Single White Nerd: Moments of Grace
a blogumn by Micheal Kass
Big announcement today: I’ve figured women out. I had a conversation with someone and he pulled the wool from my eyes, shared information so powerful, so obvious, so mind-blowing that I’m dumbfounded. And the secret is. . .
Nah. It’ll have to wait. But women be warned: I’m on to you.
It’ll have to wait because last night I saw a good friend fulfill a dream. Have you ever seen a dream fulfilled? Powerful, humbling stuff. See, my friend has always wanted to play a rock concert. Stand in front of a group of people, wail out some tunes, and see folks tapping their feet, tossing their hair, and generally going nuts.
As his 40th birthday approached, my friend put the wheels in motion. He talked to friends and assembled a band. Put together a set list. Rehearsed, got a space. And last night he took the stage and rocked hard. Sure, there were ballads, Indigo Girls type stuff. Dude likes some girly music. But the image that stays with me this morning is one of the final songs of the night: A man on stage surrounded by close friends belting out Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” as a crowd of more friends rushes the stage and dances like . . . well, like a bunch of happy folk jumping up and down to Springsteen. However you may feel about the Boss, it was beautiful.
Seems to me that that there was a, for lack of a better term, moment of grace. Moments of grace are important. You can go back to them when the demons come knocking at your door. “Hey,” the demons say, “You’ve just been dumped, your car is totaled, you can’t make rent this month, why don’t you stay in bed all day drinking yourself into a stupor and watching episodes of the Golden Girls on the computer.” That’s when you have a choice—you can do the whole drinking into a stupor thing or you can fend off the demons with a memory.
Looking across the table at someone you love and seeing them smile.
Jumping out of an airplane and feeling the wind crush your face.
The first, unexpectedly tasty bite of an apple cobbler.
The feeling of air filling your lungs after nearly drowning in an ill advised leap off a waterfall.
Unwrapping a surprise gift.
Looking down on the clouds from the peak of a mountain. A real mountain. Not a metaphorical one.
Whatever your moments of grace are, you can summon them up and fling them at the demons. “Take that,” you can say. And the demons will turn tail and run because they hate grace and beauty. That’s why they’re demons.
Anyway, seems to me that some of the most powerful moments of grace come when someone fulfills a dream. Might have something to do with the amount of courage it takes to see something through, to allow yourself to feel joy, to stake a claim to your dream and own it. Or not. Whatever. Here’s the point:
Last night, I had some beauty laid on me, got a new moment of grace to add to the arsenal, and got to see a good friend fend off the demons with music. A big thank you and congratulations to him and to all the demon-slayers out there.
Now I’m off to fulfill my more modest dream of getting coffee. It won’t be a particularly graceful moment, but it will be tasty.