Northern Park II: The Morning After

Written By: Charles - Jun• 05•11

Beltane                                                          Waxing Garlic Moon

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

An apt quote for another run at Northern Spark.  There was a lot of self-creation on display in Minneapolis last night, from the sperm and egg crew (seen here in the orange light of a 2011-06-05_09111sodium vapor light) to the freshmen of Washington High wandering around in the park for the Battle of Everyouth to many other, very varied events.

The organizer of Northern Spark also nailed it on the way night changes everything.  The whole event felt special, almost like a secret only the hundreds, maybe thousands, of us who knew.  It changed, for example, the context of the Voyeurism and Surveillance show at the Walker.  The first time I saw it I went in daylight and left in daylight.  This time I went into the exhibit at 11:15 pm and left near midnight.

How many people took the challenge to stay up all night?  No idea.  I got home at 1:00 am.  And felt pretty damn proud of myself for having lasted that long.  Geez, geeze.

While I sat at the Walker last night, looking at the IDS, couples wandered past, many in the early stages of their relationship.  I thought back.  When did I first come to the Walker on a date?  Must have been 1971.  How long ago was that?  OMG.  40 years.  How did that happen?

Anyhow, I went on and calculated that I was the age of many of these couples then, 24.  I had no idea where my life was going.  Seminary was a brand new experience and I still thought I’d probably get out after the first year.  It was so much fun to be out then, the promise of life and of the night ahead.

It surprised me to learn that I didn’t feel much different being out now at 64.  I still anticipate the life ahead and the promise of the night.  Well, except for the niggling fact that 1 am meant more to me than it did to my companions out at Northern Spark.  It meant I’d better be home.  Not because I particularly wanted to be, but because my body just doesn’t handle late, late nights the way it used to.

I didn’t get up this morning until 10:40, for example.

Oh, and back to the George Bernard Shaw quote.  I agree that life is not about finding yourself.  But I don’t agree that we are an act of self-creation alone as he implies.  We come into the world a Self, a larger than our self Self, a Self filled with opportunities not yet expressed, not yet plumbed.  Life is living into the larger, richer Self, a process of co-creation, not an ego only show.

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