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Breaking Tile

Yesterday I went to Dorothy Day during lunch so that I would have the opportunity to spend some time with the patrons and volunteers. Over the past week I had been working during off hours so as not to interfere with meals. But I missed getting to see the people of the place. I brought up a bucket of tile that needed to be peeled from its backing. As I worked I sat with folks who were served ham and cheese sandwiches, coffee, watermelon and all sorts of cakes and pies from volunteers from the St. James Church. It was hot!

Conversation began, and we started discussing the mural. "Do you know the story of the dove?" the man sitting across from me said. "Tell me," I responded. "Noah sent the dove out after the flood to see if there was life, and the dove returned with an olive branch," he replied. "And Jesus is the dove sent to us," he continued. "So life and Christ," I responded. "Christ is life," he said. This gave me pause and I sat with the idea.

Another man, Wayne showed interest in the tiles and started helping me peel them from their backing. The glue was tough and it was hard to do. He kept at it until the entire sheet was peeled. People came and went in the process. As the lunch time was coming to a close he remained, with a cup of coffee, and we continued to talk as I learned more about Danbury and his life. He stayed for hours longer helping me break and peel tile. I learned all about the Danbury Fair and mushroom farming, and the most recent zoning decision looking to relocate the shelter behind Dorothy Day. I was heartbroken- thinking of how this would effect the people needing a safe place to stay at night. I was also aware that I need to pick up a newspaper.

I had received an incredible donation of keys that I was crafting into a halo of sorts above the dove's head. They were tarnished, and I didn't give great thought to that fact. Wayne asked, "Are you going to polish those keys?" To which I responded that I hadn't thought of that. "You can't have a halo that isn't shiny."

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