Katrina and the Waves are playing “Walking on Sunshine,” and I’m tryin’ to feel good. Not too hard to do–just got back from aqua-aerobics and it’s the First Official Day of Spring, meaning that I stuffed my sweater in my backpack and sauntered forth, tattoos all alive-o!
My dentist had the crown snapped back on in a jiffy, and we are waiting to hear whether my insurance covers bridge work. I can chew stuff, but I’m hyperaware of it. This makes eating a far more mindful experience. Jon Kabat-Zinn would be proud of me.
I went through this last week with the previous column very much in mind, albeit in the back. One of the things that is slowing down my self-inquisition is that the only definition of faith I hear in my head is not a catechism’s, but a joke my friend and former father-in-law tells: “Preacher man says faith is believin’ in what you know ain’t so.”
I know that’s how it works for a lot of people. They shrug it off as a Mystery, and go their way. But I’m just not built like that, so I’m falling back on what I closed with last time: A sense of wonder and of grace.
I’ve realized that my sense of wonder has in fact remained intact as what I consciously experience as a material thing that moves me to profound joy and sometimes tears. Perhaps the best examples of this are the Where the Hell is Matt? shorts. (Clickers, go watch if you’ve never seen them. Come back to me when you’re done with whatever Internet wondrousness you get carried away on.)
For the non-clickers: These videos are of Matt (who’s just some guy) in various locales around the world, doing what he admits to be just a little sketch of a dance, being a human bobbling his limbs in the universal symbol of celebration. Sometimes he is smack in the middle of other people’s ethnic dances. There is something compelling about them, and they went viral.
Then what I consider the real joy explosion happened: All around the world, they started to pre-announce Matt’s advent (you can sign up on his website) and groups of random people would flash mob there and start dancing too.
I imagine some alien seeing one of these announcements, and grabbing his friend and expostulating, “Come, Xpinthis. The bringer of simple joy comes. Let us go and join the worship.”
Because at its best, dance is worship–of aliveness, of movement, of humanness. Is it not a wonder, that the primal holiness of music calls us forth to move with it? And I would say that that feeling of connection, whether we have collapsed in a pile of sweat, or have just been swaying in our seats with a tear in our eye–is grace.