Whether you go to church or sleep on, sunday is a sacred day.
After testing the gospel mass, today we discovered the quaker mass.
It’s not even exactly a mass, they call it a « meeting for worship ». Literally. And it was completely that.
We had a slight problem on the subway ( it is the proof, no matter which city you are in, some things don’t change) and we arrived a little bit late.
We got out of the station, went through the chinese district, with all the modern buildings and in the middle of all that:
.An old house, built in 1694, listed in the national register of historic places. It creaks, it smells like wood and it seems to come from another time.
As i said, we arrived a little bit late asking ourselves if we would be able to get in. (The quaker mass only lasts an hour). The door was wide open. We went to sit discreetly in a small room. There was a series of benches, ordered in a rectangle, close to one another ( i had never seen this kind of arrangement, but since there is no pastor or priest, there is no need to ensure that everything is set toward one person. No we really are together).
There was around 15 peoples, seated, some were closing their eyes, some were not.
I sat and asked myself what i was doing here. Meditate gives me anxiety attacks…
And closing my eyes after barely 5 hours of sleep was risky…
I looked right, looked left, looked at my hands. My butt hurt, i did my accounts in my head, i thought that i would like to eat a peanut butter m&m’s ( i say one, i think 23…), i thought that it wasn’t as i imagined, then i inhaled and exhaled, inhealed, exhaled, i lowered my head, and i kept on just breathing. And i emptied my mind.
A man on my right stood up, i didn’t look at him, he read a text. I only remembered that « do not judge, be aware of all our society entertainments that are keeping us away from the right path », that’s not what he said, that is just what got stuck in my mind.
SIlence came back. And time passed by, calmly.
A woman on my right stood up and told us that if we didn’t reach that hum euh « state of grace » that would have pushed us to stand up and share a thought, we could do it now. Give a testimony, say a word, share a feeling.
Several people stood up. One talked about his life, his fight again nervous depression and asked us to « put him in the light », another evoked her difficulty to find back and feel « god » (or the light) for some time, and about forgiving ourselves, telling ourselves that even a little step is a step. There was also a man who talked about the debate team of New york prison who won against the one from Harvard, and that we should invest more time and money in prisons, to help prisoners. There was also a testimony about Einstein and his relation to the « creator », he did not believe in an omniscient god, but he believed in a power that would have put the world in motion.
Then everybody shook hands while saying hello.
There was a moment for announcements and finally we introduced ourselves, one by one.
After, there was a social time, in the main room. With cofee, tea and cakes. Everyone catched up on the other’s news. It was really enjoyable. Several of them came to talk to us.
They explained that everybody had their own way of practicing their faith. Some came to meetings, thought about it during the week and that was it, some other were more committed. Like this woman who decided to stop paying her taxes, because they are used to finance things that are against her beliefs (like wars). She knows that she will eventually go to jail. So the community supports her as it can, surrounds her with light (i love this principle of imagining somebody in the light, whatever your beliefs, i find this sentence quite positive. I do believe that we are the first motor of our happiness).
The members of this church are called « Friends ». And they are effectively quite welcoming and open. It does good to see religion under a different light, than the one i find a bit austere in our churches ( i am not trying to create a debate, each of us has his beliefs and all, but the rare times i went to church in France, i didn’t felt included, considered. And i do think it is coming from us. Because i went to a mass in Romania and it was a tremendous experience). I like the trust that is building among them, they all end up knowing each other, but also like seeing new people. The americans definitely have a great sense of community.
In short, i loved it. I would not go every sunday, but i like the idea of knowing it exists. (if you want to know more, just by curiosity, click HERE).
Then on the advices of a young woman we met there, we went to the New York hall of science.
Doing, let’s not forget, an important stop to eat lunch. We found our happiness in the Flushing meadow park.
There are a lot of big seagulls in this park
We had our heart set on a little stand that sold South american’s food.
Empanadas et plantain con quesos
And it was delicious, tasty and delectable.
Run squirrel Run !
The New York Hall of Science is a sort of « Cité des sciences » but older. Although… In fact it depends which rooms. Let’s say that there are some beautiful activities, all new, crazy high tech, and in the middle of all that, old activities, on which a lot of kids have dribbled, that sometimes don’t even work.
We went to discover a particular exhibit. It’s a whole room, on the walls and ground are projected images. And us, we are in there, we interact. Meaning we are inside the video game. The goal is simple, there are 4 areas: desert, jungle, swamp (and i don’t remember the fourth…), you have to grow plants, feed them water, so your ecosystem develops itself. Actions have consequences on the different areas.
The waterfall, without her everything dies.
Gabrielle’s super powers ( She is planting some seeds)
There was a little bit too much kids ( Little Brats!) who were not exaclty playing well but even though we enjoyed ourselves. I loved to be able to plant seeds with my own hands and see plants grow (virtual seeds and virtual plants, because real gardening is dirty).
The rest of the museum consisted in different rooms, each having a theme. And following this theme, a bunch of experimentations. A room on mathematics with, for example, a huge machine explaining the probabilities (balls, curved line and stuff), another on light, perceptions (you look at you right hand, and his reflection in a mirror, then you move your left hand and here you go : yyyuuuhhh! weird! your brain is all disturbed, because you are moving your left hand, but he sees your left hand – in fact the reflection of your right hand- that is not moving).
We had a lot of fun in the mirrors’ gallery
I learnt that i already gave birth (mold is life)
We also saw microbes in a microscope (and now so have you)
I also liked a lot their products such as this dool who built robots and this book that says « Not all princesses dress in pink ». They had a whole section dedicated to women scientists and it feels good, to highlight a bit those women often forgotten by history.
We went back to the subway. We didn’t plan on spending all afternoon in a science museum and that’s what’s good…
The ice cream truck like in movies, playing a tiny heady music. Every time we encounter one, we come nearer, expecting to see a psycho clown appears suddenly ready to transform us in cone. But apparently, here, it mostly attracts hungry kids…
See you tomorrow for new adventures sweeties!