Cold, but not freezing and lacking wind, makes for a better big bubble. I was reminded of that joke, circa 2008 or so when the Housing Bubble burst, I think it was The Onion, “Americans Demand New Bubble to Invest In.” When I saw this guy in Union Square Park making these big bubbles, the blogger part of my brain flashed: let the metaphors begin.
An intriguing level of ingenuity went into making big bubbles. The solution he dips the two wands in is a secret, from the tip of the wands two long strands of string dangle, their ends tied to together. There’s an artistry in how he swoops his arms so the solution catches sufficient air so a bubble is formed, then he moves the sticks so the strings close this imperfect, amorphous sphere.
Then the blob floats. It only lasts a few seconds, less than a minute. For that moment, you see the invisible. It’s like living in a comic book. People passing through Union Square Park see the bubble, stop, smile while they watch. There’s brief joy, even wonder, as we anticipate the inevitable burst, the fate of all bubbles. And we hope, can it last a second longer? There's nothing shorter than the life of bubble, but is there anything shorter than life?
I tried to get the shot of that bust. It was always sudden, nanoseconds, no warning. Once broken, the shards were reminiscent of salvia. One moment glob, next moment gob. You have to use your imagination a little to see the actual burst. It made a silent pop. For another moment, pieces of he shattered bubble lingered. Then everyone ponders, was the bubble really ever here at all?
I love how the bubbles float, distort, a rainbow shimmers in this ultra-ephemeral surface. Then gone. Bubbles epitomize the temporary. The performance art potential of giant bubbles seemed apartment. Then the bubble burst and we went on with our lives. The bubble-masters wands were already in the bucket, ready for the next blob.