Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Meyers Dairy: Give Us This Day Our Mothers Milk

Winter has lifted it's shaggy head from my shoulder, and now we're back on the streets with the windows down, listening to unlabeled mix cds and making plans plans plans. Plans to drive into the country. Plans to find the salt mines. Plans to sit on porches drinking. Plans to bike to the lake. Plans to lie in bed late with the breezes and ceiling fan stirring the viscous sunlight around us. Mostly though, MOSTLY, I am dying to get dirty. Dusty and dirty and muddy and sweaty.

The first building hunt of the year took place last week. Our meeting place had changed. I could no longer automatically find the right settings on my camera. We were unsteady at first, driving through East Cleveland, eying every brick fortress with appraising larcenous minds. We were dipping our toes to see how warm the water was. We shook off our hibernations.

But I found it, and it was warm, and the moment my boots took those first steps on the broken brick and guided me around that first unknown corner, I felt back inside the city. Which is awake again. I find it comforting that it always wakes up, every year, the same way. I like cycles.

This used to be a dairy plant. A happy place to work. No harsh chemicals, no grease. Just thin white milk, for feeding babies, for making ice cream and cheese. It stills seems happy. Little touches are keeping the darkness away. The green and white, the yellow tiles, the little surprise pretties, the delicate holies.

Up the stairs, we have the stained glass windows, the industrial cathedral, the alcove of the sacrament, where upon the cream was separated from the milk and fed to the fatted city.

Next door, the cubicle rectory, with fluffy insulation piled high. Walled in glass like a nature center. The better to let the light of divine judgment in. The better to watch birds from while you fill out that paperwork that no longer exists.