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how we reach others, how we step outside ourselves, how we create mindfully

“In order to understand, it is immensely important for the person who understands to be located outside the object of his or her creative understanding — in time, in space, in culture. For one cannot even really see one’s own exterior and comprehend it as a whole, and no mirrors or photographs can help; our real exterior can be seen and understood only by other people, because they are located outside us in space, and because they are others.” — M. BAKHTIN

We slip down the steps of the Parthenon, running across the crisp sunny lawn and into the dark shade of nearby oak trees, back toward the access road leading to the car retrieval.

That’s when we hear the music. The unmistakable jingle that announces the arrival of happiness and compels Nashvillians of all ages to fling themselves outside with their signing fingers held high in the air, ready to buy.

“Let’s stop for a minute,” I suggest, retracting my respirator collar and raising both eyebrows to signal our interest to the approaching vendor.

“Aren’t we supposed to be evading arrest for inciting a riot?” …

Real geese and giant plastic geese with people pedaling away inside them populate the surface of Lake Watauga, an artificial pond created for the 1897 Tennessee state exposition to accompany the replica Parthenon. We stop at a kiosk to purchase bread and grain pellets to throw at the aquatic wildlife.

But first, a quick visit to the Shrine of the Bandshell (as marked on the park map), the remnant of the original bandstand built for the exposition, now incorporated into the new complex and home to a colony of feral cats. …

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