To dance?

When we do our Beats 4 BEAT (2) concert on Sunday, August 17th it isn't a negation of the horror and tragedy of the world. Nor is it a diversion or a distraction from the pain and suffering of others. That will never change. No, when we play - and celebrate - and have fun together, we do it as a part of the sacred whole. Just as there is day, there is night. Just as there is pain, there is joy. Just as there is war, there is peace. I have come to believe that in the midst of anguish, perhaps the most faithful form of resistance and renewal is... to dance (and sing!) 

How did Elie Wiesel put it: we are born with a MAD desire to dance? What does the wise old preacher of Ecclesiastes say: there is a time for everything under heaven... including a time to mourn and a time to dance? What did the boss in Zorba the Greek, after all the tragedies of life, including the loss of love, wealth, status and his beloved's life, say to his old peasant friend at the close of the film?
I used to think it was sacrilege to celebrate while others suffered. But now I know that to ignore their suffering is the sin, never the dance. Indeed, some times the only thing we can do is to dance. We have to wail and protest and mourn, too. But without the dance, we become cynical and defined by the evil rather than the blessings. In times such as our own, when human brokenness is trumpeted all day and all night as reality, it is a moral imperative to reclaim the song and dance with all the madness in our soul.

Comments

Peter said…
Not to make too much of it, but are obligated to dance, as it were, BECAUSE of the pain and suffering, lest we get torn to bits and no good to anybody.
RJ said…
I think that is better than my take... another work in progress, my man?
ddl said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
ddl said…
Random thoughts...Thoughtful... Zorba was the first musical that I ever saw...and got to see Anthony Quinn in his final performance...not having known him previously (like that he was famous actor, but totally was in awe)
Ana Rosa, in the Color of My Words, is a young girl in the Dominican Republic, who learns how to dance with her Papi on the beach (and it is redemptive) and she writes and dances through tragedy, while writing in a tree too-- you can see things from that height... If you haven't read the story, it is a beautiful one...dancing in the midst of the political and personal mess... and holy love shot straight through life and words...

Blessings.
RJ said…
I don't know that one, ddl, and will SURELY check it out. Many thanks. And blessings right back at you. I heard Rep. John Lewis once speak of the songs of the Civil Rights movement being the heart and soul that kept things grounded. And Songs for a Revolution deepen that truth. Be well.
ddl said…
Read this...very interesting...I would have seen him in 1986 as a high school junior...probably in D.C. though...his final tour... The article talks htmlabout mortality...dancing after loss... moving forward... What about God as "mad-dancer" aka "Lord of the Dance" aka Zorba :)


http://www.nytimes.com/1986/07/31/theater/zorba-s-lessons-for-anthony-quinn.
ddl said…
The Color of My Words is a young adult book... I remember that there is an interesting revolutionary spirit to it...and bulldozers, but maybe I am remembering incorrectly...but I remember thinking of Palestine/Israel struggle even though it is Dominican Republic...It is odd how themes of suffering play themselves out in universal ways.

Peter-- if you are reading this-- I LOVE Mahmoud Darwish's work... OMG... His thoughts...I can SO relate to him...and his writing. Wow. I want to underline, highlight, quote, scream, cry, and holler "LISTEN" to self and others when I read his work...
ddl said…
http://www.nytimes.com/1986/07/31/theater/zorba-s-lessons-for-anthony-quinn.html

I am having computer trouble this a.m. -- I hope the link works now...
Peter said…
Ddl, this is one of my everyday blog stops, so yes, I'm reading it. Glad you are truly appreciating Mahmoud Darwish. We have company this coming week, so I won't be reading very much, but I hope t return to him and to Hafiz, the medieval Persian poet, afterward. Blessings,

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