Friday, January 30, 2009

a day in the village

I am in a coffee shop in Greenwich Village drinking a mocha with a million books around me (very few things more soothing than this) where the sales support an organization that improves housing opportunities for at-risk individuals in New York City. This is an excellent income generator, but I feel slightly bourgeois sitting here sipping my beverage. Maybe I don't know what bourgeois means. Anyway, I brought two things to read with me: a commentary on Isaiah 40 and some documents I picked up from the Presbyterian UN office that articulate strategies for implementing the Millennium Development Goals, but neither are drawing me in. Instead I am eyeing some short stories on a shelf near me.

I like this place. I like what people are wearing. Funky glasses and wool hats. Corinthian columns hold up high ceilings and patrons look on with envy as two oblivious lovers sit enrapt with one another, palpable electricity igniting the air around them.

Isaiah 40 is a beautiful passage that begins, "Comfort, O comfort my people" and I can hear my Old Testament professor Dr. Miller speaking these words in only the way he could.... with that subtle southern drawl that cradles the words and the air that holds them. His musical intonation helped me discover the poetry of this passage in a new way and as I read it again I am reminded of how fresh these words of promise are for every generation. For our Zimbabwean neighbors, for the women in the Congo, for our new president, for me.

I walked thru the Union Square market and was amused by this gentlemen who earnestly gave free advice to those interested. I followed one kid who enthusiastically said, "He gave great advice. Really. That guy is smart." The smell of hot apple cider filled the air and despite the chilly temperatures, I was delighted to be out and about with my fellow New Yorkers.


Doanz said...

Ah, love the pictures again. I have to say I had to look up the word, "bourgeois" and although I wouldn't mind being bourgeois- middle class; bourgeois- concerned about material interests and tendency toward mediocrity, sounds terrible.
Thanks for sending me to Isaiah 40- what a fantastic passage. "To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?" My peanut brain can not fathom Him. :)

Alissa Maxwell said...

So what advice did he give you?

Carmen Goetschius said...

I didn't stop to ask for advice, although perhaps I should have. There was already a line waiting for his attention. He seemed to be quite popular. And as for bourgeois, perhaps I meant something more along the lines of "shallow"-- you know like someone who says they support a certain social justice issue by clicking an icon on their facebook page, but doesn't actually do anything about it (and never thinks about it again). I felt sort of silly "supporting New York's homeless" by drinking a mocha :-) Blessings upon you both! Thanks for your comments ladies!

Kricket said...

I am glad to see that you are keeping your blog going. We miss you!

Brett & Shelly Faucett said...

My sweet delish chewy Carmel,

I absolutely love the way you put words together. You are the best. We have plenty of room for all your things when you move to Thailand. I'm in the process now of cleaning house. Miss your smiling face and good nature.
Love you muchly