Thousands and thousands of us walked through Central Park today, experiencing something unique. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to walk through thousands of “gates” draped with saffron fabric, glowing in the winter sun, blowing in a 15 MPH wind.
There we all were, saying things like, “wow, it they really look different this way,” or, “those are wider than the others,” or, “listen to them rustle in the wind.”
Apparently, Christo and Jeanne-Claude spent $21 million of their own money to put on this amazing display.
What’s it like?
Well, the first thing I noticed were the smiles. Lots of smiles. People just walking around the Park, smiling.
I don’t know, but I had some ideas while I was there smiling with them.
Absurdity. Childlike. Here/Now.
Walking through these miles of gates, I thought, “wow, this is a sure-enough incongruous and bizarre moment; all these things lined up here in Central Park.” Absurd.
I also thought, “Man, this is the kind of thing kids do; put up miles of stuff just to do it.” Childlike.
And, “Wow, this isn’t about anything at all.” It’s only about Here/Now.
What else can you do when faced with this much irrationality in one place, but smile?
Experience this if you can…it’s only gonna live for 16 days…here one day, gone the next.
Hmm, sounds familiar: Absurd; Childlike; Here/Now; Mortal.
Ahhh, that’s what the smiles were about.
Reflections on the power of rehearsal, from a master performer