Closing CubeSpace

Today is the last day that CubeSpace will be open. We still have a little cleanup to do over the weekend, and the farewell party Tuesday (4PM – ?, BYO, please come), but as far as regular business, today is it. I can’t tell you how strange it feels. Nonetheless, I guess I’m going to try.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever had something I’ve invested so much of myself in before. My marriage, perhaps, but nothing else. And to be shutting it down is hard. While I don’t consider CubeSpace a failure because so much good has come out of it, I also cannot consider it a success, since it’s closing. It doesn’t feel like a graduation, or quitting a job. It doesn’t feel like any of the other endings I’ve experienced in my life before. It’s just odd.

It’s also somewhat liberating. No more being tied down to a business that needs me here until 9:30 at night, or needs me here to open it at 6:45 in the morning. Or, more accurately, needs me here until 9:30 at night and needs Eva here at 6:45 in morning, and we try to squeeze in 20 minutes of quality time while we wind down for bed so she gets enough sleep before another day.

But I also won’t be seeing everyone in the community on a daily basis. I’ll still see people, but not as naturally. I’ll have to make time for it, plan it. Life will be different. I don’t know what it will bring, but it will be different.

Today is a sad day. I’m loving everyone coming through to offer condolences, and to say “see you in a bit.” Love that people feel the need to come in and say goodbye to the space. I don’t quite know how to say goodbye to the space as a functioning community. But somehow, I know that I need to.

Tonight, we will lock the doors at 7, and I will be here. I’m not normally here at 7 on a Friday (normally I’ve already left Beer and Blog for home), but tonight, it feels important to me to be here. As a rabbi, I’m used to marking such occasions with rituals and blessings. I’m not sure what the blessing is when you close your business, but perhaps I’ll figure it out in the next six hours.

Plans Post-CubeSpace

A list of a few things I’m looking forward to doing in my post-CubeSpace existence:

  • Gardening. The garden has gotten minimal to no attention the last few summers. I’m really looking forward to having the time to spend in the yard and grow some veggies this summer. Also, it will be great to get grapes trellised, the raspberries under control and reclaim the brick path. Oh yes, and some serious dandelion eradication. We’ll see how many laurel bushes get taken out over the course of the summer as well.
  • Knitting. While I’ve been knitting all along, I haven’t been very creative in my knitting while at CubeSpace. It’s just taken too much of my attention and energy. I’m hoping to be able to do more creative work, and maybe some design work. For me, it’s an outlet for creative exploration, and I want to use it as such.
  • Photography. I love taking photographs, but haven’t really spent the time to practice recently. Hoping to do some of that this summer.
  • Beavers Baseball. I’m hoping to go to a baseball game or two this summer. I’ve been meaning to for years, but the last game I made it to was the summer before we opened CubeSpace.
  • Cheap Movies. We live walking distance to the Baghdad Theater, the Laurelhurst Theater and the Avalon Theater, all of which show movies for $3 or less.
  • Paycheck. It will be lovely to get work where someone is paying me for it. Just one of those dreams of mine.

I’m quite certain I’ll come up with other activities, and that I’ll discover that I have not nearly as much free time as I imagine I will. Nonetheless, these are a few of the things I’m looking forward to in the next stage of life.

God's Mouthpiece

I spoke yesterday on a panel about creating GLBT-friendly religious communities. It’s a subject I care about and speak about with some regularity (a few times a year). In general, the audiences for such talks tend to be very supportive, and this was no exception. That’s not the point I want to make today, howerver.

During the Q&A part of the panel, someone asked a question, which sparked a response in me. And suddenly, I found myself answering the question eloquently, and speaking passionately about the use of language as an act of inclusion or exclusion in everyday situations. That we ought not to be making Pride Month the time of the year when we focus on issues of inclusion, but rather, by the simple use of inclusive language, making clear that we are welcoming throughout the year.

There are times that I forget that I have something to say. There are times when I wonder how it is that I can come up with a weekly sermon when I’ve done that in the past. Then there are times like yesterday, when something just comes out, and it is the right message at the right moment. For me, those are times when I am serving the Holy most directly. When I let the words flow through me, and the words are good, and true, and right.

Yesterday was a good day.