Saturday, August 16, 2014

Just for the Joy of it

Barbara and I have seen this man, making giant bubbles, on several occasions, but I have only talked to him on one occasion when he was at the large, Downtown Farmer's Market one Saturday.  He was standing on an elevated section of the entrance to the Art Museum with a loop of rope strung between two long handles, dipping it into a vat of soapy water and producing these giant, shimmering bubbles that would drift over the crowd to everyone's delight until finally some child with giggles and a smile would burst the bubble as it floated into reach.

The gentleman has a full time job, but on his own time and schedule, when the mood moves him, will appear at various places around town that he has found suitable for this process.  I told him that it was very nice that he would do this for people and he did acknowledge that it pleased him to see people, especially children react positively to the giant bubbles, but he did it mostly for his own pleasure.  He likened it to flying a kite: "you fly it mostly because you like to fly it, not so other people can see you fly it."

We talked only briefly of the chemistry of bubbles, but I seem to recall it as quite interesting; click here for a nice link.

Barbara was first to observe him a couple of months ago, early one morning on the bridge below our apartment, releasing his bubbles over the river.  This morning as I was perusing the paper with my first cup of coffee I saw a shimmering, shape-changing bubble drifting slowly upriver a few feet above the water.  It was early and the bridge was empty of pedestrians, with just some commuting drivers oblivious of things beyond their dashboard, and in this relative solitude there he was for the joy of the chemistry, for the joy of the creative activity,  just for his own joy; creating his bubbles and watching their short, but beautiful life.

(The pictures are first - of the early morning as I looked from the window, next - the bridge with the bubble-maker on the projection of the walk of the bridge that is the tip of May's Island with his head obscured by part of the "tree" sculpture, and last - a picture of a bubble floating up the river.)