March 15, 1998

A Raven Day

I got up before John woke, the alarm set for fairly early, and I shut it off quickly and he didn't even stir. I dressed silently, and padded downstairs as Fezzik looked that me, but remained sprawled on his blanket as limp as the black fur rug he resembled. I cut bread, and spread butter and jam on it while I heated water to a boil for tea. Soon I was out the door, and in the Range Rover and off to the church.

The sky was gray with clouds, lots of individual clouds crowded the sky with puffs and sprays, layers and ribbons, tiered falls of white, gray and thunder-head black. It rained until I was about half a mile from the church, and then it stopped, just when I needed to get out. So my walk to the church was entirely dry, as well as the time when I had to fish for a key and drop everything in order to use both hands to unlock the door and open it. Once in, I turned on all the lights, setup candles, and arranged chairs, Bibles, and hymnals in the worship area. As I arranged things, a lady approached whom I had never seen at worship before, and she said that she had been against fairly frequently, but that this was the first time she had come to the early service. She was somewhat intimidated by the very intimate setup, but warmed up to it once a few members arrived that she had seen before.

One of the biggest problems people had had with Pastor Lee was a sense of loss, that something was missing, but there was no particular word they could put to it. What came out of the meeting was that particular thing was actually sense of spiritual leadership and guidance from her. Rather than attack that lack, I thought it would be more constructive to create a vocabulary for those that could not name what it was they were missing.

So my sharing was about my sense of spiritual connection with Raven, a person who dodges the labels of neo-pagan, shaman, and poet. My main emphasis was on the fact that not only does he accept that I have a different path to walk, but encourages me along my path. The other emphasis was on the fact that he listens to me, not just to the words and surface images of those words, but to what I actually mean. Sometimes even digging out the truth I wish to hide from myself behind those words. Sometimes using humor to break me out of a rut. He is capable of challenging the truthes I take for granted.

The Tao Te Ching says, "To know without knowing is best."

I tied it into the Scripture reading, which was Luke 13: 10-17, which was about the lame woman through an example of how Raven helped me with support and helping me make decisions I had to make about the ACL surgery. In many ways, he is one of those who will help me become whole.

And I know that I did not know exactly how the congregation would take it. They loved it. Especially the intern, who asked for a copy through email. It shouldn't have surprised me, and I was glad that it worked out that way.

Late last week I had setup a meeting with Raven at the Seattle Centre, somewhat later in the afternoon and so that I could get there from church. It was also to provide John a chance to come with me, if a meeting he had with Lee went more quickly than he had thought. But he was unable to show, so I left home just in time to find parking and get to the central fountain in the Centre. Raven was not there yet, and half expected him to be in the fountain, which had Irish style music playing to all kinds of water play, as the fountain randomly spouted water in all directions. So, following intuition, I paced once around the fountain withershins, and he appeared.

It turned out that he had actually been delayed by a phone call that happened just a few minutes before he walked out the door. It also turned out that he was really disappointed by the Irish festival that was happening at the center, so we wandered about, saw what there was to see, and then we went and checked out his apartment.

He has a very cozy, small place, just one main room, a tiny kitchen, a good size bathroom, and a walk-in closet which he actually uses as his bedroom. It was incredibly neat, clean, and organized. It was also nearly the perfect size for all of things that he did have there.

So we sat and talked for while, and then planned out the rest of the evening. Since he was right nextdoor to a Thai restaurant, we thought about taking home Thai food, getting a few videos, including the straight-to-video Prophecy 2, and see how the evening went.

I called John about then to ask him what he wanted for dinner, and found out that Regis had called and wanted to come over to watch X-Files with us that evening. He only wanted any type of curry, which was easy enough, but it turned out that the Thai restaurant nextdoor to Raven was supposed to be open at 5 p.m. but for some inexplicable reason wasn't. So, instead, we stopped at Pacific Desserts and bought desserts for the three of us that were likely to eat dinner, and then stopped at two different Thai restaurant in Redmond before finding one that was open. We got the food, and found the video at the local video store, and bombed on home.

By this time I was pretty exhausted, in part because I hadn't slept well before Sunday. So Raven came up with the good idea of John and I dropping him off at the Redmond Park-and-Ride in the morning.

The evening was a success, after we had found the food. Regis came over with an entire set of Buffy tapes, which we played after Prophecy 2. The movie constantly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, often coming up with very good ideas but always missing the mark on actually implementing it correctly or even feasibly. The Buffy tapes were excellent and good introduction for Raven to the series. John went to sleep around 11, and Regis left about the same time. Raven and I watched a 30 minute anime tape, and then went to sleep

Brought to you by NaturallySpeaking.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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