Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lantern Labyrinth


We went to this event being held conjointly with the WestEnd Community Centre and the Coal Harbour Community Centre. While you immediately think of the former as having workshops like "Drag and You. Why it's not just for the Parade Route", and the and the latter having quick seminars like "Corporate Raiding : The Whys, Wherefores, and Whats In It For You", I can assure you, it was most decidely not like that. Mostly.
This being the West Coast, the largest consumer of crystal for non-china dinette purposes (only the great corporate multinational usurp this most aura cleansing heaven material as such), as well as the largest producer of a weed that justifies a multi-billion dollar prevention and incarceration complex south of the border, the Coal Harbour Community Centre didn't have so much a Christmas Installation, as a Winter Solstice Event. It was, in fact, a Labyrinth made entirely of candles.
It was something. One one hand, it made me think about how man creates sacred spaces to experience a connection with some god (or to appease his own self-delusions). Much like the cathedrals of Europe, where the space and architecture reflects divinity. On the other hand, there was the distinct impression that I was walking in this odd path bordered by 1 dollar candles set in paper bags. In a gym.
Andy, may the paper bag inhabiting candle gods of Coal Harbour Gym #2 bless her, was really struck by it. Struck enough by it to walk the entire route. I, on the other hand, was struck enough by how incredibly long the walk was one way. And how easy it was to step over the entire thing on my shortcut out. Miche, of course, decided to hang back and make derisive comments with Danny.
After we were done alternately respecting and denigrating the sacred ritual of long ago persecuted (and most probably roasted) druids of yore, we made our way to the Westend Community Centre. It was, in a word, FESTIVALE! Some sort of caribbean band playing in one room, and ice skating and a small jazz quartet in another. I'm not sure if either of the centres communicate with one another, but if they did, I imagine it'd be like this:

"Dear Coal Harbour,
Remember to have an event that is completely and utterly different from ours. Because we would like to confuse revellers as to whether this time is a festival, or a wildy imagined pagan religious holiday."

"Dear West End,
It's not pagan, it's differently religious. Don't oppress us!
PS We are considering buying out your entire centre, and selling it piece by piece to a large Hong Kong developer at a nice profit."

"Dear Coal Harbour,
Sorry about that previous email. So sorry about that. Please feel free to celebrate the inconsequential turning of seasons in whatever way best instills a sense of gravitas or whimsy, whichever you prefer."

"Dear West End,
Since this is the Holy Solstice of Renewal and Rebirth, the wholesale gutting of your complex is on hold until the major stakeholders here are back from their most sacred holiday in Barbados."

"Dear Coal Harbour,
If you take a break from the gravitas, you are warmly invited to our event. Which is sure to make your booty shake and your rump sway."

Or something like that. Or perhaps I envision the life of a Community Centre Special Events coordinator to be a bit more lively than it is.

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