Today I saw a jellyfish in a tree.

Not the kind of jellyfish that might sting you at first touch, nor the kind of person one might give you cause to think he had no backbone. It was a piece of art, and I thought it adorned the tree quite nicely. “More people should have whimsical things like this on the street,” I mused as I walked into the coffee shop a few doors down.

A few minutes later, I stepped out of the shop, iced coffee in hand, ready to tackle another Falstaff rehearsal. But something about the jellyfish called to me, and I stopped once again to examine it. I noticed a tag fluttering from its tentacles.

i am heartless
take me home
“I am heartless,” it declared. “Take me home.”

On the other side, there was a QR code, which, upon scanning, took me to this page explaining that this jellyfish was a part of an interactive art installation. Dozens of jellies were released (with the help of Streets Dept) around Philadelphia a few days ago, each with its own ID number. People are encouraged to take the jellies home, love them, and after a while, release them once again into the wild, with the goal of getting at least one jellyfish to the Pacific Ocean.

I was so touched by this idea that I decided to do just that. I took him home, named him “Squishy” (even though he is very brittle), and this weekend, I shall take him west, to the Shire of Mount Hope. So if you come to the PA Renaissance Faire this weekend, you might just be able to meet him and take part in this game, too! (Plus, you’ll be able to see me and hang out with me while I spin yarn out of milk. You will have to see it to believe it.)

This summer has gone by much more slowly (and quickly) than I expected. For those of you who have been following my fiction writing, I’ll be getting back into the Scriptic Prompt Exchange fairly soon. In the meantime, I’ve been spending a whole lot of time in the real world, and boy, do I have some stories.

Jellyfish, Opera & Men in Tights