Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gypsy Rhythm

One of my acquaintances from school is a Jazz violinist. A while ago he spent some time in the Balkans living with Gypsies and learning their violin techniques. When he came back to the states he formed what is now known as the Gypsy Rhythm Project. I finally decided it was high time I went to hear his group and took along a friend who is also a talented violinist. They were performing at a very nice steak house. The music and the food were fabulous. During the performance I couldn't help but notice a man who appeared to be inebriated. He danced between the tables like Zorba the Greek, arms held above his head, fingers snapping away.
A while later he came up and pleaded with the band to play a request. His request was granted and before I knew it, he and his wife were dancing in the small space next to our table. I have never seen anything like it. He held her close, looked into her face and told her over and over, "You're my darling, you're my baby. You are the most beautiful woman in the world." I had never witnessed a man more profusely declaring his love for his wife. It was so beautiful. And even more extraordinary was the look on her face. It was evident that she believed every word to the core of her being.
Later in the evening when the band took a break, I was able to meet this dancing gentleman and discovered that he was not drunk, but was indeed a gypsy. He told me. "No one knows about our real culture."
And I must profess, that for me it is true. I know very little about gypsies. But watching that man completely uninhibited in pouring out his affection for his wife, I knew God was speaking to me and telling me, "That is how I want to love you if you would only receive it." For years I have known that I have difficulty receiving the love of God. I think that is true for a lot of us. Especially women who have been in abusive relationships in the past, or those who come from condemning or works oriented churches. But that night I got a breakthrough, and I wasn't at church, and I wasn't at prayer. Watching a gypsy dance with his wife in the candlelight by the side of my table, I finally understood the scripture that tells us that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags, and how utterly unworthy we are of that tremendous love God has for us - and yet, instead of being overwhelmed with my unworthiness, I was instead overwhelmed by the incredible generosity and wonder of such an incredible love. A love I want to drown in everyday.


Constantine said...

Ahh...a life lived fully, with passion and vigor, more as I imagine it was meant to be lived, as with your gypsy friend, is sacramental. We don't need "religion" to explain everything to us. It’s the difference between the Immanence and the Emmanence of God.

voixd'ange said...

I know - that experience touched me in more ways than one. I realized as well that enjoying your life to the fullest has nothing to do with money or social status . . .