The Dialogue National Tour in Flagstaff, AZ
This first day of our national tour, we drove over 12 hours from San Francisco to Flagstaff. It was an exhausting drive, but it will give us some time to relax in Flagstaff for one day before our first installation day.
Our first installation day on the road went off without a hitch. There were a few gusts of wind that blew a couple screens down (it is called "Flagstaff" after all!), but the day was mellow. Flagstaff is a small town, so we were not expecting many people today... but we talked with some interesting people.
Unfortunately, our first day filming did not go too well. The sound did not import correctly into our camera so we have soundless footage. I'll try to do something good with the footage in editing though.
Now, onto... Santa Fe! I've been told great things about Santa Fe, so we are looking forward to getting there.
First installation! We get there late but at least under blue sky. Set up is peaceful and quick. We work well together. In midtown on Sunday morning, foot traffic is sparse, and Mike says he's glad it's like this our first time so we can have a more mellow day.
Manning the table gives me a great vantage as observer. At one point I watched an old man pushing a wheelchair holding an obviously profoundly handicapped middle-aged man. The old man stopped for a moment, leaned over and oh, so tenderly tousled his charge's hair in the dearest gesture. That gesture bespoke of a love between them that knew no disability, but saw through to the soul and connected these two.
Over the day, I saw how the screens filter in the thoughtful, open, bright, desperate, illumined or curious, and filter out people too busy running the hamster's endless loop... going somewhere but never here: too busy to live, to be, stop and think, but just go. They make such a contrast to the young collegiate couple who just sat together in front of one screen for two whole hours absorbing each quote and discussing it, really spending time making the most of this unique opportunity.
A lithe, burning eyed young man with tousled black hair approached our information table and told me, "I would do something like this, only darker!" He made me face him and answer. "I have to read your lips". Despite being deaf or perhaps because of it, he seemed charged with creative energy . We had a great talk. Later, he walked by and with a huge grin, gave me a silent namaste. Intuitively I felt the screens and Mike's example inspired him to do likewise.
The '60s certainly seemed alive and well here. Hippy clothes worked well in this citified desert aerie. University students, old codgers, east coast aliens, tourists and the occasional desert rat made a great mix to call this place home: all the misfits, the dispossessed, organic young, old and untamed -- the creative questors and spiritual mystics. When clouds came and the rain poured, the locals just giggled. Until the hailstorm that struck just as we packed up! We got drenched!