Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Houston and the Live Oak Meeting House

Did you know that Houston is the 4th largest city in the USA? We didn't, until we decided to visit there. But despite its size, Houston still has the friendliness of a small town. It's true that we got on one of the various freeways here and counted ten lanes of traffic! Billy was exclaiming about it and he's from Baltimore -- one of the most congested cities in the USA.

Perhaps our happiness with Houston has to do with where we chose to go. I've already written about Rothko Chapel, the Menil Collection, and the Brazoria county fair. Yesterday, we went to what was my first visit to a Quaker meeting and Billy's second -- many years ago he visited the Sandy Spring meeting in Olney, Maryland. I had always wanted to go to a meeting because I wondered how I would feel meditating with a group of people for an hour. What I noticed most was how very elusive silence is. Children cough, parents unwrap lozenges, a person arrives with a breathing apparatus that sounds like the heartbeat of the earth, people shift in their seats, sneeze. Should I close my eyes or look up at Turrell's Skyspace? My neck hurts from looking up at the Skyspace. Maybe I should look forward. Maybe I should close my eyes. Repeat. repeat. repeat. And, already, it's over!

I loved Quaker meeting and wrestling with silence. I loved the people we met -- so open and full of conversation. I loved that we had a potluck and sat outside like a family. I loved that I could be among a faith community that celebrates peace and kindness to all creatures. I loved being in "church" again. I hope we can come back to the Live Oak Meeting on our way home. 

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