Thursday, November 09, 2006
Dance the Day Away
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we celebrate the One True Religion -- thousands of them! From the modest celebrant with a shrine to a secret deity in the backyard to the mighty ranks of the Buddha, we salute you all! Just don't stain our furniture.
There's a fellow in this area who is known simply as The Monkey Man because he often wears a jester hat, clown pants, and totes a toy monkey with him as he cruises around on his bicycle. How my daughters and I came to know him is a long story. I won't bore you with it here.
The Monkey Man is a poet, as befits someone who resides in Camden, New Jersey, blocks from the former home of Walt Whitman. In fact, The Monkey Man knows huge blocks of Whitman by heart and does re-enactments. But his own poetry is good too. Very good, in fact.
The Monkey Man gave a reading here in the borough last Friday night. To preface one of his poems, he said the following:
"In America at the end of a long day, you might ask someone, 'What did you do today?'
"In Africa, they ask, 'What did you dance today?"
He then launched into a poem about how Americans dance through their days, and it was superb. It left a lasting impression on me.
Now, instead of waking up in the morning and thinking, "What will I do today?" I'm asking myself, "What will I dance today?" And my reward for this change in worldview is seeing the preparation of a chicken casserole as a form of ballet, and the opening of a mailbox as a gesture of grace.
What did you dance today? What will you dance tomorrow? Give praises to the Goddess Yasigi, sacred to the people of Mali -- she inspires us to dance!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS