This weekend I was reminded why The Bleeding Heart Art Space belongs on Alberta Avenue.
From a vast seashore of memory, let me pluck this one moment. Let me pick it up and hold it in the sunshine. Let the golden light reveal its many coloured faces. Let me hold it to your ear so you can listen for the ocean.
This is what I hear.
Directly behind me a young man recites beat poetry. His words read loud and clear and strong, climbing atop the violinist accompaniment to his left. A crowd watches these two weave sound together, and behind that crowd there is the haggling of a community garage sale. A large white crockpot is for sale. A black lamp near the back.
A block or two behind me, the beats of positive hip hop chop the static air. Hip hop that is driven by volunteers riding bicycles-turned-generators. A small dance floor is taped to the street. At one point, a child no more than two takes to that floor and rolls in pure glee. The crowd goes wild.
A block or two ahead of me, an acapella band reproduces pop hits with their mouths. They replicate drums. Synths. Bass guitars. Back up vocals. “Because I’m happy yy yy”.
And I am happy.
This is community come alive in surround sound. This is
promise. This is what is on view on these streets, for those who have eyes to see. I taste the Kingdom Come.
I listen dead centre in the street. Everywhere I turn I hear some new creative blast. Everywhere I look I see someone dancing, or laughing, or scaling a wall or riding a … chicken?
And I am lucky.
And I am awash in wonder.
And I am blessed.
All because I have chosen to live here. And to stay here. To plant and water myself in the midst of this creativity.
Many of these people are visitors, come to see Kaleido for the first time. Or returning for what they know but cannot seem to describe to friends and family back home. How do you capture all of this? What is the right word for ‘wonder-full chaos’?
This weekend, for the first time, The Bleeding Heart Art Space was open for business during that chaos. This weekend we welcomed 484 guests to our little space. Not all at once, of course. But through the smiles of 20 volunteers from Thursday evening to Sunday evening, we made room.
And Kaleido made room for us. This community seems glad to have us, and we are here to stay.
Right at the Bleeding Heart of it all.