I live in the middle of a biggish city, a city known for its theaters and art galleries and museums and music and literature, and this means that every single day and night multiple artsy things are happening all over the place.
This means that every single day and night I could be out enjoying something artsy. The choices! The variety! The endless opportunities!
But the part of me that stands in the shampoo aisle, needing to buy shampoo and gazing from one shelf to the other, trying and failing to take in the dozens –hundreds– of species and sub-species and genuses (is that the right term?) of shampoo, and then walks away exhausted, overwhelmed, and shampoo-less, is the same part of me that tends to end up most nights lying on my porch swing reading instead of heading out into the cauldron of artistic activities that boils city-wide.
Wow, that above paragraph is a big mess, isn’t it. I’m not heading back in to change a word, though. I’m plowing on to tell you that instead of lying on my porch swing reading, my friend Kingsley and I headed out to the Kinship of Rivers Festival, held yesterday at the Soap Factory art gallery in NE Minneapolis.
This was something that I had never done before, Kingsley had never done before, and no one at the Soap Factory, given that this is the first year the Kinship of Rivers Festival has taken place, had ever done before. It was all new to all of us.
We watched a Tibetan Buddhist monk work on a mandala made of colored sand. All day long he would pray as he made the mandala, and at 7 p.m., long after Kingsley and I were gone, the mandala would be dedicated and the sand dispersed, half to the audience members and half to the Mississippi and Yangtze rivers.
We watched a huge wind chime installation being made.
We saw a lion sculpture, and Kingsley posed beside it for a photo.
We stood in a huge room strung with small cotton flags, each containing a handmade painting, inscription or poem, each of which will be offered up to a river somewhere in the world.
Finally, Kingsley met my friend Ping, who initially mistook him for my father. Which he is not. But in the car on the way home, he said, “I sort of am, though, if you think of me as having adopted you.”