Week 45: Shabbat Experience in a Psychedelic Walk-in Womb
“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn.” - Marianne Williamson
What did I do:
I spent Saturday evening inside a psychedelic walk-in art installment hosted at Radiant Space titled "Before We Were Born" created by young LA artist Laurie Shapiro. Check out this LA Beat article about her masterpiece.
The night was a blend of Shabbat traditions and a walk through of the exhibition. Yulia and her three children taught us about Shabbat: lighting the candles, reciting the prayers, drinking the wine, eating the challah and looking for the three stars in the night sky. All of this took place inside a rectangular room that has been transformed into a mystical, glorious and quiet capsule free of the chaos we experience in our day to day lives. The installment is an immersive and some interpret it as a womb.
You'll notice that there is no video for this week's adventure. I had every intention of creating one but once I got there, I had to make a judgement call. It simply felt inappropriate. I wanted to fully experience the moment and also not take away the moment from the other souls I was with. But have no fear, once we finished the experience, I did snap a few photos to share.
Who was with me:
I spent the evening with about 35 strangers and my friend Mariola. We put our arms around each other, swaying side to side as the Jewish prayers were sung. I loved watching others experience the installment and listening (quietly) to their reactions.
What did I learn:
I didn't really know what I was in for. I merely accepted an invitation from Mariola. But once I got there, I was fascinated. Laurie made everything by hand, how impressive is that?? It is a mixed media installment that includes paint, hand-sewn textiles, wire, paper-mache, rubber tubbing, and emergency heat blankets.
Aside from a refresher on Shabbat traditions, I overheard a few guys talking about the origins of the Vulcan Salute.
Apparently, it is based on a Jewish blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim (priests). As a young child, Leonard Nimoy attended an orthodox synagogue, observed the blessing being performed and was moved by it. Eventually, the Vulcan Salute made it's debut on the 1967 Star Trek Episode "Amok Time."
Being in this space reminded me that no matter what your religious or spiritual background, as human beings, we all crave connection. We may use different words to describe it but at our core, we desire to be happy, live to be the truest, fullest version of ourselves and understand where we came from and where we are going after this life.
Would I do this again:
I'd love for everyone reading this blog to check out the installation for themselves. I plan on keeping a close eye on this artist to see what she comes up with next. Bravo!