Today was Diocesan Convention. I kept my word: I got there late--mostly because I had googled directions and was told to get off I 91 at exit 29 A. I got to exit 29 and got off thinking A and B would divide. But no! Exit 29 A was the exit beyond exit 29. Where else but Connecticut are exits like that? Crazy.
I eventually got to the Hartford Convention Center and Hotel. The parking building was massive. Though I remembered what section I was in I didn't think I'd be able to find my car.
And the Convention Center is even more massive. 40 foot ceilings in the entrance, 25 foot ceilings everywhere else. Rooms as big as football fields.
I have a form of agoraphobia--the fear of open spaces. I grew up in the mountains, remember, and am comfortable with things on both sides of me. Where Bern grew up there was a mountain, an alley, a house, a narrow two lane road, a house, an alley and a mountain. Probably less than 40 yards of level ground.
I can't be in Costco or places like that for more than 15 minutes. The Convention Center was a nightmare for me. If I never am in that building again it will be too soon!
Plus I couldn't find a seat in a two football field room full of tables and chairs. And, standing in the back, I couldn't understand a word that was being said on the podium. I am a tad hard of hearing and have tinnitus, so I asked 5 other people standing in the back if they could understand what was being broadcast into this huge space. They all said, "not really".
I hung around out in the hallway, which was much too big for my comfort, and talked to a dozen or more folks out there.
Then I went to see if I 'could' find my car and it took me ten minutes of pushing the lock door button on my keys and listening in a huge echoing space to find it. So I took a route back to the Convention Center that I knew I'd remember and talked to a dozen more people, including three bishops and some people I only knew because we all had on name tags.
I left before lunch and was in my car for 20 minutes before I wasn't agoraphobic any more. Cars are more like the spaces I thrive in.
So, I didn't take part in much and was home before 1 p.m., but was glad I left. Since I don't vote or speak at Convention--being retired from full time ministry--I didn't miss much.
Lord that building should be razed to the ground!
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