By Jessica Jankowski
My husband travels a lot for work and I am lucky enough to tag along for play. We often make the early morning commute to Indianapolis International Airport, in the dark, and in the quiet. A contrast indeed to the spirit of the place of which I write.
“To be present in place and engaged in spirit is in a sense my life’s work.”
We take our ticket stub at Long-Term Parking, then set out on foot on a zero wait time line, snaking through the Parking Garage, past the rental car counters, and up the escalator, boarding one of the most delightful local amusement park rides around…Electroland’s “Connection” installation, housed in the Pedestrian Bridge. Thanks to TYZX’s 3D Vision Systems, pedestrian movements are tracked along a moving walkway, their connecting energies resulting in a software-generated display of light and sound. It’s ironically futuristic, even if it is a throwback to a little scene from 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a brilliant gesture of communication in its own right. Deep resonating sounds awaken the groggiest of travelers and if you follow the visually connected lights you may find yourself meeting eyes with a stranger, an alien encounter indeed!
“And for a moment on that ride, we’re not husband and wife, we’re childhood friends, smiling with our senses.”
And even though a longer aeronautic voyage awaits, I approach the tunnel of fun with an “Are we there yet?” excitement. And I know that just like the payoff for that lengthy line at the Toy Story Mania ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I’m about to enjoy my very own Midwestern midway. My husband is always surprised at how this ride never gets old for me, but how could it, when the lights and sounds playfully experience me uniquely each time. To be present in place and engaged in spirit is in a sense my life’s work and my business traveler husband is lucky enough to tag along for play. And for a moment on that ride, we’re not husband and wife, we’re childhood friends, smiling with our senses.
As the Spirit and Place Festival celebrates its 17th year, engage in this year’s theme “play,” by attending festival events, November 2nd – November 11th. I attended in 2011, when the theme was “body“, and while grounded on my yoga mat, I was uplifted by the vibrations of the world’s largest stringed instrument, the Earth Harp. Sensory experiences bring spirit into a place. So the next time you find yourself headed out of town, forgo the cab, and park and play!