Being Sisyphus

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Being Sisyphus

This experience is:
for 1 person
2-3 hours long
aesthetic, physical, psychological

  1. Read up on the Myth of Sisyphus.
  2. Plan a 2-3hr walk through populous and interesting parts of a city. Make sure it is somewhere you feel safe. If you need it, print out a map.
  3. Find a rock you can carry in one hand. It should be heavy, but not so heavy that you grow tired of carrying it in that hand in ten minutes.
  4. Consider that Sisyphus is, perhaps, not being punished for his sins but is, in fact, a master of sensitive observation – the changing heaviness of the rock he pushes up the hill is something he is minutely attuned to, and which attunes him to the world around him.
  5. Set up a way to get to the start point and a way to get home from the end point. Turn off your phone (all the way off!) and take only exactly what things you need from your wallet in order to get there and back. Use the restroom before you head out. Drink plenty of water before you head out.
  6. Walk the route. Use only the printed map to guide you. Carry the rock in one hand and then the other as your hand gets tired. Do not stop along the way. Observe people, wildlife, the life of the city, your own body, the sky, everything you can as you walk. Do not take notes. Do not turn on your phone. This is your only purpose.
  7. Send any observations you have about the experience to: librarian@odysseyworks.org

Adapted from Odyssey Works’ 2012 performance, The Map is Not the Territory

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