We’ve officially taken part in the vigil and are currently in the car heading to Davidson, North Carolina, home of Union’s very own Preston Davis. We’ve got several conversations going – one reflecting on symbolism, militarism, and American myths and the other seems to be flowing from the workshop a few of us attended last night on the ordination of women. It’s ridiculously raining outside, but Seth is taking care of business.
The vigil itself was great. A large number of folks showed up, as usual, despite the cold and rainy weather. Tamara sang beautifully on stage, helping with the litany, as thousands stood in solidarity, chanting “Presente” after each victim’s name was read aloud. Though very much a time for mourning, the gathering was also a time to celebrate the resistence so many have taken part in through the years. Perhaps what helped convey this was the role the puppetistas played in the vigil.
The large puppets serve as a creative and engaging image to convey both mourning and celebration. While the litany is read, they lead the folks around the stage, to the gates, in what is pretty much a funeral procession. Once this is done, once the long list of the victim’s names are read, the puppetistas breakout in a drum beat and begin to dance. What was once mourning, what was once death, is suddenly brought to life in celebration of the resistence, solidarity, and community created by such acts. A certain theological concept comes to mind, no? I believe ressurection is the word we’re looking for here.
All in all, another fantastic experience I hope not to have again.
May the people of Latin America continue to experience ressurection. May they continue to join in solidarity with each other and experience life in the midst and face of death as brought upon them by the School of the Americas.
Hello Columbus, Georgia!
After a long day in the car, we’ve made it to our hotel. In the words of Seth: “For as long as we were in route, it didn’t seem to break us down quiet as much as a typical 14-hour travel day would.” How’d we survive the day? Southern hospitality, of course.
We were up-and-at-em by 8:00, enjoying a wonderful breakfast prepared by loving congregants of Ginter Park United Methodist Church. Some time after noon we broke for North Carolinian BBQ Pork & Peach Cobbler. And by dark, we’d made it to Atlanta and met up with friend of Union, Dorsett, for a dinner in the historic neighborhood home to Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Having checked in, settled into our room, and checked our email, we’re now slowly passing out, one by one, in preparation for tomorrow’s workshops and vigil related events (the action/vigil is Sunday morning).
Stay tuned for more reflections on our journey down and the accompanying pictures. Again, many thanks for your loving thoughts, prayers, and comments. They mean much to us.
Just a year ago I was on the same road, I-95, headed down to the vigil. It was early in my Union career and I remember much of the experience. I remember not knowing what to expect. I remember the conversations on the drive. I remember the sun. And the southern BBQ we had for one of the dinners. What slipped my mind however was the long drive. Of course, I remember now.
We’ve picked up Seth in Jersey, created some travel games (my two favs being name your supreme court justice’s middle name AND name the nuclear nations – Steve has those initials down!), driven through three states (if we include New York), and near D.C. That is to say, we’ve still got a long way to go.
Richmond for the night – we’ve got a church stay thanks to Emily O’s brother. Tomorrow – more driving. Nay, more conversation and games!
Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and comments. Keep em coming!