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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Bubble Game

A very dear old friend of mine posted these photos on Facebook the other day, immediately transporting me to another place and time.

This time and place predates my formal Yoga practice, but embodies some of the same allure.  Imagine an intentional community of peaceful-loving people all dancing together to their own tunes; this is a Rainbow Gathering.  If each one of these individuals had a mat instead of a tent, it would be a most colorful & inspiring Yoga class!  (In this story, each one is a bubble.)

When the light hits it just right, a bubble can reveal the entire spectrum of the rainbow.  It is poetic that these photos, and the piece below “From the Filing Cabinet,” were both born at a Rainbow Gathering; the event, itself, took place in a clearing in the woods, surrounded by participants and spectators, alike, everyone active in their roles.

The inspiration came from a spontaneous game that gathered momentum and meaning with every moment.  Enter Todd, with a very large “bubble wand” and a lot of  bubble juice, contentedly making huge bubbles with care and obvious joy.  Someone else joined him and began waving her hands beneath an enormous bubble, keeping it from hitting the ground.  Before long there were several bubbles in the air being cared for by passersby who wordlessly joined in.  

The picture was quite beautiful.  The collective intention was to keep the bubbles aflight.  This became increasingly challenging, as the bubbles began to outnumber their human counterparts and occasional breezes began blow.  Still, as bubbles broke and others took form and flight, people were alternately laughing and silent in their concentrated efforts. This went on for some time without losing any of its original freshness. When it was over, everyone sensed it and the game ended as organically as it had begun.

When I look back at the various experiences that make up my personal history, it doesn’t surprise me that Yoga has formed my current path.  Tadasana may not change the world, but if I breathe with intention while rooting down and floating up, I may infuse that moment with something special.  Keeping that bubble from crashing to the ground won’t cure disease or magically promote world peace, but it may bring attention to, and elevate, that moment.  Strung together, these moments can make a difference.

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From the Filing Cabinet:  Periodically, I will be posting relics found in the filing cabinet I referenced in the post, Something Old, Something New 11/11/09.  This one is from a Rainbow Gathering, circa early 1990s.

The Bubble Game -- Or, The Meaninglessness of Soap

It is my opinion that there is no game as inherently existential as the Bubble Game.  The ground rules are as follows:  Huge bubbles are created--out of dish soap and glycerin--for the purpose of saving.  The rules need never be disclosed verbally.  The information is contained within the universe and silently passed to each participant.  Anyone can join the game and there are no time restrictions.  The only requirement is the facilitator of the bubbles.  Once the bubbles are born, it is the unspoken responsibility of those on the game board to keep the bubbles alive for as long as possible.  It is known from the start that the bubbles cannot ultimately survive.  The bubbles provide insight through colors, shapes and directions of flight.  Each moment in the survival techniques of the players is filled with meaning and conviction.  Every time a bubble breathes, it is that life that counts; when it ceases to breathe, another one is born.  Sometimes manipulating their direction, other times following their lead, necessitates total consciousness.  Being completely immersed in the menial task of bubble preservation forces even a fleeting congnizance of the temporal nature of things.

1 comment:

  1. Love the bubble game!Every time a bubble breathes, it is that life that counts.Ahmen and disco balls! Todd