Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Long Night, Joyous Light: A Winter Solstice Happening

This began as a desire to do something performancey without a lot of planning, that would be fun for participants and be easy for non-performer participation. I thought, "aha! A Happening!"

So here's the deal. On Friday, December 21st, we're going to gather at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Houston's Montrose neighborhood (corner of Alabama and Woodhead) at 7:00pm. Everyone will bring flashlights and glow sticks and other light-making thingies (although no open-flame thingies---safety first!). By 7:15, we'll head out into the night, en masse, and take our light out into the surrounding neighborhood. We're not caroling or anything like that, just taking an evening stroll with our lights shining on the longest night of the year. People can visit as they walk, or dance about making swirly light trails with their flashlights---well, it's just best not to plan too much. Part of the fun of a Happening is that you don't plan it, you let it happen.

Well, except that I will have a route planned out, to try to avoid the common dangers of Houston's sidewalks. We'll keep within the perimeters of Shepherd, Richmond, and Alabama, so we don't cross any major traffic (safety first!). I want families to feel safe bringing children along---it's a family-friendly sort of Happening!

(If "Happening" is a new term for you, Wikipedia has a pretty good article on them. As you'll learn, we're going to be one of the tamer Happenings in Happening history, but that's okay. It's going to be fun anyway.)

I'll make up some small flyers for a few of us to carry so that if we get asked what we're doing, we can hand out a brief explanation---and invite them to join us!

After we walk for 45 minutes to an hour, we'll be back at St. Stephen's for cookies and wassail or something like that. Hopefully, we'll have people from various circles and we can visit and get to know one another, expand our community connections a bit.

So, in brief:

Bring light making objects and, if you can, some cookies or other snacks to share.

Arrive at 7:00pm.

Locatoin: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1805 W. Alabama, 77098.

Be ready to have fun. It's just that simple.

Additional information: Filmmaker Ashley Horn has asked to film this event with the intention of turning it into a short film. So, you get to be a movie star as well as bringing light to one neighborhood. And if you're camera shy, we'll work out something so that maybe there's a section of the group that sticks together and Ashley won't point her camera in that direction.

Also, for those of you who are the praying type and want a religious dimension to the evening, St. Stephen's will be having an Evening Prayer or Vespers service at 6:00pm. It's a brief, ancient service that acknowledges the setting sun and might be an added dimension to the evening. But no pressure---if you'd rather not, just show up at 7:00 for the stroll!

If you can, please let me know you're coming, either in the comments below, on the Facebook event page, or by emailing me at neilellisorts (at) yahoo (dot) com. If it gets to a certain size, we may split up into two groups that head off into separate directions.

Also feel free to ask questions via any of those means.

We're not cursing the darkness! We're getting our glow on!

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