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To dance

Last Saturday I met Katja, my old friend from the University years. Together we went to a small non-commercial music festival which was held at a private yard deep in the countryside. The place was dotted with a collection of wrecked cars and funny decorations. We picked a place with benches and a table under a mapletree. On the table there was an old-fashioned red phone. Hanging from the tree there were plastic pears, oranges and christmas bells. And a bicycle installed upside down in the middle of the branches.

The festival is not advertised anywhere, so it is more like a big gathering of local people and their friends. They had organized some pretty good bands to play in the evening. And as the theme for this year was "women and feminity", we saw a lot of people dressed up in theme costumes. It was clear that this was not a gathering of stereotypical red necks; middle aged men dressed up as women were throwing a party together with hippie girls. The air was filled with atmosphere of indie freedom and crazy creativity.

At some point I sat lost in my thoughts, drinking coffee while listening to the others having a discussion. I emptied my paper mug and placed it on a napkin on the table. Soon after that a warm summer wind got stronger, elevating the napkin, effectively making the empty mug to dance hovering on the table. It was like a poor man's version of the wine class scene in movie Amélie. Letting my thoughts float, I recalled my teenage reflections of wind;

In my childhood I spent countless hours observing how the wind moves; gusts of wind were like living creatures, dancing their way over the lake. In the wintertime snow drifting in the wind made soft curves and occasional small whirls over the snowy fields. It was never mechanical straight lines, but always those beatiful curves with a rhythm. And I felt that those same curves were visible everywhere in nature; how the pine branches grow, how the stars are dotted in the sky, how the norhern lights dance, how the water flows down a river. Well, the science tells us that nature is made of atoms, and types of atoms can be neatly classified and presented as the periodic table. But when the atoms are not in the periodic table they are out in the wild, dancing. That is the essence of the Life, Universe and Everything - to dance.

And we sure did dance. On the stage there was Pelle Miljoona with his band. Pelle started his career about the time I was born, in the mid 1970's. They are still doing pretty well, playing their old classics in an honest and pure way. The crowd was dancing on a small sandy field in front of the stage. Katja and I were dancing on top of the garden bench.

The last artist of the night was Mariska ja Pahat Sudet (which translates as Mariska and the Bad Wolves). Their last album sold gold, and Mariska is one of the top lyrics writer at the moment in Finland. Katja and I joined the dancing crowd in the field, getting immersed in the collective movement. As the band played a piece about a lady quitting his man, I was invited to dance a duet with a tall man dressed as a slutty woman. Well, why not? When the piece was over we shared a friendly hug. The last piece they played is about recovering from hardships - the audience was singing along.

After the show was over we noticed something which seemed like a small fight. I can't stand violence, so I went to check if they need help. There were two young men trying to fight, but together with all the good people we soon separated them and kept them apart, talking them to calm down. As the situation got back to normal I realized that we are in between the stage and the bus of the band. And one of these good people was Mariska herself, a smallish peaceful woman with a rock attitude and a heart of gold. Some people came to greet her, bringing her flowers and wine, giving positive feedback and asking for a signature. Like, she is an artist with an established name, after the gig, on her way from the stage into the safety of the bus. Instead of moving in straight line ignoring her fans, she was more like a gust of wind dancing freely in the moment. She was open to meet her fans, to chat and to hug. All in all, it doesn't matter if you are an artist living in a city or a hippie living in the woods, a nurse or a lorry driver; we all are made of this stuff called Nature. And the essence of Nature is to dance, to dance together.

The call to dance is written in our cells. It is just egoism which creates ideas of separation and dominance. So the question is to re-connect with our common biological roots, and to find ways to express the dancing beauty in our daily lives, together with the others. Dear friends, let's rock - and salsa, tango, twist, rave or charleston!

calling my friends - a picture by Katja Riikonen
calling my friends - a picture by Katja Riikonen
pine branches curving - picture taken in the mid 1990's
pine branches curving - a picture taken in the mid 1990's
634 users have voted.


Hah, you are such a hippy. But that was some beautiful writing.

Thanks =)
I remember when I was thinking about the way wind moves, I was something like 16 years old. And I was somewhat anxious if I'll be able to keep my ideals in my adulthood - I didn't want to become a busy money-oriented materialistic adult... So, nowadays I'm happy to find that I haven't abandoned my old philosophical values, I haven't sold my soul, yet I have managed to buy a place of my own and to earn my living by doing things I love.


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