You’re running though the door in slow motion, turn around and someone is lumbering after you, also in slow motion. Someone, slo mo, tries to hide under the dining-room table. Someone, slo mo, scurries into the kitchen. No, it’s not a nightmare, it’s slow motion tag. And it’s so ridiculous, we can’t stop laughing.
My friend Genevieve and I formed a play group over a year ago, and once a month we play creative games. Someone starts to tell a story, and anyone can butt in and continue it till the next person interrupts. Or maybe we’ll play the game in writing. Write a line, then pass it to the person on your left to write some more. If ten people play, we’re passing around ten stories at once.
Or everyone writes a topic on a piece of paper, folds the paper, then throws it into a bowl. The players each pull a topic out of the grab-bag bowl and give a one-minute talk.
Each person makes three statements about himself. Two are true, one’s a lie, and everyone has to figure out which is the lie. There are other games, like dictionary or charades, or various versions of mime or speaking in gibberish, or playing with sounds or gestures. Or slow motion tag.
At a time when almost everyone is stressed out, it’s great to do something in which everyone’s imagination is stretched out. If it sounds like it might be fun, we’re open to trying it.
Adolph and I met about three hours before 1959 turned into 1960. By midnight we realized we both loved “play” and had had a little game of balloon volleyball, which ended when the balloon knocked one of my contact lenses out of my eye. “Hey, you have a big tear!” he exclaimed.
Adolph was already a working artist, and I wished I was (I had a BA in political science). I became his first student, and we’ve collaborated in one way or another ever since: three children, eight grandchildren, and, combined, over a century’s worth of art.
He sculpts, draws with Craypas, and paints; I paint, draw with brush and ink or micron pens, and write and perform eco-poetry. Our styles and our media may not coincide, yet our involvements and intent often do. We’re both concerned with light and form, with keeping the work alive. And our subject matter veers towards people: eating, swimming, sitting, relating to each other, caught up in their everyday activities. Or it veers towards nature, as in our show at the Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Place, “Treescapes, Seascapes, Lagoons, Lake,” April 1st-June 30th. The opening reception is on Sunday, April 5, from 2 to 4 PM, and at 3 PM we’ll discuss why we’re drawn to draw nature.
Here are some of Adolph’s tree drawings (with Craypas):