Music For Airports, II • 8 June 2008

I held off from saying what I needed to say about dance for the earlier post to make sense. I did not clarify that I was talking about the kind of dance you do like nobody’s watching. The kind that maybe you do drunk at weddings, in dark bars, and definitely in unadvertised meetings of openminded healers in deconsecrated churches and temples in Santa Monica.

I don’t write about this because even if I can dance like nobody’s watching, I can’t write about dance like nobody’s watching. The truth is I’ve been dancing free-form every Saturday since October. It’s SO revealing. About modern spirituality (whatever that might be), about embodied practice, about the boundaries of self, about what’re the point and the possibilities of contemplation. About how groups form and how people really communicate. There’s just a whole anthropology of this little supercreative edge of culture waiting to happen. It's also in some ways old as it is new, like Susan said in the last comment.

This morning when I arrived in the huge old temple space, they were playing Music for Airports and for the few minutes before I stopped thinking about outside things I remembered the drive across the Golden Gate from Marin two years ago, after a first Vipassana retreat. That is music for breaking a long silence, in my experience. The theory of the Five Rhythms is that one of the tempos of life is stillness… this also makes MfA a good place to begin.

A woman was weeping in the corner and my friend Fred, a psychotherapist in his mid-60s, was holding her hand like a brother. Nobody was at all uncomfortable or self-conscious about her emotions; and nobody tried to resolve them too quickly. For the first 30 minutes the still tones of MfA would come up over and over under much faster music and some people would notice and slow way down. Me I felt good to mix in the associations I have for that music with more chaotic, high-energy kinds of experience. To find the Music for Airports when everyone around you is knocking on the door of the big kuckoo. As corny as that sounds. Both rhythems are just techniques for letting go.

I think I’ll stop trying to talk about any of this now.