Monday, March 10, 2008

Evensong in Atlanta

The conference in Atlanta was very, very fine.

I then spent some time with two friends, one after the other. The first was a friend who was also at the conference. I visited her home, and then she showed me parts of the city: some of the poorest neighborhoods of Atlanta, literally on the other side of the tracks from the prosperous business side of town. The chasm between rich and poor is deep, and it is heavily racialized, though Atlanta also has a significant African American upper-middle and upper class, as many of you know.

The second friend was Luiz, singing in the choir for Evensong with (are you ready) Rite One Eucharist at a downtown church. After Evensong we got to spend some lovely time together catching up on life.

A true delight.

And it was good to have Eucharist with Evensong since I'd been in conference sessions all morning and thus hadn't gotten to church.

I Amtrak'd back, believe it or not. Slice of American life on the Crescent, the train that goes from New Orleans to New York.

And now I am home and am going to sleep, take the car to the shop, sleep, catch up on various things of the bureaucratic and paperwork sort (oh joy), sleep some more, and be quiet.

But there will be catch-up and one or two more reports from the Atlanta trip. Eventually.

7 comments:

Fr Chris said...

How is Amtrak between here and ATL? The trip from here to DC is a nightmare -- I took the train up to Philly for my first visit to our bishop, but I've flown Southwest ever since.

My blog-friend bls (a Piskie) calls Evensong + Eucharist a "Frankenmass", which always makes me laugh. Our parish in Philadelphia does a Rite I Evensong + Novus Ordo (sometimes Anglican Missal) Mass on Wednesday evenings. It seems to work very well and has gotten new people interested in the Office.

As for ATL, I really love that city, and we may move there after S. gets done with law school. My first visit was for work, and between sessions I went to the MLK memorial. A homeless man saved me from unknowingly walking right through a very dangerous lane full of drug dealers -- literally just the wrong side of a single street -- and then kept me company while giving me a rambling tour of the whole city. It's a beautiful, vibrant place, but as you say, the contrasts can be quite incredible.

Ken said...

God invented Amtrak. One of his sons, Satan, in his postlapsarian state, invented New Jersey Transit.

Jane R said...

Yeah, I don't think there should be Eucharist with Evensong, it is liturgically inappropriate and I agree with the Frankenmass term -- I was just selfishly happy, when I arrived, to find out it wasn't just Evensong but also a Mass, because I was in conference sessions all morning and nowhere near a church at that Marriott and hadn't been to Sunday liturgy.

Amtrak is, of course, not on schedule. The train was an hour late arriving in Atlanta, and thus leaving Atlanta.

Also, if this were Europe, particularly France or Belgium, the train ride from Atlanta to Greensboro would take two hours. It took over seven.

It was a sort of local, with various stops (in our case in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina) and the train is the Crescent, which goes from New Orleans (hi, Ormonde and Mimi) to New York (hi again, Mimi, and hi PJ and Tobias and Ken and Gabe and QFC). It arrived an hour late in Atlanta from parts South, bearing travelers from Mississipi, but did stay on time after that. It was quite comfortable, though I was wired --I think because the local cafe gave me a regular mocha instead of the decaf mocha I asked for when Luiz and I were hanging out there just before the train left-- and didn't get any sleep.

About 90 to 95% of the travelers were African American. White folks take the plane. Greyhound of course has poorer people --this was the middle and lower-middle class and students; and quite a few people (all male except one of the women who had been at the same conference as I and is a doctoral student) had laptops-- and I was originally going to take Greyhound, it's cheaper, but it didn't leave till 11:30 p.m., though it does leave on time. But the thought of a night on Greyhound was not a happy one. At least in an Amtrak train you can walk the aisles, stretch, go to the cafe car, read more comfortably. Also, there is lots of leg toom. And the bathrooms are much better.

But it ain't the Thalys, which took me from Paris to Brussels in a little over an hour. Sigh.

It was a slice of life, for sure. The woman across the aisle from me, who leaned over to chat with me, was moving with her young daughter up from Alabama or Mississippi to Raleigh, NC, to "make a new start," staying with her best friend up there at first. I am sure there is a story behind that one. The woman next to me didn't chat, but before she fell asleep I saw that she was reading Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life.

I was reading John le Carre's The Tailor of Panama, sort of in honor of Padre Mickey and also because I love spy novels and I was so happy to have found a cheap copy of this one and to have space and time to read it and not be correcting papers or writing academic something. But I am only at the beginning of it. I tried to sleep for several hours, though unsuccessfully. I'm going to read some more of that book tonight.

Fr Chris said...

I'm curious what you don't like about using the Office before Mass, Jane -- I don't know about the pre-Conciliar situation, but I'm pretty sure the GILH explicitly allows it. Given the tiny, tiny emphasis on the Office in many places, I don't mind it if it doesn't entirely push out the Mass lectionary/normal practice of the unadulterated Mass and brings people to knwo the Office better. (I don't know the tradition in Anglican circles, admittedly.)

I hear you on European trains vs. American ones. I'm glad Amtrak hasn't entirely been cut loose by the Federal government, but man is it ever slow. It was a life-saver when I was a college student traveling between school, home, and Chicago, but it's hard to commit to as a working adult when it means losing two whole working days any time I want to travel anywhere. :-(

Grandmère Mimi said...

Jane, now I'm jealous of you that you met our dear Luiz. How wonderful for both of you.

Sorry to hear that Amtrak is not better. Why can't we get our train act together? The folks on the planes don't do much better. My flights were late both ways. The flight home was late due to bad weather, so no one's at fault there.

I like the Rite I Eucharist from time to time, confessing our "manifold sins and wickedness", and I love the "Prayer of Humble Access". I have never experienced Evensong plus Eucharist.

pj said...

You've got some serious stuff going on here. Okay if I tag you?

Ignore it if you want to. (((Jane)))

Jane R said...

PJ, dollink, how can I refuse you? It may take a bit of time, but I gots some free timez this week here and there. Thanks for the hug, I needed that. In addition to all the other stuff, I just found out that my car, which has been in the shop since Monday p.m., needs a new radiator and three other essential parts, and it is going to cost NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And there is no public transpo in this town, or hardly any, so I can't do without the vehicle, which is a nice 1989 Honda Accord and mostly just fine, except when it's not.