My music partner, Bill Florian, and I perform the music for a great many weddings all over Southern California. Most weddings are usually happy occasions, and doing music for them is a nice way to spend several hours. Additionally, Bill and I love making music and it is easy and fun to make music together. Even so, doing weddings is our job. We create music according to contract for people we may have never even seen before the actual participation in the ceremony. There is generally no emotional bonding with the people who want our music; they are just nice clients for whom we want to do our best. Therefore, it is up to us to create our own world of happiness and pleasure then extend it outward into the gathering setting the emotional tone through music for the ceremony.
This past Saturday, we were happily doing our job creating music for a wedding. We were doing very well and having fun, but we had a sense of we're here, They are Over There. Separateness.
As we began playing the favorite piece of music assigned to the height of the ceremony, the bride looked over at us and smiled a smile that radiated upon us like a sunbeam sparkling on water. Bill and I felt the "magique" hit. No longer were we separate contractors at an event. We were an intimate part of the pageant in the church; we instantly felt more creatively inspired as we played. We were compelled to smile, and as we did, the people seated closest to us in turn smiled. I watched the entire congregation come alive in light, warmth and unity as the smile rippled its way through the church touching everyone. No longer were any of us separate. At least for these few moments, we were all one in the spell cast by that smile.
The unifying power of a smile is amazing. W e humans need this soul contact no matter what kind of environment in which we live. Be it crowded and connected, or sparse and isolated, in our daily lives we need affirmation of specifically belonging to others of our kind. We need recognition that we are all part of one energy, "one human family"; we need reassurance that we are ok just as we are however we are showing up that day. A smile given to another can do all this.
Sometimes I play a game I think quite fun and rewarding. As I walk down a street, I commit something of a cultural no-no by making eye contact and smiling at a passing stranger. I love to see what happens. Often, I have a goal of seeing how many smiles I can collect in the time it takes me to walk to my destination. Seeing what happens is the fun part. Some people completely close down in fear and walk past more quickly. Others will receive my smile, get flustered, lower their eyes and walk faster, but often with a tiny smile on their lips. I consider those "breakthroughs". Then there are those real "scores" who meet my gaze, and in full recognition smile openly at me giving and receiving joy. I have made a positive difference to their day and they to mine. Usually, we will both pass along more smiles as we go on our respective ways.
I have another musician friend who wrote a little ditty that says in one of its many verses, "Take a little smile and pass it on, pass it on. Take a little smile and pass it on. And before you know it, your heart will surely show it as you take a little smile and pass it on". Increase the joy in your life. Take a smile and pass it on. Reassure and unite with another in recognition of being part of one human family. Light up someone's life with the power of a smile and let it ripple outward like sunlight on the water to make a brighter day felt by everyone.
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