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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Anchorage Delight

This comes under the category of "you never know what delight will be waiting for you." A colleague and I had just finished presenting a workshop to artists and teachers - always such a pleasure to be with creative people - and emerged after two days to see this on the Delaney Park Strip in Anchorage. Even though we felt tired, we were also curious, and so walked over the still frozen grass and joined in.

Everything about it was irresistible. The color against the sky and the way it billowed and changed and the glimpses of people underneath all propelled us closer.

Even though the breeze was slight, it pulled the yellow nylon out of our fingers. And then as the pressure from underneath grew stronger, it started pulling apart the sections of the huge piece of nylon that were held together by Velcro. Instead of marveling at how it all looked, we went into repair mode and started working together to press the Velcro seams back together. You can see in the picture below how it is ripping apart. Once one seam went, it weakened the other in a chain reaction. A good metaphor for what can happen in a community.

Once we had gotten it back together, I had to get inside to feel it. I was surprised by the amount of pressure it exerted on my head - the flimsy light nylon felt very heavy.

We could have dallied there for a long time, but we had to get to the airport. As we were leaving, I took a photo of the people in the cherry picker far above who were filming it all. By the way, I asked several people what was happening. "Don't know - some art project, I guess," someone said. 

Since our workshop had been on community engagement, seeing this event reminded us that people want to do things together, that real community is built through shared experience, and that all ages having fun with each other is good for everyone, and that the world is full of beauty and delight.

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