So, I sang Carry On My Wayward Son around a campfire with Kansas and Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, and Jared Padalecki of Supernatural the other night. And before that, I watched God singing in his living room…
How, you ask? (Or maybe you are asking if I’ve lost my mind…)
GISH, that’s how. This wonderfully weird and wild scavenger hunt, created and hosted by Misha, that isn’t so much a scavenger hunt as it is a macro microcosm of heart-warming kindness, mind-blowing/mind-bending creativity, and thoughtful philanthropy that encourages (demands… threatens… bribes…) players to step out of their normal.
My tagline for GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt), when I try to explain this unexplainable awesomeness, is this: Be weird. Be creative. Save the world. Because in GISH you get to be and do all three. Items range from easy-peasy to pretty much impossible – though which is which depends on your perspective, skills, resources, and ingenuity.
GISH is, as Misha says, “gamifying good.” Each year in July/August, people from around the world form teams of 9-15 to complete over 200 items in one week.
Some items make you laugh. Some challenge your fears. Some may cause unreasonable pain and suffering (I am now uber familiar with the feel and smell of burning flesh due to hot glue guns); leading to the often yelled, sometimes sighed, axiom: “DammitMISHA!”
Some seemed like a good idea at the time… like Christmas trees in Space…
GISH opens the door for you to be unbound. Act like a child – in that innocent, carefree, no boundaries, no fear, way. Feed pudding to your friend from at least 3 feet away. Why wouldn’t you?
GISH is literal joy (though also literal blood, sweat, and sometimes even tears, – see note above on burning flesh…). My sister certainly enjoyed pouring copious amounts of syrup and sparkles over my head one year… This joy and permission to let go of inhibitions spreads like wildfire to anyone watching (especially during the public embarrassment items).
GISH is a complex puzzle to solve that flips a switch and you become walking creativity. Tackling a list of impossible makes everything seem possible, on and off that list.
GISH is a literal force for good. It provides a to do list of random acts of kindness, civic engagement, community building, and taking care of those most vulnerable in our society that flicks another switch, this one deepening awareness of social justice issues and the impact of gratitude, and kindness and the desire to engage year-round.
GISH is artistry. But unbound. Art, crafts, and music through a GISH lens. Using your nose to paint masterpieces. Singing the Mueller Report. And usually something involving Carry On my Wayward Son.
Like having Rock Gods Kansas sing it with GISHers around a campfire. On Zoom. Because COVID. But still, I sang with Kansas. Oh, and God (Rob Benedict) was playing online via StageIt, where he also announced a GISH item. It counts. I get my Rock Gods wherever I can.