bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: just let the moment unfold

Dancing.

A Facebook friend posted this video in my feed today:

And it triggered a lovely memory that I have that is related to this song.

~~~

In April 2015, I went to small weekend-long Pagan sexuality event called Body Magick.

Though I attended by myself, I quickly got the impression that this event was geared towards couples.

I was one of only three other ‘singles’ that attended that weekend.

One of these singles – an older man named Kevin – left before the end of the first day when it became clear to him that Body Magick was not a ‘kinky poly swingers’ event that he’d been assuming that it would be.  (I think the event organizers were somewhat relieved that he left on his own, as his attitude that colored the ‘first impression’ that he made during the introductory circle rubbed several folks in all the wrong ways.)

The other single – a young woman – seemed guarded and cautious.  Though we did converse several times — simply for the fact that we were likely the only attendees with insomnia in the campsite who weren’t actively entertaining/engaging a partner in the late hours of Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday morning – I didn’t find out that much about her.  She told me how she had recently experienced a rather lengthy and contentious divorce, and she sought to attend the event  simply to recover herself and get back her spiritual bearings.

And then, there was me.  Alone, and perhaps a bit lonely.  (My husband – a non-Pagan – had chosen to stay home that weekend, and he had some prior work commitments, as well.)

~~~

But I must say – even though everyone I came in contact with was friendly, the event rituals were well-done, and the energy flow was welcoming and pleasant – I could not shake that dull achy feeling of being at loose ends throughout my weekend at Body Magick.

~~~

So there I was, on Sunday morning, sitting in a lawn chair outside the ‘mess hall’ with a belly full of breakfast pancakes, listening to music on my iPhone.

My earbuds had somehow become damaged, so I decided to listen to my Loki playlist on low volume, as I waited for my husband to pick me up.

As he wasn’t set to arrive for over an hour, I felt like I had some time to kill, so I half-dozed/meditated in the overly-bright April sunlight, with my iPhone in my lap.

And then this song came on.

The song had played about halfway through when suddenly I was shaken out of my reverie by a friendly voice.

What is this song?  I love this song.

I opened my eyes, and I looked up to see a slight, older woman standing in front of me.  She was smiling.

The sun was behind her, so I was grateful for the shade she created.  I returned her smile.  I couldn’t help it.

It’s Walk the Moon, I replied.  It’s called, Shut up and Dance.

She laughed, Would you mind playing that from the beginning?

So I clicked back, and she settled down beside my chair, to listen.  Thank you so much, she whispered.

I watched as she closed her eyes, and she smiled broadly as she listened, her face upturned towards the sunlight.

Again, the song reached the half-way point, and another person – a young woman, her arms loaded with camping gear – walked past.  I guess she had been on the way to loading up her car.

Hey!  I know that song! she blurted out, stopping short in front of us.

She dropped her heavy gear-bags at my feet with satisfied sigh, as if relieved for the sudden excuse to take a break.

She turned toward the woman on the ground, nudging her.  Don’t you just love this song? she burbled.

The older woman opened one eye: Yes, she grinned broadly, looking up.  They knew each other, so the older woman stood up to greet her with a hug.

And the young woman, unburdened by her gear, warmly embraced her friend.

After a few moments, they broke from their embrace,  and the young woman started to sway.

Won’t you play it again, please, the young woman turned toward me, insistently, I feel like dancing!

OOh, dancing sounds like a great idea, the older women agreed.

So I did.

And I watched as they danced, the movement of their bodies mirroring each other.  I admired the ease and joy of their dance – they seemed entirely unself-conscious and comfortable in their bodies as they were taken up by the rhythms of the song.

Then, they began to sing.

They both looked at me.

Doesn’t this song just make you want to dance? they asked me, during the first instrumental bridge.

The older woman motioned towards me, welcoming me to join them.

I demurred, too shy to dance.

But I did sing along with them.

Suddenly, these two women dancing and our combined singing drew the attention of several other campers on the way to loading their cars.

Next thing you know, a loose half-circle had formed right there in front of me.

Soon enough there was a crowd of twenty or so happy people dancing, singing, enjoying this song, in a spontaneous swirl of swaying color, sound, movement…and laughter.

And I must have played that song four more times in its entirety before our impromptu dance party ended.

 

And I honestly believe that Loki was pleased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A secret life, daydreaming vs. experience, and a way of seeing.

To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed and to feel: that is the purpose of life.” – Life Magazine’s motto, in the 2013 remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

***Possible spoilers ahead, so please do not read if you intend to see this film!***

~~~~

On Monday afternoon, my kid and I went to see Ben Stiller’s remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

I have always loved James Thurber’s short story of the same name.

Honestly, I did not expect Stiller’s remake to stick to Thurber’s short story very much, as I’d felt that the 1947 version with Danny Kaye had not been very close, either.

(I’ve always thought that sticking too close to Thurber’s story would have been difficult to do, anyway…so I’m not surprised to read so many of these sorts of reviews now that I’ve seen it.)

But nonetheless, I found this film slightly amusing, poignant, and very inspiring.

Personally, I wasn’t disappointed.

There were a few wonderful moments of connection for me in this film, that – just as it is with the act of daydreaming – have more to do with my inner landscape than anything outward to do with the film itself

….And that is exactly what I enjoyed about this film.

For example, the most wondrous, unexpected moments for me were connected to seeing the footage of Greenland, and Iceland, for several personal reasons.

Image

You know, I very nearly cried with delight, seeing Walter as he skateboards down an almost impossible winding road into the town of  Seyðisfjörður just before the volcano erupts.

He glides down this road as it snakes past these lovely rocky cliffs that rise up on either side.

Those mountains, those cliffs….aw, man.   Just beautiful.

Walter has tied chunks of black ashen rock to his hands with pieces of his dress tie, so he can lean and weave, touching the road, guiding himself around the exhilarating curves:

:Image

It was exhilarating just watching that, for personal reasons, as well.

Suddenly, I was overcome with a hopeful rushing thought crowding in my head:

Ohyoumustgoyoumustseeforyourselfsomedaysomeday!

(…kommen Sie hierkommen Sie hier …)

~~~

Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.

The other moment that struck me so much, concerned vision, experience, and the photographer’s eye.

When Walter finally catches up to the photographer that he’s been pursuing, the photographer is ‘waiting for the shot’ of a snow leopard in the Himalayas.

He and Walter sit quietly waiting, talking softly, until the snow leopard comes into view.

They are hushed and still, and we, as viewers, see their view through the camera lens for a good minute or two, before the leopard moves out of range.

And when asked why he didn’t take the shot, the photographer answers:

Sometimes I don’t.   I just look.  I just see it.

I have known several photographers who have also voiced that same sentiment: You cannot truly see if you are distracted by the attempts to capture the image, create the result.  The photographer sees, prepares and frames the shot, but at the moment of actually clicking the shutter, ze has moved from ‘seeing’ to ‘capturing’ that moment.   Ze has, in a sense, lost the moment of seeing, of experiencing the beauty of the moment, in attempting to capture the ‘beautiful moment.’

That moment is a red cardinal sitting on my backyard fence.

Stop trying to capture the moment, fearing the loss of the memory of the moment.

Stop worrying.

Stop preparing.

Just let the moment unfold.

You don’t have to hold it in place.

Just see it.

Just experience it.

And I loved that.

And I loved that Walter Mitty, in this film, became what he was – not by daydreaming – but by doing, by allowing himself to see, to experience life itself.

Life with a capital L.

In my opinion, that’s good advice.