I started the day with a phone call to my mom which always makes me feel like I might as well be living on the moon. There was the inevitable lag that threw our rhythm of conversation off and the wind made the connection practically useless anyway. Desperate to just be able to catch up with my mom when I hang up, I curse the distance and frankly…just want to be closer to “home.”
But then Alec and I gathered our little family and headed out by train to the city. On our way we passed the flags announcing the Australian Open tennis tournament that is currently taking place and we saw all the people headed out to watch the great players. You can see the Melbourne high-rises from the station by the tennis arenas. It never fails to thrill me to think that such a big city is just a 20 minute train ride from my home.
On a whim, we decided to head to something we had only heard about the day before…some outdoor full scale art experience for kids. Just by chance, we were second in line for the noon performance. With 15 minutes to wait, we busied ourselves with the bits of elastic string that were all over the ground. There was a small sign of “Don’ts”, but no actual instruction on what to do. We were intrigued. The exhibit is called Tangle and it involves kilometers of this stretchy ribbon being wrapped around and around an arrangement of poles. Hopelessly tangleing up everyone in the stunning result. Once the web grows the whole experience transforms into a swinging, bouncing, crazed adventure set to live music.
We really had no idea what we were in for.
At one point I lost a shoe and while trying to extract myself completely, found that someone had laced the ribbon through the straps of my backpack (while it was still on my back). Luckily, I could un-clip the straps and free myself, otherwise I would have had to be cut free. For the most part, we clung to the edge as a family. The middle part was a technicolor jungle and even I felt a bit like going in would be a gamble on actually ever coming out again. Clover took to the experience quite naturally and I am pretty sure that if I had squeezed her into the heart of the Tangle web, she would have been quite happy. The kid has a calling for the bright and messy. She IS colorful disarray.
Alec even got a shot of me in the fantastic mess.
After over an hour, the music wraps up and the crowd helps push the giant fabric nest back up the poles so they can begin to make the next layer. As we left, each child was given a ball made of ribbon remnants from previous performances. The massive canopy has to eventually be cut down as the strings can never be untangled. It is a beautiful way to celebrate the abandon with which we must approach our lives…finding beauty in the chaos and learning to live with never being able to rewind.
The rest of the day involved free ice cream cones being handed out by the Cornetto folks (Lunch! Are we great parents or what?) and a visit to a kid festival of crafts and imagination at the Immigration Museum.
None of this is written to say I would take a day out in Melbourne over one spent with my mother, but it does remind me why we chose this city to raise kids. We make sacrifices to live here, but the city rewards us greatly. Like with the most amazing balloon man ever, but that is for another post, soon…
PHOTO NOTES :: I took the D200 out (tape covering the battery door and the CF card door as neither stays shut any longer) as the D3 is all set up for some studio stuff I am doing this weekend. I have to say, I can’t really imagine going back. While I love the imperfections of my camera phone and the point and shoots, I expect more from my DSLR than the D200 gave me. I was hoping I could use it as a backup while I had my D3 cleaned, but that is out now for sure. The amount of digital noise even at ISO 320 was crazy. I sure do still love that Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens though.