Monday, July 2, 2012

Dance of joy

I am so blessed. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to live in the home of my choice, free of roommates. I have a great clear living room floor. I put on a CD and I dance and I sing.

No one there to tell me I can't carry a tune. No one there to tell me I look dorky when I dance. No one living below to complain that I stomp on the floor. No one there to tell me I sing too loud. No one there to tell me when I get the lyrics wrong.

I am free. I sing my heart out. I dance my heart out. The joy swirling about the room is palpable.

I dance to the music of a 70's hippie rock band, Spirit in Flesh. I have loved this music since I was little.

My first memory of the music is from hearing the band perform live at their commune. I was about five years old. Moved by the music, I got up and spun around and around.

The music still makes me soar. It's the sound I respond to most. I found two of the songs on YouTube, so I've included those below to give a taste of it. Also here are some of the lyrics that I like:

Two snippets from "The Jack Baker Song." I am trying to transcribe them from the recording, but I know I don't have it quite right:

"The wise man tend his thoughts with love and care
and the roses, happiness and sunshine there."


"To find the good in everyone we come to
I'm sure that's the way we ought to be
To constantly return good for evil
And shine the light for those who cannot see"

When I was a kid dancing to this music, I did not give much thought to what the lyrics meant. Then I grew up to be a druid Quaker pantheist, and discovered that the lyrics expressed my beliefs. The second snippet above from "The Jack Baker Song" describes Quakerism, and the bit below from "Riverside Song" describes pantheism.

Once I sat by the riverside
I saw the force that made it go
And as I sat by the riverside
I found myself in the flow
I was a tree
I was a river
I was the wind that swept and shook the tide
I was all the things that I had left behind
My spirit is the very same force set the river on its way
My spirit is the very same force that makes the pine trees sway
I was a tree I was a river
I was the wind that swept and shook the tide
I was all the things that I had left behind
Once I sat by the riverside
Watching the force
Wondering how things could be as they are
Suddenly I realized the river and I were one

Music, dance, singing, art -- they tap into the heart, they give the heart expression. A little spark of joy becomes a roaring bonfire.

I love the freedom to dance and sing in solitude, but I love to dance and sing with other people too. I am blessed that two days from now, I will get to sing with others, and I'm going to try to get in some dancing with them too.

When people sing and dance together, it strengthens the bonds of community between them.

I would love to bring the joy of singing and dancing to everyone. In this moment, I feel that if everyone could sing and dance together, there'd be no poverty because everyone would share what they had. Of course, it's not so simple. Just like it was not so simple when my great-great-great-grandmother crusaded for women to get the right to vote. She believed if women could vote, there would be no more war, because women would never vote in support of sending their husbands and brothers and sons into battle.

Nothing will fix all our problems, but singing and dancing sure help to inject joy into life, and to create good feelings between the people who do them together.

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