On Tuesday I saw the film A Single Man, in it there is a wonderful scene when the main character George and his friend Charlie get up from the dining table, put on some music and dance. They first dance together to Stormy Weather and then Charlie replaces this on the record player with Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs and they, for a fleeting moment, become lost in the music as they dance as individuals.
It reminded me of music I have in the past loved to dance to. I miss sometimes not being younger and being able to lose myself in well known rhythms and music on the dance floor of a club or party. Even now driving along in my car, an inner joy can be created by a favourite CD, and I begin to tap the steering wheel. Sometimes it is the words of songs which take me back to a particular event or circumstance in life, sometime it is the drum beat, the tune which has resonated with me. The nearest I come to dancing now in company is the occasional family event, or lively worship, when a sway turns into a slight move of the foot!
It's not just living in the past, new music is interesting to me, although on occasions I do wonder how it would be possible to dance to some of it. For me, its as if the rhythm and movement takes you to another place - a place where the day to day reality seems a lot less daunting and a lot more manageable, a place where life is fun and the formalities of life can be left behind. This also takes me to Africa, where worship is as much about movement as it is about sound - being 'lost in wonder, love and praise' comes to mind. Dancing is many things, it is also unifying as it brings people into a common experience on the same level regardless of who they are, and we so miss out on that in the inhibited west.
I am very much looking forward to my next trip to South Africa to get caught up again in the vibrancy of worship. In the meantime I am gradually recording all my old cassette tapes onto CD and MP3, and what a great excuse is that for reliving some memories, and dancing around the room!