Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dancing with the Universe

My dear friend Cathy, a good Minnesota girl who's in tune with all things worldy, sent this link to me. She is the mother of two girls who is raising them with a wonderful perspective of the world, and earth, around them.

There is something really engaging about this video. When I watched it I felt like I do every year during the Olympics opening ceremony. I see all those countries' flags and all this emotion bubbles up in me like some sort of power of the universe speaking to me. I am in utter awe of the different countries from A to Z. Places I cannot pronounce or find on a map fascinate me. Incidentally, my brother carried the flag for Palestine when they had a team of three in the Olympics in Atlanta. He was blown away. That brother of mine is always the one doing cool stuff.

I realize that the world is oh so much bigger than the five mile radius that I live in. Don't we all sweat the small stuff and glorify the even smaller? It's time we snap out of it. When I see those flags or watch this video, I remember that people all over the world love their children the way that I love mine. Mothers and fathers in every country on this vast planet of ours have dreams for their children. They cry when they are ill, struggle when they are naughty, laugh when they are goofy, and sometimes weep at the sheer beauty and miracle of life's chain at night when the house is peaceful and quiet and they watch their children's bellies move up and down with each slumbering breath.

People, not regimes, comprise a nation. We all pray for rain or sun or warmth or shade from the same sky. We are such a speck of something greater. Larger. Yet connected. Inextricably connected. Did Dr. Seuss indeed have it right?

Here's a translation of the lyrics from the video. And by the way, what a freaking awesome voice that young woman has! All that vocal power from a 17-year old kid from Bangladesh. The words are taken from a Tagore poem. Tagore is a Nobel prize winning revered Bengali poet whose writing transcends time and culture. He was a fierce protester of the British rule in India and wrote short stories, poems, essays, and plays about political topics, focusing largely on India's independence from the Raj. See, I'm Bengali too so this political writing and ranting is in my blood. I grew knowing about Tagore but did not come to appreciate his works until adulthood. My mom sang his songs, though in a language I didn't understand. My father gifted us books as subtle clue to our culture and heritage. I've had many of his books lining my shelves for years. It's only now that I crack them open.

These lyrics are particularly poignant.

Stream of Life by Rabindranath Tagore

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
Dancing with the UniverseSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

1 comment:

The Over-Thinker said...

"It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers."

Oh how beautiful!