INTERSECTION2 [at cnr. Swanston and Latrobe Sts., May 19, 2016]
As I was very unwell, I sent an email to invitees to say that chances are I may not be attending the event. I was determined to teach the Free Play classes scheduled for Thursday and Friday so I partly wanted to reserve any energy I had for this responsibility.I also had a car issue that morning which was a variable in terms of time.
But as the morning arrived I found the desire and will to commit to what I had set in motion. I was also bolstered by an email from Clinton the previous night that read; “Get well soon, Ren. I'll be there. Clinton.” I know Clinton as a somewhat dogged character and with the forecast of rain and cold, I found his simple email inspiring.
I was late, but eventually arrived via tram at around 11:40. Clinton had texted me some images of the intersection perhaps to encourage me that he was carrying out the performance, and not knowing I was on my way.I immediately set about traversing in a clockwise direction, waiting with all the other foot traffic, dutifully, at each light which all seemed to change at a consistently even duration, something I had not observed previously.
On about the third cycle I noticed Clinton on a corner with phone held aloft (making a series of audio recordings from each corner). As I crossed the road and stepped up onto the footpath I placed a hand on his shoulder and paused for some time, neither of us speaking. I noticed a man in front of me who had turned around seemingly bemused by what he may have thought of as a random encounter between two strangers. This encouraged me not to speak, eventually whispering greetings to Clinton, but it was a delightful moment of perceptual ambiguity, I had reckoned.Clinton and I then perambulated in a constant clockwise direction at a gentle pace, due to my condition, pausing with our fellow pedestrians at each red light, continuously for about 45 minutes.
Despite the throngs of people surging toward us on each crossing and having to negotiate an unhindered track to the other side, our activity developed its own rhythm, as did our conversation. It was a gentle experience, something I did not expect. I had expected an endurance test of sorts. I also found our conversation helpful, as I was able to ruminate and air some concerns about my performance practice with a knowledgeable fellow practitioner and spacious listener.
The time passed by easily. I was a little weary, more from my condition than the activity and I realized on the return tram journey that I was indeed energized through the experience.