Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Day in Indianapolis: Thoughts From Places

This past weekend truly was an adventure, comprised of an entire Sunday spent running around the great city of Indianapolis. My friend and I bought tickets in January on a whim, deciding in an instant that no distance was too far to go if the end point had us at a concert to see our favorite British artists, Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol.

The show truly was invigorating - I can't think of a better word for it. It had me thinking of a series of books I read a few years back by Justine Larbalestier called Magic or Madness. In the middle of the roaring crowd of people in the middle of the Egyptian Room in the city of Indianapolis, I felt an  energizing pull, much like that of the feeling Jay-Tee experienced when she was dancing in Magic or Madness. Larbalestier described the way Jay-Tee could use her magic to harness the energies the bodies around her put off while on the dance floor and in her close proximity. During the story, the crowd actually acted as a life force for her, giving her the energy she needed when her magic ran low and she was especially susceptible to going mad. In a way, Jay-Tee's experience had me relate to a lot of  events in that brilliant series. I realize only now how positive energies, much like magic in Larbalestier's series - or any literal magic in fantasy series, for that matter - are what give us the drive to live life fully. Magic is our inner fire.

Before all the fun of the concert, my friend, an artist, wanted to spend a few hours at the esteemed Indianapolis Museum of Art. Now because I am not an artist, nor am I familiar with the essentials of art history lesson, I did not understand or appreciate as well the fine intricacies or revolutions in art that the lot of the paintings in the museum offered. (As was noted aloud by my trustee friend as my quizzical looks provided answer to her many nerderific outbursts as we approached the most famous of the works of art). I did, however, take special interest in the sculptures. Like one sculpture, which was actually a glass floor being held up by generic plastic toy soldiers that took up the entire room. (Apparently - unfortunately - people are not supposed to photograph things on the sculpture floor, as the nice security man following us around eventually said).

Another exhibit on the sculpture floor was creepily enchanting. Someone had connected speakers around an entire room, ones that hung from the ceiling and whispered to you from all over. I couldn't imagine being in there alone at night, but of course the faux-ghostly presence that the speakers created forced my imagination to deceive me, even as my friend was standing, bless her, just a few feet away. This may just be a me thing, but I have come to find that, no matter the museum in question, I always seem to find something unsettling about artifacts - they evoke a certain cowardice in me, creating a sort of Shaggy from "Scooby-Doo"-like complex in me.

As we got home in time to go straight to school the next day, I realized how worth it the entire day-long trip was. Just like I wrote above, going to Indianapolis was an adventure. The feeling of being so far away from what was familiar, of being out of my comfort zone, was most gratifying. In a way, that was part of the invigoration, the excitement of the adventure.

I think it's important that everyone take an adventure and exercise their comfort zone, even when (and especially when) they feel least ready.

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