Monday, July 21, 2008
The (almost dead on) Arrival
I have a very dear friend who grew up around horses, who, when he had been though a particularly difficult time would always say, "Well, my dear, I feel as if I've been rode hard and put away wet."
My sentiments exactly at this moment.
Thankfully, and serendipitously, I was able to travel with my friend, Martha Gardner from the Diocese of Newark, who used to work for 815 and now works for the ACC (Anglican Consultative Counsel) at the United Nations. Unbeknownest to either of us, we were on the same plane from Newark to Gatwick Airports.
We also ran into one of my oldest and dearest friends, Margaret Rose, who was also headed to Lambeth but was flying into Heathrow.
The flight left Newark Sunday evening at 7:15 PM and arrived outside of London at 6:45 AM Monday morning. We then took the train to Victoria Station in London and then hopped another train to Canterbury, then a cab to St. Stephen's parish hall at around 11:30 AM.
I was driven to my wee apartment about a 15 minute walk from here where I had a chance to unpack and fix myself a cup of tea before taking an absolutely delicious two hour nap. After my nap, I got dressed and and walked back to St. Stephen's, which is serving as the "Integrity/Changing Attitudes" (AKA "St. Anne's Group") Nerve Center.
The place is a jumble of of electrical and computer wires and is absolutely swarming with amazing volunteers who are helping to make our time here effective and our voices heard.
We were fed an amazing hot, delicious parish cooked dinner which filled places I hadn't realized were empty. Blogger and 'radical librarian' Allie Graham also stopped by and we were able to steal an hour of conversation and giggles. Fortunately, she was able to stay for dinner with us.
I'm hoping to catch up with Allie, Luiz, and Michael tomorrow, and, together with Jon (who's also volunteering here), we'll head off the the local pub for some proper fish 'n chips - hopefully Tuesday evening.
All this activity since my arrival has been punctuated by bits of happy and/or intense conversation and hugging, when not being introduced to folk who are here from Nigeria, Toronto, Ontario, and from every and all areas of the UK and USA.
It's amazing. Truly.
Tomorrow morning, I'm going to the University of Kent to get my press pass and schlep over some of the Episcopal Women's Caucus stuff to the Market Place. I'm also going to try to catch up with Margaret and Martha as well as Kim Robey from the Women's Desk at 815 to do some networking with Anglican women around the globe.
I want to listen to their stories and give them voice on this blog. I'm hoping to help make the justice connection between sexism and heterosexism/homophoba as I write for the "Lambeth Witness" - the daily publication of the St. Anne's group for the bishops and visitors to Lambeth.
I'm excited and hopeful and inordinately exhausted but Ms. Conroy assures me that if I have a good supper, drink plenty of fluids and get off to bed early tonight I'll feel like a new woman in the morning.
From her mouth to God's ear.