A friend sent, in her Christmas package, a 3-page clipping about Random International's Rain Room, an art installation. Very popular, with a wait time of up to 13 hours to enter. And to "experience" rain without getting wet.
My friend reminded me, with a note, of an installation we'd gone to at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York a decade or more ago. Neither of us can remember its name or the name of the artist or why there was a sign warning people with a heart condition not to enter, but we both remember the experience. We were instructed to walk into the room barefooted. The floor was covered with 6 inches or so of a sand-like material. The only object in the room was a lighted fat candle on the floor at the far end.
The experience was profound and inexplicable. To describe a piece of art is impossible. I can tell you what was in the room; I can tell you that the effect on me was deeper than meditation. That I was very aware of my feet and their connection to the ground through the medium, and that the candle flame, because it involved the eyes, seemed to bring my entire body into the present. But I can't share the experience.
You had to have been there. And even then your experience would have been different from mine.
I haven't experienced the Rain Room. Perhaps being "in" rain without getting wet would also be profound. The inspiration of the Room was a quote from Thoreau as he saw and heard "the unaccountable friendliness" of rain from inside his house. But do we ever stand in rain and experience it as friendly? Or are we always looking for shelter - the next doorway, an umbrella, anywhere to get "out" of the rain?