Picture it: A small meadow enclosed by trees and hillocks. A DJ is maintaining a steady disco beat while dancers spin silk flags of psychedelic tie-dyes against a foggy sky. Its called Flagging in the Park and its held monthly at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park. A very special guest DJ had flown in from NYC: Michael Fierman who happened to have attended Bard College with my husband, Charles. They maintain their friendship on FB, otherwise, we might never have heard of this event. Indeed, we must have stood out from the crowd of mostly—though not exclusively—gay men because several men introduced themselves and asked if we’d wandered in accidentally and would we like to play. They were so sweet…and surprised when we said, no, we came here on purpose!
For me, it was a bit of heaven. We laid out our picnic, said hello to Michael and went in search of the pile of flags available for those who don’t have their own. We had a quick lesson (should have asked for more) and went to play. It was so so so sooooooo much fun. There was not one moment when I didn’t want to dance under that canopy of color swirling overhead. It was so easy to improvise with the flags, so natural, so ecstatic. Though, when I watched the really experienced dancers who created moving kaleidoscopic spirals, I knew I had a lot to learn.
Of course, I also knew I was asking for joint trouble and sure enough I spent the evening moving ice packs from elbow to knee to thumbs to hip until they were completely melted. But it was worth it and I can’t wait to cut my bellydance veils in half and make flags out of them (there must be instructions online somewhere). I don’t doubt that there is a whole cultural phenomenon out there for me to learn about as well. Thank you, Michael, for introducing us to this community and for supplying such sublime music. And thank you to the producers of the event…I can’t wait for the next one.
Here’s a video Charles made