Today I was at the First Unitarian Society at the invitation of my friend Mary, who had joined the church a few years ago with her husband John. We had seen them at a coffeehouse after an unsuccessful attempt to find the park where a black lives matter protest was being held. I searched and searched and all I could find was Ahmed Zolkowski, who was not black nor looking for a protest and only added to my general confusion.
I went home and told Liz my story and she said, let’s go to the coffeehouse. It’s cooler there and it will help your brains recovery. We left the cat home. He was texting his friends and pretty much ignoring us, anyway.
The coffeehouse was deeply air-conditioned while the outside and the rest of Wisconsin was steamy. The shock initially made me want to retreat outside but I adjusted. After a beer, here come these two ne’er do wells with beers. The people I had been searching for. They said they had marched inside a shopping mall and made people uncomfortable. Children asked their parents, what does black lives matter, mean?
We got to know each other and discovered that we had a lot of the same progressive values. In fact their personal lives suggested that they might have been the perfect couple for us to meet. And they also told me that there would be an interesting speaker at the First Unitarian Society and that subtle changes had taken place this past year that I was completely unaware of. Where did the Black Lives Matter Initiative come from, anyway?
I came away from today feeling more enlightened and wondering what I should do with this information. I have a habit of being totally present or fully gone. The church was something I had joined when I was living downtown. Now that I had moved far away, I needed more of a draw. Perhaps it is friendship. I’m not sure whether people were friendlier today but the speaker from the Unitarian Universalist Association said that the churches often aren’t very welcoming. Since I am not there to read the bible or fear god, then maybe I need a more personal connection. Knowing that there are other oddballs from my generation around protesting.