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September 07, 2003

It was in the afternoon and I was on my way to the 14th Street 2/3 train, when I heard the music coming from St. Francis Xavier Church. It was a good New York moment, I walked right into it. The beautiful space was attracting more and more visitors who appeared to be drawn in by the strange sounds of a rather synthetic sounding organ played by somebody in the front of the church. I found a spot somewhere near a large fan, the sound quality was not quite as good, but the air was at least moving. It was a sunny day and for some reason the church was rather warm inside.
I expected a concert, I thought I was holding the program. I began drawing little pieces and fragments of what surrounded me. The church is too really beautiful, the colors of the stonework feel muted, slightly yellowish. Looking at a large number of people positioned in this vessel of stone somehow made me feel warm and included. It was really a very odd feeling. It really was a good place somehow, this minute, right there, waiting for the concert?...
It is Sunday, of course, what I walked into was the afternoon mass, it was one that was about to include a confirmation.
As the ceremony began, the entire congregation rose and we were advised to introduce ourselves to those around us. "Hello, my name is Witold Riedel..." was my line to the very friendly looking gentleman in front of me. (The line did not quite work, he really thought my name was Vito... okay, it did not really matter...) Right next to me, we were divided by a little wooden separator, was a guy maybe in his early 20's, seemingly as surprised to introduce himself to me as I was.
Behind me was a rather eccentric couple. I might be wrong, but I remembered her being maybe in her 50's, with large hair, white... not quite sure. Her husband, lover, friend, looked like a toned down version of John Lasseter, sans the Hawaiian shirt... yet with...
a rather large parrot on his shoulder. Was I supposed to shake the parrot's hand? I wanted. "His name is Hector, the man said."
"Heeghar," whispered the parrot...
"Hello, my name is Witold Riedel." (guess who said that...)
With the parrot watching my back, "All are welcome" sung by all, had a very extended meaning.
I did not stay for the mass. I did not stay for the entire experience. I escaped after just a few minutes. I was not ready for an institutionalized conversation with God... through music? yes, through architecture? yes, through an encounter of a parrot?, certainly... orchestrated (beautifully and skillfully...) not quite...
Other little things that happened just a few minutes later, somehow made me believe that it was a really good thing that I had left that church.
They were all good things, but giving them away here would be no fun now, would it?...


awww... leave us dangling, why don't ya? :P

beautiful stuff, though :) there should be more parrots on shoulders, maybe once it's in Vogue magazine it will take off...

Posted by: shauny on September 8, 2003 01:24 AM
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