Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blue Men

Today I overheard a woman ahead of us on the line to buy ice cream from the ice cream truck having a dispute with her son about their evening's aggenda. He looked to be around 6 and expressed a strong preference to go home and watch the show Avatar than go to a performance of the Blue Man group with his family.

His mom was extremely patient, diligently allaying his concerns. There were a lot of people on the line so I got to hear the blow by blow. But mostly I just wanted to jump in and say "But what do the Blue Men do anyway?" I've never seen them, to me they seem like a cross between circus clowns and pharmaceuticals, something people describe as "neat," but I only have my prejudice to go on.

When it was finally our turn to buy ice cream it was a hoot because they seemed to be out of whatever my daughter wanted. After she struck out on her first two choices the man looked down at us and said "Is she doing this on purpose?" I told the man she was gifted, which he apparently took to mean she was special, in the sense of riding the short bus. He says "I'm sorry" and then my daughter manages to strike out 2 more times. They had no Cyclone Cones, no Lightning Lemon Shakes, no Bubble Bum-flavored snow cones, no Fruit Punch Shots. By the time she finally picks something they have, her brother's half finished his Chipwich.

We pass the Blue Man family on our way to the minivan, our family's own special short bus. The boy seems to have accepted the fact that there's no other option besides going to see the performance because they have relatives coming into town and they want to do something special. If I see that mom again, I'm going to ask her to tell me all about it, I want to know if her son wound up enjoying it. And maybe she'll be able to tell me why the men went with blue instead of some other color.

Park Slope Meditation has recently gone with a new name. Matthew Reichers had this to say about it when I asked him why:

As far as the name change, no big story behind that...previously, the Park Slope Meditation Group was a branch effort of Chakrasambara center in Manhattan. It has recently grown to the point of being big enough to become a center in it's own right. Vajradhara Center was also a center in it's own right, in Fort Greene. The teacher of Vajradhara center was recently moved to a center in Florida, and so The Park Slope branch of Chakrasambara center and Vajradhara Meditation Center have been amalgamated under the name " Vajradhara Meditation Center," with myself as the new teacher.

The significance of the word "Vajradhara" is that Vajradhara is a Buddha whose main quality is being very blissful and in touch with reality. So it's really a very nice name! People who come here will create the causes to become like this Buddha, abiding in enjoyment and knowing reality directly. Hooray!

Vajradhara, pictured above, is another blue man, or buddha, avatar, emanation, I can't say for sure what he is, it's all very confusing to me. He's a deeper blue than the Blue Man Group's Blue Men, and I understand the color in his case symbolizes truth, perhaps because of the sky, if truth really leads to freedom. I don't know of anything that suggests freedom more than a clear blue sky. Vajradhara is the color of the sky after twilight, but Krishna, the Hindu god thought to be a emanation of Vishnu, is the color of the sky earlier in the evening. The antics of the mischievous and playful Krishna include an incident where he steals all the milkmaids' clothes while they are swimming in the river.

And then there's Siva with his colorful throat, blue from swallowing poison that would have destroyed the world. He's been a favorite of mine since I read that he is thought to embarrass all his relatives because he gets too wild at parties. I'm thinking Jack Black, painted blue.


Anonymous said...

Bobby said...

My office is located in a basement in Great Jones Alley, and up until recently we shared for many years a space with the blueman group's makeup room and practice studio. It was always very odd to perform my duties as an office-monkey while tall, bald, blue men were wandering around, accompanied by a constant percussion from the studio up above. It also got a bit frustrating to constantly find the remnants of blue paint smeared all over the restroom. Although I'm not quite sure what their actual performance looks like, since they are gone things have become a bit more humdrum 'round here.