loomed together in West Philly, with artists Lori Waselchuk, Aaron Asis, Anna Badkhen, and Hassen Saker

Monday, March 16, 2015

I traveled in Saturday's rain to St. Andrew's Chapel on Spruce Hill in West Philly to see the temporary art exhibition Ci-Lines, by Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Asis. I traveled to see my friend, the great visual storyteller and art provocateur, Lori Waselchuk, and to find community within a mostly shorn-of-purpose place.

I found even more than that.

I found:

An idea that had worked—the commanding uplift of blue stitchery (parachute cord) and the trace of nearly 1,000 art seekers.

The stories of historians, architects, seminarians. A story about a song.

Hassen Saker, a poet infused with sky.

Anna Badkhen, a writer of transporting nonfiction.

Lori and Aaron, the artists at work.

The chapel was cold. The afternoon light was a smear. The blue rope was illumination. "Like a loom," Anna said, and it was, and as the exhibit ended, as the stories and the community slipped back out into the rain, Anna and I stood talking about truth and honesty, about white space inside bold books, about what it might mean to be a citizen not of one country, but of the world. Not far from us, the knots of the blue rope were being undone. The weave was being let out of its loom. The blue was dissipating.

A camera paid attention to it all.


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