Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Sound of Music

My sister Carol posted a link to a Sound of Music dance performance in an Antwerp train station on her Facebook, and watching it made me so happy I started crying.

I love the surprise and delight on the faces of the people at the train station--to have stumbled into such a wonderfully well-conceived work of art and dance on their way to catch a train. What a gift!

I love that the dancers are all different ages, with tons of children mixed in. Then there is the clever simplicity of the choreography -- especially when they Vogue to "La, a note to follow Sol." So good!

But the main thing, I think, is just that these people are dancing, in public, just for fun. When was the last time I did something beautiful and joyful just for the sheer fun of it? Even with my children, I'm so often playing for a few minutes "before" -- "we can play for a few minutes and then we need to go to the grocery," I'll tell them. Being home with them this summer, I realize how hard it is for me to just enjoy the moment, much less do something creative and art-filled just because.

I'm reading a book about what happens in the rest of your life after a mystical experience or experience of awakening -- Jack Kornfield's After the Ecstasy, The Laundry. He prefaces one of the chapters with this quote:
A young monk asked the Master:
"How can I ever get emancipated?"
The Master replied:
"Who has ever put you in bondage?"
For me, the answer is, "I have." My ideas about how I should be, or what's the right thing to do, or how other people should treat me--these ideas have not always been helpful. Over many years of growing up and young adulthood, I've gotten in my own way and limited my own possibilities. When the truth is, every day is a new day.

It's not a new idea... but still, a new day!

I remember my father quoting Blake at my sister's wedding: "He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternity's sunrise."

To kiss joy as it flies. Not holding onto the moment--grasping after love and happiness--but simply giving it a kiss as it flies by.

I've lately been telling people that I figured out the secret to happiness is, "be happy." I don't always practice this rule, but I do hope I can find my Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do.

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