How far we’ve come

I saw the light
I’ve been baptized
By the fire in your touch
And the flame in your eyes
I’m born to love again
I’m a brand new man

As these words rang out across the stadium – quite clearly, surprisingly, seeing as where we were – my lips were already moving in synch, silently matching every word since the initial “I”… and tears welled in my eyes, beginning almost immediately to overflow.

I was attending the Brooks and Dunn concert at the rodeo tonight in Houston, kind of as a celebration of my life, for my birthday – something for me, on my own.

I’d asked my mom to stick around with me, but she was ready to head home, so I was okay hanging on my own for the musicians and their music.

When I was about eight years old, I attended the Brooks and Dunn performance at the Astrodome, also for the rodeo.

During their performance, when walking around on the dirt, they pulled two ladies out from the audience to dance with them.

I remember distinctly being upset and embarrassed as the one lady proved, after two quick but failed attempts, that she could not do any sort of partner dancing, let alone the by of two-stepping one of them wanted to do with her.

Rather than rejecting the lady, reading her out for a better model – that’s actually how my brain analyzed it at the time – he just grabbed her around her waist/hips area, and swung her around in a circle or few.

My frustration at this lady for having been unprepared for such a monumental opportunity – dancing with Brooks and Dunn – was not only projected blindly, but had me consider how I would have done, if I’d been the one pulled out onto the floor…

I was rather confident that I would have been able to manage it.

However, I fully acknowledged that I was not certain.

And so I made it my business immediately after this event to make certain that I knew how to two-step and could do it with just about anybody on demand.

Fast-forward a couple decades, and see me at the concert tonight… I found it almost ironic that, though I never anticipated to be pulled out to dance with Brooks and Dunn, here I was, two decades later, likely one of the best country western dancers in the entire stadium, knowledge, ability, and a world title to prove it.

Isn’t that at least a little bit totally crazy?(!!!)?

Anyway, so I can dance, and extremely well, but that’s only part of my mentioning all of this.

When the guys began playing and singing tonight, I was in instant and somewhat constant tears (even throughout the whole show!), right?

Right.

And it occurred quickly to me, This is the power of music.

I was somehow transported to my life when I listed probably daily to Brooks and Dunn music, as I simultaneously saw all that had happened between them and now, how what felt like a lifetime and ten different people ago had somehow led me to today, to who I am today.

There was a lot of good and a decent amount of bad in there, especially early on, and it was a very, very full time all throughout.

And, somehow, here I am, experiencing it all again, while feeling empowered by the open bliss and joy for life I felt back then, reminded of the sadness of what I went through off and on, and encouraged by the fact that I have made it to here so far, and I’ve plenty more wonderful expansion and beautiful growth yet to come for myself in my life.

All of this from music, specific songs and notes and voices and instruments all put together in a certain way, as though, almost, specifically and intentionally with me in mind.

It was of the best kind of medicine.

And this reminds me of how my high school band director always used to tell us that music is a language… tonight, their music spoke directly to me, throughout every place within me.

Post-a-day 2019

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High School Fun in the Club

In high school, a friend convinced me to go to a Benny Benassi concert with a small group of friends.  It was the three guys and my best friend and I.  It was my first time going to a club with friends who weren’t dance friends, but just regular friends, and I think it was my first club concert experience, too.  Whatever the case, it was an exciting night for me, and for the others.

We had arranged for everyone to sleep at my house that night.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was our best option.  My best friend and I had to be up early for graduation the next morning (Yes, our own graduation), and the guys had to leave a few hours later, when my mom was heading out to come to our graduation.  So, the guys were getting more sleep than we were, but not too much more.  (Their graduation wasn’t until the Sunday morning.)

At the concert, we all had a great time.  It was my first experience of noticeable public smoking of marijuana, which was oddly neat, finally seeing that world, but in a safe environment, and where it wouldn’t affect me in any way.  But the best part of it all was the dancing.

Being trained in something is cool and all, but being able to be free from the training, and just do my own thing is always way fun.  It was a blast just dancing around without concern, surrounded by friends.  Okay, we did have a concern for space at times, but we were really good at getting people to spread away from us, so we had our space to dance comfortably.

In the later dancing, however, came the unforgettable part: My self-given challenge.  You see, my friend Victor had worn a sideways baseball cap, and that apparently was enough for me to devise myself a fun little challenge to get as much off of Victor as possible.  The key challenge was to do it without his noticing.

I think the others each found out about my challenge at some point or other – heck, I think the idea partly sprang from their suggesting I try to steal his belt.  (We were not being sexual about it at all – it was totally surface level fun… just so we’re clear.)  And so, we all knew, and Victor had no idea that anything was up.

After a great time of dancing and cheering and whatnot together, we all were ready to head home.  Walking in the parking lot, after exiting the club, not one of us comments on what I am wearing.  Victor, however, looking down at himself, practically exclaims suddenly, “Woah!  Why does my shirt only have two buttons closed?!”

We all keep our silence as we struggle not to burst with laughter.  After what felt like forever, but likely was only a second or three,  Victor figures it out.  (I think it was a combination of our telling him and his realizing bits on his own.)  in addition to my own clothing, I am wearing Victor’s hat and belt.  And I was so close on the button-down he was wearing – there were a million buttons on it, and I had all but two undone.  I believe I also had his wallet, and possibly his car keys.  And he had no idea about any of it.

For whatever reason, I was proud of my accomplishments.  Being stealthy took skill, and I was proud to have had it in abundance that night.

Yeah, that was a good time.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017