Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Being Moved: Part 2

By Andrewtix

A few weeks ago, I reported on new research on the experience of being moved, a common experience, I believe, but also one that appears relatively unappreciated in our culture. In the next few posts, I want to follow up by sharing some additional examples and elaborating further.

Today, I want to begin this series with a few examples that liken the experience of being moved to music.

Yesterday, I was reading some poetry by Mary Oliver, whose poetry I’ve shared before in this blog. This poem is called “Drifting,” and it appears in her collection “Blue Horses.”

I was enjoying everything: the rain, the path
wherever it was taking me, the earth roots
beginning to stir.
I didn’t intend to start thinking about God,
it just happened.
How God, or the gods, are invisible,
quite understandable.
But holiness is visible, entirely.
It’s wonderful to walk along like that,
thought not the unusual intention to reach an answer
but merely drifting.
Like clouds that only seem weightless
but of course are not.
Are really important.
I mean, terribly important.
Not decoration by any means.
By next week the violets will be blooming.
Anyway, this was my delicious walk in the rain.
What was it actually about?

Think about what it is that music is trying to say.
It was something like that.

This poem raises, for me, several questions.

What is the experience of being “wrapped up” in a moment?

What do such experiences encourage? Thinking about what is most meaningful? Thinking about God?

What are such experiences for?

This is a question to which I hope to return in future posts. But, today, I find it intriguing how Oliver refers to music as an answer.

This reminds me of a classic Nooma video by Rob Bell called “Rhythm.” Similar to Oliver, Bell reflects on how God is like music. He notes:

When I think of God, I hear a song.
It’s a song that moves me.
It has a melody and it has a groove.
It has a certain rhythm.
And people have heard this song for thousand and thousands of years
across continents and cultures and time periods.
People have heard this song and found it captivating.
And they’ve wanted to hear more.


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