And so the preparations are made and the plan will be executed (such a harsh word!) Tonight we will give birth to our new, live show, The Kindlings Muse at Hales Ales Brewery and Pub in the Fremont District of Seattle. By Thursday there should be a podcast posted at our new website (location announced tomorrow).
Our theme tonight is Irreligious Seattle & the Spiritual Book Craze. Not a bad topic after one of the bestselling books of all time, "The Da Vinci Code," filled theatres in the critically panned movie based on the book. Our panel is Bryan Burton, theologian, actress Heather Hawkins and Gregory Wolfe, editor of "Image, A journal of Art, Faith and Mystery." Local singer & songwriter Robert Deeble will sing and Actor Jeff Berryman will read a poem of the late Stanley Kunitz.
The loft at Hale's should be packed as registration had to be closed off and we are now accepting Standing Room Only guests, and it looks like a good mix of locals and friends. Among the crowd will be donors who helped fund this venture, Jennie Spohr, our producer is making last minute adjustments and Carlo, our audio guy is packing all the equipment up the stairs and into the loft in an attempt to achieve a flawless audio event taped into a new pro-tools unit through a new Apple Powerbook (not the intel version, pro-tools won't run on it yet!)
The concept of the show is simple. Produce an event (and out of it a podcast and radio show) that is an intelligent, imaginative and hospitable exploration of ideas that matter in contemporary life. Invite people of varying beliefs on the panel and in the audience and build on what we have in common while voicing our differences. Get beyond the hostile talk and frivolous talk to talk about stuff that matters listeningly.
What is listeningly, a word I guess I made up? Let me illustrate this way. Late in life John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson with whom a strained relationship had developed, "You and I ought not to die, before we have explained ourselves to each other." I'd like people to listen to and explain themselves to each other. Maybe I'm just an old 60's idealist, but if so, Fremont, is the right place for such a conversation to happen because it has always been independent thinking, cordial and countercultural.
I guess today I'm like an expectant mother. Something will be born tonight, but we're not sure what. I'm starting to feel birth pangs and like a first-time mother, I'm experiencing a variety of emotions as I head towards the inevitable moment of delivery: uncertainty, excitement and some dread of the unknown.
Check in tomorrow to hear the news.
Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.
PS. And remember, "these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have." (For Now).