Sunday, May 16, 2010

30 Days of Dinner Time, Day 14

In the window, Laura and Grace. These two ladies are dear friends of mine and friends of one another. Though I know their apologies go as far as the moon from the earth, they were about 25 minutes late for the 7pm start time. Thus I am presented with another opportunity to decide if I am justifying aspects of the piece that I can't control (giving them meaning though they have none) or if these things are happy accidents which illuminate something new about the work. So far I'm leaning to the latter, but the jury is still out. Surely their asbense, prompting the neighborhood kids to exclaim from outside "where are they, it's 7!", is an interesting proof to my hopes for creating a habit.

For dinner they brought an assortment of McDonald's cuisine with warm Miller Light for dessert. This is SO funny. Grace may be one of the most food oriented people on the planet, taking weekend trips to NYC just to eat. However, their lateness left them no choice but to pick up the fastest and most available food. They embraced it like champions though, such confidence.

Day 14 ended up being ladies night. Foot traffic was very light to start. This left me time to interact with my goofy dinner mates, who laughed and giggled their way through the night. The fun they were having helped me laugh out loud many times.

Later in the evening, a woman stopped by and sat for a while, her name is Diane but a lot of people call her Barbie. We began to talk on the chairs about the piece. That conversations quickly turned into one about our lives, which then led into a time of bonding with a woman who doesn't often bond with anyone. She calls herself a lady of the night but in spite of her professional activities, she is a woman who very much wanted to connect with someone in a meaningful way.

To add to the femininity of the evening, a woman from the neighborhood brought her daughter (or grand-daughter) to watch as well. They spoke very little english, so they talked amongst themselves about the piece and watched. While Grace and Laura caught up in the window like old friends, four ladies of all different backgrounds and ages caught up on the sidewalk. I couldn't help but be amazed at the simultaneity of our activities... it had the feeling of a middle school slumber party.

It seems there is a safety in this piece that makes it possible for openness. I am blessed to be witness to even just a moment of the vulnerability people have expressed around this piece, inside and outside the glass. It's humbling to be given something so intimate by so many and it's important that I respect that gift and accept it graciously. This gift is just as much a framework for the work as the glass in the window.

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