I arrived in one of my favorite cities; Nashville. Honky Tonks and restaurants, overflow with music; the aroma of ribs and BBQ waft through the air.
My first book event was held at Canvas Lounge, a funky, groovy space located on Church Street–think SoHo dance club Meets the Warhol Factory at a Rodeo. Yes, it is that cool. Energetic bartenders serving concoctions of booze and brew, neon LOVE sign adorning the wall, DJ spinning trax from metal hair bands to Disco Divas.
I indulged in a local beer from Yazoo, a lightly hopped Pale Ale crafted in Nashville’s first production brewery since Prohibition, who opened its doors in 2003. Soon, I was greeted under the spinning disco ball, by handsome manager/host extraordinaire, Seth who was wearing a vintage Iron Maiden shirt; which elevated the ‘hip‘ factor by degrees—(I say ‘hip’, not ‘hipster’).
When I arrived, The Music City Sisters were present in true Sister fashion and Southern hospitality; having created a spread of food that would serve a third world nation; homemade brownies–(thank you Sherri Gray, yum!), meatballs, cheeses, pasta…and, of course, they did so in the stylishly fashionable manner, only a Sister can. Sister Terry Yaki immediately welcomed me and made me feel welcome and special. (Thank you for that love.)
Having been involved peripherally with the Sisters in San Francisco, I am well versed in their mission and their work. It has been so interesting traveling across the country, visiting other houses and seeing how ‘the work‘ manifests. The Music City Sisters are part of the evergrowing conversation surrounding human rights and their house, which became fully professed in 2009, gives testament to that. They have pioneered several fundraisers in their community, including H8’s A Drag; a charity, fundraiser, which features talented performers and entertainers, raising funds for varied non-profit organizations in the community.
Part of the Sister Mission is to ‘promulgate universal joy‘, and the Music City Sisters, do this and more, by their very presence; focusing on community engagement, conversation, and presence of spirit.
We commandeered a small booth and put the book, shirts, and prints on display. People came by, plates overflowing with homemade food and treats, and chatted. Many of the questions, were from the community about the San Francisco house; how they do this? Did they do that? It was a genuine inquiry of discovery of who, what, why and how the Sisters were.
We were able to raffle a book and a shirt to raise funds for underserved non-profits in the community. Look at these lovelies—-
Sister Faegala, who has been integral in coordinating the entire tour of the south–(thank you!), is not only a Fully Professed Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, but acts as Mistress of Archives, and Mistress of Habits in the Music City. She also serves as the Co- Mistress of Missions with Sister Unity from the Los Angeles House, for the United Nuns Privy Council. The UNPC includes appointed delegates from all the houses in North America. They oversee the process of training new houses as they come into existence. She dubs herself and her work “as spreading JOY in the Diaspora through habitual armchair ministry and global ministerial adventures–all with the goal of eradicating stigma, hate, and guilt.” She is one busy nun–or as they might say, A Nun on Fire.
As the disco ball swirled overhead and the DJ turned the tunes towards an evening guaranteed to be filled with shaking booties and extended dance mixes; I chalked the night up as a huge success. Items were sold, funds were raised and forever friends were made in Music City on the backdrop of Canvas Lounge; a one-size-fits-all space, where everyone belongs and all people, no matter who you are, seamlessly fit in.
Thank you Music City Sisters and Canvas Lounge….until next time…