot teaching the rainbow room. But when Iím asked to think of a woman to profile, my mind goes blank. All I can think of is Eve, Mary & Mary. And then some other names come to mind. Sarah. Hagar. Ruth. But their stories are blurred and vague in my mind. Oh dear, Iím such a fraud. I hope this post doesnít get used against me...
Anyway, Dorothyís book is filled with interesting stuff I never knew or thought about. And this cool poem by Francis C Frank, 17th Century Roman Catholic Priest:
did the woman say
when she held him for the first time
in the dark dank of a stable
after the pain and bleeding and the crying
Ďthis is my body this is my blood?í
did the woman say
when she held him for the last time
in the dark rain on a hilltop
after the pain and the bleeding and the dying
Ďthis is my body, this is my blood?í
Well that she said it to him then,
for dry old men,
brocaded robes belying barrenness
ordain that she not say it for
Today was the Rainbow Room Matariki service. Everything went wrong. Well, mostly the technology went wrong, and some people didnít show up, and I got flustered and messed lots of things up. But the kids were wonderful, and so everyone loved it anyway. Iím beginning to understand the expression ďbursting with prideĒ. The kids came up with some brilliant stuff for the liturgy, and they mucked around through the practices but they were all such stars on the day.
The church looked real pretty, with stars hanging from the cross, and under the balcony. Some of the kids decorated these ones:
The script of the service is here.
Remember this little guy? I just spoke to him on the phone. He said my name, and his first English word, "butterfly". It's always so incredible when a kid learns to say your name for the first time. Noa has a broken leg at the moment, but he seems quite happy about getting to watch The Lion King on continuous repeat.
Hinemoana finally has a blog. Yay! I hope it keeps going for more than 14 days...
Itís been a long time since I was conscious for the dawn. Itís amazing how bustling the city is at 5:30am. My favourite whole-in-the-wall-coffee-place, Coffee 32 on Terrace opens long before the light seeps into the edges of the sky... and whatís more, by 6:30 thereís a queue of people waiting for there first shot of the day.
The world really does seem fresh and new this early. Me, though, I feel like crap. The kind of seedy, queasy feeling that comes a few hours after you think ďitís so late thereís no point going to bed anymore.Ē
There was this article on Stuff about how someone had leaked photos of Brad and Angelinaís baby. And it seemed like a serious article. At the bottom it had a link to a site with the leaked photos, and when I clicked on the link it went to a photo of B & A with a baby admitting an eery yellow glow. It was weird, it didnít seem in character for Stuff to have such a tongue in cheek article. Maybe they thought it was real and didnít check the link?
Apparently Tom and Kate (Tom says she's a woman now, she can't be called Katie) were too slow to secure suricruise.com and now it hosts a countdown to the moment Suri comes of age. Poor kid.
I only made it to three movies in Outtakes, but one of them was great, Around The World, two documentaries about queer people in various countries. The first one featured people from Pakistan, Kenya and Brasil, and the persecution they faced as a result of their sexuality. It made me glad Iíd spoken and voted for GalaXies to support ILGA. Imagine knowing that you could be stoned to death if people found out who you loved.
The second doco was a bit lighter, and covered a range of themes. Marriage in Hawaii, dealing with death in Aotearoa, being a tom boy in Hong Kong, and lesbian parenting in Costa Rica. Ooooooh it was so good to hear those tico accents! It really took me back to the time I spent with the lesbian community in San Jose. It looks like things are great there, they even had a queer street party. I doubt that San Carlos, the small town I lived in for 5 months, has changed much though. Still, it really made me want to go back, and look for some of the people Iíve lost touch with.
I also saw WTC view, which was good, not amazing, but better than Fun in Girls Shorts, which was mostly painful. It gave me quite a lot of insight into what the aftermath of 911 must have been like for NYers. I didnít really follow the aftermath, the survivor stories etc at the time. I think partly I didnít feel mentally able to cope with such a huge tragedy, and partly I didnít want to devote so much attention to this particular tragedy, just because it happened in a western country. I especially didnít want to hear stories about how God ďsavedĒ certain people that day. So I never really thought about what it would smell like, what it would be like to know you were breathing in the ashes of those incinerated buildings, people, offices, computers and all. Or what it would be like to look out the window and see the smoke, week after week. The people in the film were people I could relate to, green-voting, arty, queer. It made it so much more real for me.
So did this article.
I do remember where I was when I heard about the twin towers. I donít want to remember, because itís such a clichť. But I do. I was dozing in my little attic room, half awake enough to hear something on the radio about the World Trade Center being bombed. I drifted back to sleep, and I wasnít really sure of what Iíd heard. Iíd never heard of the World Trade Center. At the time I was hanging around with anarchists, and going to lots of protests against the World Trade Organisation, so I thought maybe the WTC was the building where the WTO hung out. I wasnít sure if the news was a bad thing or a good thing. I thought maybe it was just a building, and there were no people in it, and maybe I should think bombing it was a good thing, because the WTO was a bad thing. But I wasnít sure. So I waited to see how other people would react.
My friend Nick had stayed the night, and when we both woke up properly, he said ďdid I dream it, or did the WTC get blown up?Ē We climbed down the ladder, and it was a bit early for the news on National Radio but I turned it on anyway, and of course the programming had all been replaced with WTC coverage, and I began to realise the horror of the situation.
So, Iíll always remember that moment of hearing, and the guilt I felt afterwards about thinking it might be a good thing.
I remember what I was doing when I heard about Princess Diana too. No matter how hard I try to be the exception to the rule, these moments are burned into my brain.