Upstairs. Downstairs

I am a bit late with wishing you all a happy new year, but it is well meant etcetcetc
I’ve made a few resolutions this year, some of which I’ve already broken (and it is so early in the year too!) , but there is in particular I’m glad I’ve already begun work on. No, it’s not getting in more exercise ( I am useless at that), or being more patient (unfortunately), but it is to do more cultural stuff. On Sunday , I went to our cultural centre, CC De Warande and sat through “Overlezen” . “Overlezen” is a monthly event, with a guest writer to talk about his/her latest offering with a host. There are also verbal mini-reviews by two well known critics, some music , and a book of the month. It is almost like a book club, but much more. Apparently, the same bunch of book lovers turn up every month (they all seemed to know each other): well dressed, mostly middle aged men and women. I spotted a few young men ( poetic looking types with tousled hair) and a young woman (the guest writer’s girlfriend, I think she was).
The book of the month discussed was To Kill a Mocking Bird, that American classic that everyone should read at least once before they die. I tell you, there was something slightly surreal hearing TKAMB discussed in a room where one is the only black person present, but not the only black person in the building. Two floors below, a church service was in full swing. There were about fifty black men and women (many of them young) singing, and dancing, and praying in tongues at whom I ‘d taken a quick peek at when I walked in.
I was glad I was upstairs though (not because I dislike church services), but because there is an absence of African/black presence in cultural events here. And like the Flemish proverb says, Wie niet aan tafel zit is vergeten (he who does not sit at the table, is forgotten).