Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the inclusivity of collective joy.....

Collective Joy at a CISV celebration....
Odell Park, Fredericton, June 2009

I say hey I'll be gone today
But I'll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see
the less I know
But I know one thing
That I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
Michael Franti

The other day, when I needed a little sign to push me forward along the way to Greenbelt (nerves kicked in) I got one. The first voice I heard on the radio when I turned on the van was Michael Franti, the headliner from last year's GB Festival. He said..... "the definition of joy is when the human intersects with the Divine....." He went to describe his interpretation of communal joy..... when people congregate to celebrate and feel a sense of oneness. Not only is it a celebration, he described, it is also a life affirming opportunity to feel at one with many.... to recognize equality and common ties that bind.

For an hour, Franti had my rapt attention as he spoke of his experiences being on the stage and looking out at the crowds.... the collective joy vibrations lifting up into the air to where he stood singing and leading them on.

Smiles and tears..... laughter as well as those melting heart moments when the air feels thinner, when the air has that electricity you just want to inhale.

Whether its at a concert, in a church, outstanding in a field gazing at the night sky with a group.... whether its at a wedding reception, in the middle of a rousing game of capture the flag ... whether its in the middle of a peace march, on a hike along the Fundy trail with 10 of your buddies..... whether its at a hockey game, baseball game, rugby game .... at a Pub on Friday night or in a quiet chapel in the country with family .... collective joy contains the ingredients that affirms and reinforces all that we hope to feel in our lifetime. But, it's more than that, because it takes you out of your body and into a realm where you're greeted by the echoes of many souls..... A trip like no other.

As I gather my thoughts today before I kiss my family goodbye and hop on a plane, I know I leave with an essence of what is to come this weekend. Simply an essence...... gathered from what I've read, and what has been shared with me from my friends I have met through blogging and email connecting. Looking at the expansive itinerary of the four day festival, I feel like a complete neophyte.

Not one name on the list of "talks" is familiar to me, except of course my emerald friend Pip. I recognize (barely) some of the names of the musicians. I know I will feel familiar with some of the worship services, but many of them I won't. I don't know the rituals.....I have a feeling I'll know some of the hymns....but many will be new to me. It will all be new to me. What isn't new is that feeling I have experienced in the past with collective joy.....

Pip writes and BELIEVES ....... "Growth does not reside in a place called comfortable." I think he may even be expanding on that during one of his talks.... (I can't wait to see him up there leading the group I will be a part of....) Personally, I have taken on his statement and have allowed it to be a conscious guide in my life, knowing that I have always believed this myself. I just hadn't made the connection to it until my life intersected with him. When I reflect on my most important learning, it was when I felt the most challenged....the most stretched..... the most juiced up with itching curiosity. Thirsty for growth. Thirsty for the sense of standing on a precipice feeling humbled.

"It seems that everywhere I go, the more I see, the less I know........ but I know one thing, I love you..... " Franti's song is a bustling rhythm that lifts you up onto your feet... his words sing in my head this morning. The feeling I get when I listen this song is the reassurance that my joy is your joy, that my life is your life... that there is an inclusivity contained within collective joy. For me this will take place in Cheltenham England.... where oneness with collide with discomfort .... where learning will collide with knowledge .... where laughter will bring me to tears too .... where growth resides, both personally and collectively.

Ok, time to pack.....


Anonymous said...

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” Mother Threasa

Safe travels Dana


swile67 said...

Go in peace! Excited for you!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Have a wonderful trip Dana...It sounds quite glorious!! And you get to see Pip and be with him..Hooray!
Travel safe, my dear.

Marja said...

Dana I hope you have a marvellous time but I know you will What an inspiring post. That friend Pip is a wise person. Great for you to meet him