laurenellen joined the krampuslauf philly participants group a few months ago. we have chatted a little about her hopes of creating a krampus event in DC, but what she was part of on september 29th in — and the way she describes what she feels it means — seems right to share here. it certainly mirrors a lot of how i feel about krampuslauf here in philly.
People want to build anthills together. We love a good swarm. A good “barn raising”. The balance of spectacle and something more.
We’ve convinced ourselves that these “activities” need to be structured and ruled, but each time we tell ourselves this, we establish a limit on what we can create.
Too many times today I had to answer the question “why?” with a gleeful “why not?”, but exhausted revelation brings a new thought: The Alley of Doom is a classic kind of community gathering, one that we’ve relegated to block parties and neighborhood fests and called it a day. Instead of calling out the spectacle of the event, I should have almost called out the tradition inherent to what we were doing. Replace the hat and whip for anything else, and, in combination with all the new and familiar faces that came out today, you would have a classic recipe for…community. For community, and support, initiative, creative problem-solving, creativity, family, cohesion…in sum: a recipe for widening the circle of care ever so slightly to include not just a giant boulder, but complete strangers. Former strangers.