August 29th, 2010

Corn rows


We came out of the restaurant in Kansas City at a minute or two past nine. We were in the Hallmark complex, a vast grouping of blocks and buildings where the greeting card power house is based. Distant symphonic music met our ears. As we rounded the corner, attempting to figure out where we had left the car, the sound grew louder.

In the middle of the large plaza at the heart of the complex is a large fountain, perhaps a quarter acre in scale. It comes from jets flush with the surface of the plaza, and in its minor, whimsical variety, is an ideal place for water play. Children darted in and out of the water when we passed it earlier, having just parked, and after the symphonic merriment, when the security guard let them return to their pasttime.

The music was pre-recorded, and the fountain programmed to dance in sync with it. It was spectacular, like fireworks in the shape of water. Plumes lept up to 60 feet in merry sequence, height constantly altered to give a better sense of shape and speed. Torrents played down below with quieter gushes of music and medley. Adventurous plumes lept across the fountain square from side to side.

If I had known of it in advance, scheduled my evening around intersecting one of the on-the-hour-during-the-weekend performances, I know I would have liked it. In the best possible way, it's like a Hallmark greeting card brought to life, with its sculptularity transcending its sentiment.

But since I encountered it unexpectedly, in full swing and spectacularity, fire made water and choreographed, I love it.