Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Mosaic of life in the city

I started my day off with an adventure to the dentist office. As I walked in , I was greeted by my dental hygienist, Anna Cherslaka. I was puzzled at first since she looked different from last time. She said, "Scott, Don't you recognize me",it's Anna. Her hair was darker and pulled back. She wore alight colored blouse under her blue uniform. Then I saw her name tag .Upon talking with her, she came from Russia 6 years ago with her family and just became an American citizen. Still missing home but willing to give this country an effort for the opportunity it brings.
While sitting inthe chair having the instruments moved around my teeth and gums. Being asked how many times I flossed and brushed, I said oh well 3 flossings and 7 brushings. Not long enough. Oh if I only will live up to floss once and brush twice daily and rinse.

Then off to a lunch break at Jam's Deli in the heart of downtown Bridgeport. Being served by a hungarian woman at the deli. Having a thanksgiving wrap of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce with sliced carrots throughout. And as I ate the wrap and sipped the Snapple, I watched the construction of the lofts going in at the CityTrust building with the operator of the crane lifting up several huge planks of tan plywood into the empty windows of the gutted building. These men and women working on the buildings within the city are bringing our city to lifefe. Building the veins and arteries that will give it a true heart. Being the cowardly lion on the yellow brick road in search for a heart of Courage. Right now being connected to life support-being on dialysis-until all the connections are ripe for it to take off on its own.

Looking at the Visions of the Heart art exhibit at the Housatonic Commmunity college again=seeing the depths of people's imagination-from those who have suffered and triumphed throughout life and made it a pleasant remembrance of struggles and victories gone through-a demarcation of their participation in this divine life. Of their marks upon the canvas and screens sowing the seeds of their minds-bringing together colors of joy and peace. Of simple everyday objects that reflect the minds, souls, and hearts, and bodies of these artists. Celebrating all that God has given to them for us to enjoy. Images leaping off the walls-helping me to forget troubling moments of the time.
Having the warmth of the city on my face as I traveled throughout it on foot-walking by the Chase Branch and the empty space once occupied by Soul to Soul Restaurant-a place I ate at once.

This little melting pot of the imagination and the magic of men. Just as magic takes a sense of curiosity and wonder, so does the black child sitting on the Coastal link bus spending countless moments with his mom as he sips on the frozen bag of his popsicle-slowly sipping on it until it has covered his face and arms and legs with the sticky gel of red all over him. Sitting in his own world looking up to his mom and the goodness within her and his enjoyment of the very moment he is in.

Even as I wander in a city today that is neglected, I need a heart that has put on spectacles of compassion and understanding=seeing a little clearer of who the citizens are and how they are linked by a common thread of the culture and the melting pot that they come from. Something that I am beginning to see and am anxious to explore to see where it leads.

A little poem that I thought of this morning can flavor a little of what is happening in our city. Citywide we are getting a face-lift with pockets of joy to dissolve the ruins of our times -to add to our melting pot eventually.

Adios de Usted. Hola Cuidad de Bridgeport.
Las tiends cerradas de neglecto. Open eventually. Puertas de opportunidad y ventanas para los amigos.
Cumpleanos. Anos de miseria y jubilee.

Just waiting for the time when open signs and clearly visible windows with life can be seen. Waiting for the womb to pop open with life and chirps to be heard!!!!!
Finally, as new wine requires the new wineskins to hold the newness to erupt, new life will burst forth once again.

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