Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thanks to my hosts!

So many thanks...

First, to the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Seattle. Their facilities were used for our meetings. This spectacular reredos of glass and steel is worth the visit. The church was intended to be a gothic building atop a hill with a spectacular view of the city.

The view is there but the building was halted when the crossing was constructed. A tudor style beamed ceiling instead of gothic vaults, and enormous clear glass windows establish a unique sense of spiritual space. Truly worth a visit.

Tom and Ram in Seattle supplied us with a guest suite in their condo complex, treated us to a lovely Indian Meal at Chutney Grille, where Ram works and were the perfect hosts: There when needed, gave us space when needed.

Matt took me to his favorite sites in Seattle. It was pilgrimage to two Top Pot Coffee and Doughnut shops. The face time with this gifted and enthusiastic young man was extremely valuable and real pleasure.

My first visit to Seattle was in 1980. I was going to see The Wagner Ring Cycle in the only plce in North America where it was performed in a single week. A friend of a friend said I should stay with a gay friend of his from the military. At the time he was a secretary to a city council member and lived over Pike Place Market. He could not have been a more gracious host taking me to Mount Rainier and many other Seattle highlights. His name was Cal Anderson. Later he was elected to the Washington State Assembly and then became a Washington State Senator. he was the first openly gay member in each body.

We kept in touch and I visited several times. A busy man who clearly did much for his community always had time for friends. In 1995 he died of complication of AIDS. This was my first chance to visit the city park named for him and all my hosts seemed to understand what a profound experience this was for me.

Here's Matt at Cal Anderson Park:

An aerial view of the park which covers a reservoir and uses the aeration system to create a playful and reflective space in the city.

After a rainy drive from Seattle, Matt gave up his bed to put me up in Salem for a night. Along the way the skies cleared long enough for clear views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood.

I have been truly blessed to be a part of this great community we call Integrity where people work for justice and not only for ourselves but for all and I felt that radical hospitality.

New friends all around and new hope for our future. I am refreshed and ready to take into our Board meeting a message of hope and suggestions for how we can meet the needs and channel the energies of our wonderful membership!

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