The Beckoning of Lovely

Last night we did something that others may think was silly. We joined a whole bunch of people at the Bean ( public art, Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate in Millennium Park) for a moment of something Lovely on 10/10/10 at 10:10 pm.
Organized by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, this was the third moment at the Bean for the Beckoning of Lovely. If you are curious, there are three videos up on YouTube describing the evolution of this (8/8/08 and 9/9/09). If you watch the first one, you will know by about three minutes into the video why it speaks to me and why I went against all of my normal settings (uncertainty, crowds, after 10:00pm) to go and do this. 

What do we make in our short time here?
Make someone happy
Make someone’s day
Make cookies
Make a wish
Make something lovely

Last night’s Beckoning featured eleven moments where we could all do something together, hear something, make something. The moments (as I remember them – I have a cold, and this is from memory):

  • A young girl who had just learned to tell time was stationed on a stool – the watchtower – to look and see if everyone was having a wonderful time.
  • jump for joy – we all stood and jumped together
  • We created cell phone stars and made a wish. The light of the phones reflected off the sculpture – it really did look like stars.
  • We gave our neighbors each a high-five and called them by name – because we all took a risk coming there.
  • The man in the 8/8/08 Beckoning who gave flowers to a stranger got flowers from strangers.
  • The man in the 9/9/09 Beckoning who asked for a moment of peace and who has since joined the Peace Corps got, in absentia,  a live performance of the song that he heard on AKR’s iPod that day.
  • All the Emily’s in the audience came up and recited the end of the speech that Emily gives in Our Town: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every, every minute?”
  • John Green (yes that John Green, who is made of awesome and lovely) gave out orange candy to everyone that he could get to (the park was closing and the Segway police were herding everyone out).
  • Green also gave a message to a young girl in Minnesota who wrote via regular mail to AKR. She called herself Sponge and she had a wonderful message. That we should love everyone, but we didn’t have to like everyone. She didn’t give her name but her initials are ATM  – and to the Beckoning and MissionAKR, ATM stands for Always Trust Magic.
  • The tiniest members of the crowd handed out tiny letters from tiny baskets- accompanied by Vivaldi and the Redmoon Theatre and bubbles, lots of bubbles – The letters all say the same thing: Make the most of your time here.
  • and the last moment was to announce that there will be an event on 11/11/11, the release of a feature film that will somehow miraculously get produced, and whose message is – look at the numbers 11/11/11 – We are all one. And Jackson, the boy who made a grand entrance in the 8/8/08 Beckoning, made a grand exit and we all stood and applauded.
It was made of awesome and lovely.
Cynics among you will say it was silly, just a bunch of hipster kids thinking they are cool – but I disagree. My daughters thought it was magic. They met a favorite author. He gave them orange Starburst and talked to them, called them by name. They weren’t cynical or dismissive of the simple and thoughtful. They cherish their tiny letters. And we were together.
The entire evening was lo-tech with just a microphone to help the presenters be heard. I smiled for an hour.
What do we make in our short time here?
We make connections.
We make meals that feed our bodies and our souls.
We make friends.
We make magic.
We make the most of – “every, every minute.”
(UPDATE!! And here’s the video!)

16 Comments Add yours

  1. melissa says:

    Thank you for going…reading about it made me feel lovely. : ) Wish I could have been there.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      There was so much that I couldn’t fit in the post. It already bordered on the Too Long, Didn’t Read category – but it was lovely. And 600 people (maybe?) gathered, like minded souls but still, all for the purpose of being nice and doing something lovely, made me feel good about the world. You don’t have to have been there to take away the message that we should all make the most of every day. I’m so happy you stopped by to read and comment.

  2. Amanda says:

    I loved reading about it and wished I could’ve joined you. I agree with Melissa…I feel lovely too having read your account 🙂

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Oh, Amanda – you were there in spirit – and you were doing something lovely, too – watching little ones sleep is magic. We will have to do something like this, I think. Our own small happening made of awesome. During the day. With our kids.

  3. Lisa says:

    Hi Kate, Just read this post which was a link on MIssion Amy KR, as you know. You summed up the event so well. I have a hard time putting The Beckoning of Lovely events into words, but now I can share your words with people who’ve asked me to explain the night–Thanks!

    I’m a teacher (but currently at home) and my husband is an English teacher, like you! Now I’m wondering where you teach, and what you think about the state of schools (especially in IL)–We are contemplating our next move, and schools are the number 1 consideration. Would love to e-mail chat about that topic sometime because I assume we have some perspectives in common since 1. you’re a teacher 2. You appreciate The Beckoning of Lovely’s message/misson.

    Feel free to e-mail me, if you would like to connect! Thanks again, for this write up. Lisa

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Lisa! Thanks for your kind words! It was an evening that I will remember. I would love to connect by email; you can expect to hear from me soon.
      Thanks again for reading and stopping to comment.

  4. Betsy says:

    I am so amazed that something this beautiful actually happened! I wanted to be there so badly and I was in mind and soul, but still feel I missed a very important opportunity in my lifetime. Thank you for taking the time to share this information with us! I’m very excited to see the video for this latest gathering and also for the movie next year. I now have a smile on my face and a full heart….yet again!

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Betsy, you know, all of us there knew that there were folks who were with us in Millennium Park in spirit. It was lovely, but I will say that I was not at the 8/8/08 Beckoning, and I feel like I was after seeing the film. I’m glad that you, too, have a smile on your face. My daughters wore their shirts to school on Monday (yes, they had school). Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I now have a smile on my face.

  5. annette says:

    And now, Ms. Tabor, you and Ms. Rosenthal have made my day. Thank you.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Thank you, annette – that you left a comment has made my day.

  6. Mary says:

    Thank you so much, Kate for posting. I have been dying to know how it went. I am so taken with this whole concept and that so many people feel so empowered by it. I can’t wait until 11/11/10 when Amy says they will post a video I can see the stars. I feel so blessed to be a part of this. I posted it on FB so that others would get the message on 10/10/10 but didn’t really get much reaction. Unfortunately, that is their loss. My friend originally emailed me the link about the 8/8/08 event and I was hooked. All the best to you and yours, Mary

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      I was totally hooked when I saw the 8/8/08 video, and I feel really fortunate to have been able to be there with my daughters, my husband, my nieces *who came from WI with their father, my brother). And there are so many details that I didn’t write about (the post was already so long) – the significance of the color red (and it’s partnership with yellow) the Red Balloon, the wishing fountain and the red wagon full of pennies, the amazing string quartet that played the Vivaldi….
      I am looking forward to the video – thank you so much, Mary, for reading and stopping long enough to comment. This is such a gift to me.

      1. Mary says:

        And you are a gift to us! Thanks, Kate…I look forward to reading any more of your posts. Thank you for answering. I can’t wait to see the video…enjoy your weekend!

  7. celeste smith says:

    thank you – i anxiously await the video. 🙂

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