Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Feet

Today I was lucky to catch TeenTuna online and live from Germany, where she is in mid-tour with her high school symphony orchestra. To say she is having the time of her life seems to be an understatement. Everything is either great, awesome, fabulous, or SO MUCH FUN. In every conversation we've had I've seen the phrase "I don't want to go! I want to come back!"

Home base for her during this trip has been a host family that has been, from all accounts, incredibly kind, gracious and loving.  There are two children, and hundreds of emails have been passed back and forth across the Atlantic since last summer.  Needless to say, by the time she arrived, they were already very good friends.

Today in her brief rundown of events, she told me she went to German dance class.  They had planned to do this, and TeenTuna was probably the only violinist who packed toe, tap and jazz shoes along with her violin, rosin, and extra strings.  It didn't matter that she spoke English and they spoke German.  There was music and movement and that was common language enough.  Her report from dance class was that it was A BLAST and SO MUCH FUN.  Seriously, it's hard to fathom that one sixteen year old teenager can be this happy, excited and full of life every single day.

And then I remember a favorite video of ours.  I don't remember when this now-two year old viral video got my attention, but I really love it.  From the self-proclaimed Where the Hell is Matt? series, Matt traveled around the world and danced (by his own admission) ... badly.  But just watch ... there is so much joy in the simple act of moving, jumping, and flapping the arms in that rhythmic chicken kind of way.  Dance is a universal affirmation of life.

Doing a bit of digging tonight on the Internets, I ran across the blog of the man who composed the soundtrack for this video (you have to scroll to the news item dated June 22, 2008).  The story of how the music, and especially the song came to be is very interesting in its own right (and you can buy an MP3 on Amazon), but what caught my eye was the poetry.  The lyrics to the song are adapted from a poem by Indian poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.  The title of the poem, Praan loosely translates to the word "Life" in the Bengali language.

For my week of self-imposed finding the good everywhere, I can't help but watch this and wonder why, with all the happiness and joy expressed around the world, we would ever choose to stop dancing?

Stream of Life
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day 
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass 

and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. 

And my pride is from the lifethrob of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

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