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Hug #12

September 18, 2010

September 15, 2010
2-3 pm
The Art Institute of Chicago (Michigan Ave. and Adams, in front of the stairs)

give THEM a HUG. tak tak tak-a-tak tak tak
give THEM a HUG. tak tak tak-a-tak tak tak
tak-a-tak-a-tak-a-tak-a

Michigan Avenue. Today we are right in front of the museum entrance stairs, art in front of art. The security guard is a watchful eye, but never approaches. We find the familiar, the embrace. Immediately two young men approach us to hug us and talk to us, Aurora speaks into a recorder (quite eloquently) and they ask us if we know that its Mexican Independence Day, and ask us if we know anything about it. Later I find out it is the bicentennial, the people in my neighborhood are celebrating, waving flags and honking horns. It’s also 100 years since the revolution. Tonight as I write this, my neighbors are gathered, singing songs in Spanish, telling stories, and eating together. I am enchanted with their songs, their laughter and off key voices finding each other.

Meanwhile, we are creating our own revolution. The hug revolution. I realize the magic of it. The healing power of two people showing love for each other in a simple way, in a sharing way. In a slow way, a present way. I know I have said it before, how I feel the time stopping and the love growing,  but it is something remarkable. There is rediscovery in every hug.

Even fewer people approach us than the week before, but we are the subject of many a photo, and the flyers disappear. The smiles come again and again.

Timothy and Sara, after Hug #12

Timothy and Sara, after Hug #12

At some point, a street performer, Timothy, joins us to drum on his two plastic buckets. He easily goes in and out of rhythms, and he immediately becomes an advocate for our hugs. He is 17, performing since he was 9. His ease with his audience is apparent. The way he talks to people like he knows them. He is charming, and handsome, he uses it to his advantage in the best way. We are fast friends, and we wonder if we will cross paths with him again. We hope so.


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