Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Speak Less, Feel More

The setting was timelessly beautiful.

With the canopy of a clear-blue sky above and a sun slowly beginning its lazy descent on the horizon, the air began to fill with the electricity of anticipation.

The wind caressed my exposed skin with gentle movements, whispering the promise of fall just beyond my grasp.


While the setting may have been as ancient as the day, the picture before me was strangely futuristic in its bent.

It brought to mind that crazy scene from the shiteous sequel to the Matrix where the residents of Zion danced with abandon to drum beats from a culture many could not identify with on their most open-minded day.

I stood on Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville with a white tent before me. Below its billowing arches stood a hodgepodge of instruments and people that turned my head quizzically to one side with mildly surprised amusement.

I've never seen an electric sitar before in my life. The Bunny Bread white Rasta wielding it was even more interesting. A Middle Eastern man stood before a synthesizer, and his compatriots hovered over an assortment of drums with Native American paintings, African tribal insignias, and Latin American workmanship clearly illustrating their cultural propensities.

Sweat dripped and splashed with each of their movements. The sound their motions created drew the audience before them like the proverbial moth to flame. The mixture of drums, electric sitar, and synthesizer was an almost uncategorizable amalgam of post-rock, house music, and Enya.

The sound was nearly as mesmerizing as the picture. People of all ages and ethnicities danced with almost-embarrassing abandon. Children twirled wildly with gleeful smiles on their faces, and the long-haired elderly clasped each other's hands with closed eyes and swayed to a frenzy that made me concerned for their health.

One would assume this painting would only appeal to an Ashevillean hippie. One would be wrong.

Certainly, the majority of these modern day ravers were of that ilk, but I stood there with my decidedly un-hippie like self and could not help but feel the beat rise from my feet into my core. There were many yuppies who finally gave up and joined hands with the fairy-folk in celebration of a glorious day and wonderful music.

I began commenting on my observations to my husband. A man nearby stopped his epileptic gyrations and turned to me with a serenity that mismatched his earlier twitching.

"Speak less. Feel more."

My first reaction was to berate him for pointing out my perceived deficiencies when I had the decency to ignore his. I mean, after all, who told you that contorting your face and twisting your frame like a herky jerky puppet qualified as dancing?

Before I had a chance to come up with a witty, similarly succinct response, he turned back towards the dancing and resumed his pitiable routine.

As the ire died down from lack of kindling, I stopped to ponder his "lecture".

I am definitely the type that talks more than feels. In some strange way, I think that talking about something will supersede the need to feel in the same way that intellectuals have argued their way out of love and beyond spirituality.

Perhaps my pseudo epileptic friend was right to lecture me. Why was I standing there merely talking about the experience?

After all, I can dance the shit out of him.