Feeling God's Pleasure · Pleasure of Creating · Spiritual Places

Flash Mobs: Surprised By Joy

I love the Flash Mobs who surprise by joy, often with spontaneous (or planned) explosions of public music and dance.

There are lots of variations. “Flash mobs” share (at least in the videos I’ve seen) in train stations, hospital lobbies, outdoor parks, or shopping malls. One performer arrives, sets up, and begins to play, sing, or dance. Bit-by-bit, they are joined by other artists (or interested parties) who enter into the work. Dancers move to prerecorded music by the supergroup ABBA or Rodgers and Hammerstein. Vocalists sing Handel’s Messiah; musicians play Ravel or Tchaikovsky. (Check the links for examples.) A videographer catches the faces of the spectators, whose looks range from wariness, to pleasant surprise, to total engrossment and pleasure, even outbursts of joy.

But I want to reflect on what I see in the musicians and dancers in Flash Mobs:

Flash Mob Adam Kliczek/Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Flash Mob
Adam Kliczek/Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0

1)  For the most part they betray no self-consciousness, seemingly losing themselves in the moment. They’re focused on the transcendent goal of joining together for the love of their art and audience. Or they are just enjoying a spontaneous moment of fun with friends or strangers.

2)  The element of surprise is an important part of the moment. The performers have the joy of creating it and the audience of receiving it. Or perhaps the participants have surprised themselves by a new breath of courage.

3) The artists embrace newness. The musicians must get used to a new venue and acoustics that demand a different focus. The dancers must dance on dirt or dust, not on a real floor. All accept and go with it, incorporating it into the moment.

Flash Mobs: Seems to be much I can absorb for a new day.

What do you see?


6 thoughts on “Flash Mobs: Surprised By Joy

  1. I’m thinking we all can create our own flash mob every day by treating others as Jesus would. Our small acts of love and kindness can catch fire and infect onlookers in much the same way as these performers… if we’re brave enough to start it.

  2. Yes, Nancy, I think we just get too absorbed in daily life to step back and take new risks. I know at least I do. I love the phrase “beauty unaware.” Thanks.

  3. I, too, love flash mobs. It makes me wonder what seeds of talents lay dormant in each of us. It leads me to hope that when we as individuals unite, those seeds bloom in a release that surprises those watching, but especially those participating. And what joy it would be to experience that abandonment to self-consciousness, to be amazed by the expression of talents buried inside ourselves. What beauty unaware we must possess!!

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