And now for the last post of my three-part series of encounters at the Com Coracao event, featuring my new friend Jovan Dagkovich. Our entire conversation lasted like 15 minutes, but was so totally right on that I want to share it. (Take-away: watch out next time you have a 15 minute conversation with me…:))
Jovan is a filmmaker. One of the first things I learned about him is that he generally thinks spiritual things, self-exploration, ect. is bullshit. I think he was wearing black when I met him. He definitely reminded me of New York.
Despite being a self-professed skeptic, Jovan had just had an awesome week where he learned something about himself. So he was open. And he was nice. So I felt inspired to tell him that I was writing a blog on spirituality and everyday life. As I felt the words leave my mouth, I thought–alright, well, here is the part where I lose him.
Shows how much I know. Actually, what happened was that Jovan excitedly shared something that touched him. And the thing that he connected with beauty… and passion…and spirituality… was the scene from American Beauty where the camera just follows the plastic bag blowing in the wind. You can watch that scene here.
I just re-watched the scene, and I am so grateful and psyched that Jovan pointed this out to me. The scene (and the fact that it inspired a skeptic like Jovan) is a validation of exactly why I am writing this blog. Spirituality does not always find you in a church or require faith. It can hit you during everyday mundane life. In fact, if you do not go to church or believe in any dogma, then everyday life is the only time spirit is going to hit you. And hit you it will (but you will feel no pain…). If we just pay attention and let down our guards a bit, our hearts WILL be opened by even the seemingly smallest of things. A freaking PLASTIC BAG can be a moving experience.
The narration of this American Beauty scene captures this idea perfectly. In the movie, the narrator (Rickie Fitts) says: “You want to see the most beautiful thing I’ve ever filmed? It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that’s the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… and I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.”
God, I love that. In fact, it reminded me of the famous Sufi poet Rumi, who wrote about how he was drunk with his love for the world as an expression of the Divine. Rumi said: “Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.”
Here is to getting in touch with “the life behind things” and the “artistry moving through” our world.