My feet are planted firmly on the bottom rung of a ladder. My eyelids cowering together from the generous sunlight. Weight evenly distributed. Breathing. Inhaling the breeze and the rare coolness it affords.
I am standing up here, some twenty or thirty feet up in the air. Here, on this rooftop in Los Angeles. How wonderfully unlikely it all is. Here, I can step back and notice the city, removed like a sometimes-visitor of art museums…allowing myself the ability to engage in observation and criticism of that which I know little to nothing about. Marveling at its beauty. Perplexed by its inconsistencies. Curious about its meaning.
I reach down and grasp the metal frame of a light, striving against the heat to feeling my hoist it up to the lighting designer, helping him to craft his portion of this unorthodox theater…built of rooftops and asphalt and poles and yards and yards and yards of cable.
Again, I let myself enjoy the breeze. And the sensory feast surrounding me in this moment. Our street is wild with activity. The click-click-clicking of spray paint cans. People laughing. Yelling directions to each other over rooftops and down the road. An orchestra of sounds that signal a tuning up of sorts…a preparation for something unknown.
I watch as paint-covered people slather color onto the landscape of the buildings—bright pink, yellow-greens, turquoise. A man walks by with his dog and glances nonchalantly at what he assumes is yet another film crew setting up. Someone in the American hotel starts to blast music from their third story window and a woman dances around the corner. An ice cream truck rounds the corner with a music box melody as artists sweat into their work, transforming dumpsters into gallery-worthy pieces of art.
I am glad to be so present, here on the roof. Coiling cable and hanging lights. Watching this parade of excitement and activity, of concentrated work spilling out into color. A summer afternoon just sizzling with creativity. Community drawing together. And Cornerstone at the heart of it all. I close my eyes for a moment and let the breeze pass, again, over my sun-scorched shoulders. And I smile.