Summer really blew by. Most of us probably thought (or hoped) that Covid would be under control by now. Though summer was not filled with going to amusement parks, concerts, or packed beaches, we have all settled into our “new normal.” We met up in parks to have socially distanced meetups with friends, our parents have learned how to FaceTime and are getting pretty decent at navigating all the little buttons, and every corner shop now has a really solid website. As days have passed we have gotten so much better at adapting, I mean how many of you have a trick to making sure you remember your mask before you head out?
When this all started Opus immediately switched to a virtual get together to keep everyone safe. However as people started to get overwhelmed with the amount of Zoom calls on their schedule we decided to shake things up a bit. One of the best parts of our monthly get togethers is hearing what other people are up to and what things they recommend for you to do, see, experience. Keeping that in mind we tried out a Pecha Kucha or Zoom party format for our last Opus and it was a roaring success. Those that love to just chat and hang don’t worry there is still plenty of time for that but in between we had a couple of speakers share what they have been up to.
Our wondrous host Carolyn kicked off the night with a presentation whose graphics put the designers in the room to shame. She walked us through all of the little details on how to host a Zoom movie night. From answering our questions on how to decide which movie to watch to bringing up the all important question of how do we watch it. She even led us through how to pick a platform that will let you and your friends watch while chatting on the side of the screen.
Next up was Charles from the Huntington Theatre and he let us know about their new initiative Dream Boston. In this new program four of the area's leading playwrights (Kate Snodgrass, Brenda Withers, Melinda Lopez, Kirsten Greenridge) create an audio play where they tell stories that take place at different locations all around Boston. You can walk over to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial on the edge of the Boston Common, plug in your headphones and just like that you are transported into immersive theatre. For ten minutes you get to imagine there is a couple on their first date right in front of you, and listen in as you hear their evening unfold. You could walk over to MIT’s Great Dome and hear a janitor and a young woman honor the legacy of her father. It is not crowding in to a theatre and applauding as actors bow under the beautiful Huntington arch, but is it maybe more incredible? Arts organizations, in fact many organizations have tried to meaningfully incorporate technology for years, and right now because of the adaptability of people they are trying new things, and audiences are happily navigating uncharted waters with them.
The night carried on with recommendations of what to watch on YouTube when you are over Netflix. Followed by a clip of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python. Michael A. M. Davies gave us a beautiful reminder that in life you either laugh or cry, and sometimes dark humor can help even the weirdest moments be a little bit more bearable. Next Angela led us through Vipassana Meditation, showing us that meditation doesn’t need to be intimidating, or look like a perfectly peaceful Lotus position while chanting, rather it is whatever you need it to be. It can be talking a small walk and letting your mind wander and be at peace, whatever it is should make you comfortable and put you at ease.
Kyle Thomas Heminway rounded out the night with a quarantine book report. The book he read and loved that he wanted to share was all about how to be a Flâneur. What is a Flâneur you say? It is apparently a stroller, lounger, saunterer, or one that engages in the act of Flânerie (calming strolling). In a time where we are all rediscovering our cities it felt so immediately relevant. Flânerie or the act of walking leisurely without a set destination or purpose seemed like the perfect answer for those wanting to be outside, but unsure what to do or where to go, why not just walk? Along the way you can calm your mind, notice your surroundings and just be.
Does a night like this sound perfect to you? Join us on September 22nd and listen as a whole group of new presenters talk about what their latest fascination is. Presentations start at 7pm with an hour of conversing before and after.
Do you have something you’ve been obsessed with that you want to share with others? Have you read a new book you adore? Picked up a quarantine hobby? Are you obsessed with an art organization's virtual offerings? Let us know and you could be a presenter! You can put together a powerpoint if you are so inclined but it is definitely not necessary. Also don’t worry we are not asking for a dissertation but rather just five minutes of chatting with a small bunch of new friends.
Come join us, hang out with your arts appreciating friends, and walk away with a few new ideas of things to do or appreciate.