Sunday, May 16, 2010

30 Days of Dinner Time, Day 11

In the window, Libby and Hugo. Libby is the Warming Center director for our church... meaning, she runs a day shelter for the homeless and marginalized of Logan Square. Hugo is a wonderful friend of ours who is also a guest at the Warming Center.

For dinner they brought Mexican food from a restaurant down the block. They also brought cards but never got around to using them.

Tonight's pairing was a special one from my perspective. It was comprised of inter-racial communications, homelessness, the ministry of the church and it's effect, age contrast, language barriers and the issue of illegal immigrant status. As it turns out, this piece makes most of those things secondary... aside from what can be picked up visually or what I share on the outside, all this information is lost through the glass.

For a minute I felt frustrated, like these big issues were being wasted on the wrong piece. But as I watched and talked with passers-by, it occurred to me/us that this is a great piece for these issues... specifically because they're not an issue at all. In the window this pair was viewed as another day in this breath of human observation, another rendition of life as art. Hugo wasn't labeled "homeless" or "illegal"... you couldn't hear the slowness of their cross-language conversation. They were two people, together, enjoying each other.

In the same way that Dan and Sara were given over to an honest man's profiling in Day 9, I expected the same of Day 11. Turns out this batch of viewers were less interested in the politics and more interested in the necessity of understanding their human-ness.

Restrictions can both hinder and help, but in the end they always create something new. As I stand by the environment I have created, watching it go through so many variations, I have to see the side-effects it offers and sort out how the result is something new, whether hindered or helped...ultimately letting the control reside elsewhere.

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