Archive for February, 2009

On Thursday night, I was at the show of a band I had never heard before called Travis. I went with no idea of what to expect, but thanks to a new friend (whose boyfriend was in the opening band) I was able to get in on the guest list (Thanks again, Sire!).
It was fantastic. From the opening cord the energy was so amazing you could feel it running throw the dancing, singing crowd. It didn’t matter that I had a sore throat, that the air was thick and smoky, or that the guy next to me spilled beer on me. Nothing could cut through that positive energy, that electricity that was pulling me directly into the moment and connecting me to everyone in the room. It was like I was feeling every good emotion I have felt since I’ve arrived here—a kind of openness and fearlessness that had been lying dormant within me before.
The true enjoyment of a show, I think, is in letting go. It’s letting the rhythm and the lights and the lyrics take you and move you. If it’s good you forget your expectations, your criticisms, and your reservations of looking foolish and you just dance. You move your hips and you raise up your arms and your voice and you let go because it’s all about the moment. And it’s all the more poignant when it’s everyone together letting go, when it’s everyone together taking in the moment.
More and more, being here has been teaching me that this is how I want to be in this world: a person listening to the music and dancing to its beats. Waiting for whatever comes without expectation and without longing, but through taking in and enjoying the electricity of the moment—the only time in which I truly get to be alive.
The Spanish word esperar has two English translations: to wait and to hope. In effect, the ideas of “waiting” and “hoping” are inexorable connected. Linguistically speaking, you cannot wait without hoping, and you cannot hope with out waiting.
Like many people, I spend, and have spent, much of my life so far in a state of waiting- be it for a grade, or a person, or a feeling; or waiting to feel happy, or in love, or free. Waiting for change, or for time in general—just waiting for improvement, for things to come. But to me, this word esperar points to a different kind of waiting. It is a waiting intertwined with hope, with the feeling that everything will turn out for the best, or, at least, that everything will turn out as it should. It means that instead of being suspended uncomfortably in the feeling of waiting, you can sit and enjoy the feeling of courage, of optimism, and of trust. (I say courage and trust because I feel that in a world full of negativity, it takes courage to hope for better things, and it requires trust in goodness and love to have this courage.)
After this show I went to, where the electricity was palpable, and the people jointly suspended in positive energy, I can’t help but wonder, what is positive, hopeful waiting if not the ability to live in the moment and to take in the electricity? If our lives are just a series of moments leading one into the other, why do we so often chose to live the present moment all the while despairing over future moments that have yet to arrive? I want to start choosing la esperanza instead. I want to start choosing the electricity and the connection to the present moment born from the hope that the future will be as it should. To rest easy in the knowledge that all I can do about the future is have hope, and the only way I can enjoy the present is to feel its electricity. It seems to me, that choosing this is the only way I will be able to keep dancing in the present moment—dancing with my arms up and my hips shaking with abandon.


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