Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Opening

On Saturday May 6th we had our grand opening of Buddha Abides. By 4:45pm there was a long line outside the gallery of people anxious to get in to see the art… or was it the food?

Thomas, Brian, Christi and I had been working all afternoon gathering food, supplies, displaying T-shirts, setting up the back patio with the big, red umbrella and twinkle lights, cleaning and fretting.

I’d asked Thomas to gather some bamboo to make a little forest for our Shakuhachi player, the talented Mr. Bob Sedivy. Thomas misunderstood my idea and brought a dozen or so, 3 to 5 inch wide, twelve-foot bamboo poles stripped of all the delicate leaves I’d envisioned. He called me and said he wasn’t sure if they looked good. I said, “Yah, you do.” He said, “Well, they look kind’ a cheesy…”

One of the happiness teachings in Buddhism is to lessen your preferences. So, I said, “OK. Where shall we put them?” With great effort, he and Brian laid them against the roof in the patio. They actually looked pretty impressive. Several of my more modernistic friends quite liked them. It was an enormous green fence behind the big red umbrella and set off the bar dramatically.

By six pm there was such a crowd in the gallery that you could barely move. Nevertheless, I continued to greet and schmooze and laugh with friends. I had to make sure that h’ors d’ouvres were available, too. So, with my ceramic aqua tray aloft I slipped into my old waitress identity and pronounced “Behind you! Above you! On your right!” trying to get to and from the table. Three times I refreshed and refilled that tray. Each time it landed on the table, Whoosh…all the food was gone within minutes. “The locusts, the locusts, the art opening locusts!”

The crowd thinned out later in the evening making it much easier to see the art. Many will probably return to have a better view without so many bodies to manuver around. So far we’ve sold seven pieces, thus bringing a little bit of change to help heal the abused women and men at Santa Barbara Domestic Violence Solutions and needy children at Tibetan Children’s Village.

An opening like this is really about being in a celebratory environment with like minded people, viewing work that can uplift and enliven, knowing that it is all for a good cause. It makes you… well, maybe not exactly enlightened to the point of complete trait restructuring, but for a brief moment, simply happy.

Come on by. Enjoy the view.