I LOVE this place...
Many of my old East Coast or Southwest friends giggle when I tell them how much I LOVE living in Pittsfield - but it is totally true. (Some, however, know me as the ordained version of Chris in the Morning.) It is interesting, after growing up in the megalopolis of Boston/New York/Washington, DC - and choosing to go into urban ministry after studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and spending time in San Francisco, St. Louis and Cleveland - it would seem that I have been moving further and further away from metropolitan life with each phase of my ministry.
And now we live in a place that I lovingly call "Northern Exposure." Now, for some, that is a hip, big city put down of small town life, but I am enthralled with how different life is here - and how much healthier and holier it is, too. Tonight, for example, after watching my new favorite TV show, "Fringe," (and after having a GREAT band practice where we NAILED a new song, "One Voice,") I started flipping the channels and wound up on cable access. And to my delight and shock, there was a local entertainer, George Morrell, hosting THE most psychedelic and diverse 30 minute variety show I have seen since either Arthur Godfrey or Ted Mack back in the 1950s!
This guy was freakin' incredible - singing ballads, inviting a bunch of 80s looking young women tap dancers to perform along with a polka duo from North Adams - and he was accompanied by a blind guitar player. I laughed, cried and gave thanks to God that real, local talent (and there is lots of latitude in that word) have a chance to be on TV here. This really is God's country. And I am not being a snotty East Coast intellectual when I say that: people matter here - and it is beautiful. I give thanks that for a while God has led us to this wonderful and gentle place.