To get down to the Quaker meeting house I pass two other worship spots, one Catholic, one Bible Fellowship. Salvation rules the town, at least on a Sunday morning.
In Little Italy it's Holy Rosary church amidst the pasta and wanna be wise-guys. Parishioners commanded with a flapping banner, "Pray the rosary for religious freedom." Doesn't say who isn't free, but maybe holy water helps.
New Community Bible Fellowship also filled with church-practicioners, albeit a better dressed group, more stylishly adorned for the Lord. Sparkly ladies debarking a parking shuttle. Men in bright yellow "Parking Ministry" vests guiding cars around cones to bound-for-glory spaces.
Both congregations hopping with hosanna's, bible thumper songs vs. ritual Catholic prayers. It's a tie at the pearly gates.
All calm at the Quaker zone. I visit because I admire stillness. "Come join us in the quiet" is said with a smile, without irony. We are in the kitchen, mismatched coffee cups drying on a worn out towel. Coffee in a pot but tastes like instant. On to the main event.
20 of us sit contemplating. I drift and wonder into the future, trying to leave the past alone. I'm just an occasional visitor here, sitting among flannel shirts, long skirts, sensible shoes & sweaters. Everybody always nice, folksy and intensely earnest.
Participants only speak when moved. Today, 3 movements. One says stay open to God's breath, another says witness the miracles, and the third, demure in her denim & old fashioned kerchief, green water bottle at her feet, sobbed a vision of connected webs of grace & evil, unexpectedly (at least to me)dropping an f-bomb into her story. Ugly word uttered beautifully, I listened and think I learned.
Just another Sunday in paradise.