Okay, starting out with excuses once again... I missed yesterday's morning activity because the kids were coming back after spending Memorial Day weekend up with Grandma and Grandpa (and Nana!) in Pennsylvania. But I didn't want to miss the event I had planned because it was a tribute to performance artist Marina Abramovic's THE ARTIST IS PRESENT.
We were supposed to do it Monday since it was her half birthday, and birthdays are very important to her: she considers them to be the beginning of her performance, which would be her life (also, she and her partner Ulay had the same birthday... Crazy. If you haven't seen this video where she sees Ulay 30 years after they separated by walking in opposite directions across the Great Wall of China, you really should, it's one of the most intense things I've ever seen).
So for our activity this morning I wanted to take a page from Marina Abramovic's book and have a staring contest with the kids. As I told them, this was not a staring contest that they had to win by not blinking, but rather one where we would stare at one another, look into each other's eyes, and be truly present in the moment for one full minute.
I attempted it with Zephyr first. I couldn't take pictures while I was staring at him because I wanted to emphasize how he should focus on only one thing, and it clearly wasn't easy for him. His eyes would dart away and I would have to call him back. To be entirely honest it wasn't easy for me, either.
Lyric was actually a little better at it, surprisingly. He wasn't great, and his main challenge was not laughing, but he managed to stay still and present for what must have been 20 seconds straight. That may not seem so long, but ask any actor or radio DJ and they'll tell you, 20 seconds of silence can feel like an eternity.
Finally I had the kids stare at each other. This I was able to take pictures of:
The kids were admittedly a lot more smiley than Marina Abramovic, of course.
Was it successful? I'm not quite sure, I think so. I think they might have had a few moments of being really there, and at least they became more familiar with the work of Maria Abramovic. They seemed to have fun and that's what matters.