We had just arrived in London a day before, still getting our bearings in this wonderful town. Unaware of the festival of arts and ideas planned for that day in the City of London, we came across a volunteer suggesting we stick around for the falling of the breeze blocks. What?
With further explanation, we learned that we were in the area where, 350 years earlier, September 3, 1666, what was known as the Great Fire of London burned down the majority of the city. Now, what would become a moving sculpture, a line of breeze blocks, was being established in domino form.
It was an artistic representation, threading through the line the fire took as it tore through churches, businesses, homes, those many years ago.
Rain began to fall and we found cover under a parking garage ledge while still having a good view of the blocks. Excitement rose as each block began falling in the next block.
The white rectangles became a moving sculpture as one by one they met the block in front with a crisp thud.
Some cyclists and a few runners tried to keep pace with the blocks as they fell domino style in a serpentine fashion past our vantage point. The entire route of the fire represented by the blocks was six kilometers.
Watching the beauty of the white shapes in movement and contemplating the powerful fire they represented left me quietly trying to fathom the fast-moving heat and destruction of 1666. Since that serendipitous moment stumbling across this event, the many stories we have heard of the impact of that fire and the rebuilding that became the basis for the London of today have had a far greater impact than they would have otherwise.
Next up: Let’s run London. Posts to follow.