Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Dance

Last night Brian and I went to an incredible dance and music performance called Legong. The music and dance were so incredibly foreign to me, so mysterious, complex and stimulating. The atonal sounds and scales and syncopated rhythms of the orchestra paired with the very precise and wildly expressive movement of the dancers was overwhelming. This is the honeybee dance we saw as part of the performance last night (I couldn't upload our own video, it was too slow!).

Anyway, I left glowing and high. I left in awe and so grateful for the diversity of music and dance that defines so many cultures. I was thinking to myself, how did this very specific technique begin? The fluttering of the fingers, the darting wide eyes, the head cocking slightly and deliberately in all directions? And then I wondered, what is our American specific traditional dance that we celebrate and pass on to generations? Swing dancing? Square dancing or contra dancing? What do you think?

Yesterday I was reading online all about the Japan earthquake. Another massive trauma that our world is enduring. And there were many articles that talked about how this earthquake and tsunami, the Christchurch earthquake, the recent Australian floods, the Chilean earthquake, etc. are all indicators that yes, indeed the Mayan calendar was correct and yes the world will end December of 2012. Now I think it is possible that the world will end and also possible the world will not end. All things are possible in this life; all outcomes are on the table. It was funny taking a look at some of these websites. Headings like, “How to prepare for the world ending”. Hmmm. That seems like a bit of a wasted effort, no? And then I started to try and imagine in my head how I would “prepare” if I knew that the world was ending. I thought, well I am so glad I took this trip and got to see much of the world before it imploded! There isn’t much preparing for something like that is there? You must take each day as it comes, appreciate every single solitary moment. The colors, the sights, the smells, the feelings, etc.

Now, it may seem silly to walk down this path, but I do so to make a point. Whether the world ends in 2012 or in 3012, etc., I believe the goal of our lives every day is exactly the same. To be present, to be grateful, to be generous, to be loving, and to be at peace with yourself and the world, no matter what the state of it is. On this trip, or even back at home there is always the possibility of premature death and disaster. Many in the last few months have suffered and died difficult and painful deaths in these tragedies. It is hard to come to terms with that. Deep down I don’t believe the severity of these natural disasters is random. I think the earth is starting to rebel against the human abuse it has endured for so many years. Too many years we have not been living in harmony with the natural world, and maybe now we are paying the price? I think we should see these events as flashing neon signs to awaken our consciousness, to change our behaviors, and to come together as a global community to protect the earth and protect each other.

I was thinking all of this as I walked home in the glow of the Legong dance. Despite the pain, suffering, tragedy and difficulty that is facing the world now, and has always faced the human race since its inception, thank god for the beauty and wonder of human expression. For our ability to transcend all that is difficult and jump into places of joy, beauty and inspiration in every culture in every country. We are resilient, wildly resourceful and inspirational creatures. There is so much to be grateful for and to appreciate. I will focus my energy there in these shifting times.

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