Monday, March 21, 2011

what is it good for?

during the japanese earthquake and tsunami one of my sisters texted me and asked if this was the beginning of the end. with their mayan roots and supersticions, half of my mexican friends think it is. then i woke up yesterday and NPR (which possibly won't be receiving any federal funding henceforth) told me that we'd joined with France and England to bomb Syria.

oomph. beginning of the end or not, what's happening to our poor world?

saturday, i had a woman throw her hands up at me because one of her friends entrees came out a few minutes after the others. i had already apologized and warned the table there was a mistake -- it would be a minute -- but that her dessert was on us. i wish i had video of it. up flew the woman's hands, then in a violent gesture she waves them at the empty place between her friend's fork and knife.

it's food! i wanted to shout. in the grand scheme do you see how little your getting upset is doing? how much more harm it's actually causing both of us? instead, the table got an extra dessert and the woman placed her hands over her heart and bowed to me in gratitude.

note: if anyone's every irrationally angry at you, offer them chocolate ice cream. it cures all.

also sunday morning, as you might know, i was part of my first flash mob, dance thing. it was quite the experience.

my friend, nicole holst, wanted to protest the MTA's fare hikes, so she made a little song and dance for us to perform on the F train. nervous doesn't describe our mindsets. the plan was to start performing once the train went under the tunnel giving us about 3 uninterrupted minutes.

we sat on the train in our regular clothes and then waited in agony through the necessary stops. then it was the York Street and time.

nicole sang the first two verses alone before any of us dancers joined her. i'm still amazed at her audacity. i was so nervous, when i danced my elbows never left my side. then we were through the tunnel, and it was over.

some people taped it on their phones. one younger passenger had a huge smile on his face the whole time. a few clapped. we performed it twice more, in Union Square and in front of City Hall. each time was just as scary.

i wish we could all feel that way a little more frequently. it made me feel the same way that travelling does. a little ballsy, less safe, invigorated.

then, i woke to the war on Syria news brief and thought, what a shame that we still fix global problems with violent anger. gesturing angrily at the empty space between knife and fork. why can't we more often go the song and dance route of fixing things?

am i being naive? yes, certainly.

but more and more i see how it's about cultivating happiness. i'll say it again, we're affecting others with how we act. and we don't know how grand those consequences could be.

hopefully, we'll be lucky enough that all those greater problems stay out there in the world. but for as long as they do, we can make our little spheres nicer, more forgiving, sillier. because you can never tell what good might come of your happy sphere bumping into someone elses.

besides, if the world's ending why would you want to spend even a minute of that time hating on anyone?

(having said that, it didn't stop me from becoming irrationally angry at my table that stayed for nearly three hours yesterday and then tipped less than 20 percent. but cultivating happiness is a process! and reminding myself of my effort helped...a bit.)

here are two of the rate hike protest videos. i prefer the second (because my arms aren't glued to my rib cage) but the first was the scariest so... sigh... here it is:

and the other (listen for the spectator yucking it up in the background)


  1. Corrie, that's awesome! You guys did such a good job. I wish you could have seen Violet when I was playing the video. She was clapping along and bouncing up and down. As I've said before, you have a lot of courage. And you are you are a fine dancer :-)

  2. aww! shoot. play it again for her and get her on tape. that's so adorable! miss you girl. xoxo

  3. I am proud mama over here, and funny I just watched the Secret for the first time before they did this and in it they mention how silly it is that people try to protest things in angry demonstrations. They said Martin Luther King was so effective because he realized the only way to combat war/hatred was with love and peace. I'd like to think that is what we did.

  4. so cute!! :) and you look way less scared than I would have been dancing in public like that :P

  5. Haha I like that.