General Assembly, day four

I just went over to the Ware lecture. I’d estimate there are 4,000 people in the hall listening to Mary Oliver read her poetry: a nice, intimate little reading. Not being particularly fond of crowds to begin with, I decided I’d be better off sitting here in the webworkers’ room watching the lecture on my laptop via streamed video. The reality is that I can see and hear better here than I could there.

Annabelle’s daughter just popped her head in to say “hi” from Anabelle. Annabelle is a webworker who couldn’t join us this year. We invited her daughter and her friend to watch and listen to Mary Oliver with us. So we’re having our own little poetry reading about three hundred yards from the real Ware lecture.


Went to a difficult and dramatic workshop today: “Race, Youth, and General Assembly: What We’ve Learned,” a presentation by the Special Review Commission that was appointed by the denomination’s Board of Trustees following the racial incidents at last year’s General Assembly. Since I’ve been assigned to write up this workshop for the Unitarian Universalist Association Web site, I’ll let you read my report once it is edited and placed online [Link to come]. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty — sort of like when you turn over a rock and all the creepy-crawlie things skitter away from the light. Yup, the Special Review Commission has turned over the big rock of racism within Unitarian Universalism, and it isn’t pretty to look at.


Dinner with Niko, the one other member of the New Bedford church besides me to be at General Assembly. He told me about the big outdoor solstice ritual that the pagan group held today. And how did they find a suitable outdoor space in downtown St. Louis within walking distance of the convention center? They used the satellite photos in Google Maps, and found a perfect little green space. There was even a grassy circle within a grove of trees.


Long talk with Craig late this afternoon. I had double-scheduled my first meeting with him and had to cancel, but we each managed to squeeze another hour out of our General Assembly schedules so we could sit and chat. He had me in stitches, laughing at stories of the Red Queen, the poker games, and other people and events that shall remain anonymous. It’s always fun to talk with Craig; my only disappointment was that Cheryl, Craig’s sweetie, couldn’t join us.

While we were talking, we each took two cell phone calls, final arrangements for other meetings we had with other people. The real problem with General Assembly is that there just isn’t enough time to talk with all the people you want to talk with.


Most of today I have spent writing. This is the real joy of General Assembly for me: going to events and workshops, making some kind of sense out of those events, and turning them into serviceable prose. But there’s not much I can tell you about that.

2 thoughts on “General Assembly, day four

  1. Cheryl

    Thank you for the kind words, Dan!

    I think “pee on the earth day” may benefit from a little tweaking in the PR department. Perhaps either “Number One for Earth” or “Earth is Number One” would sell it a bit better.

    Just a thought.

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