As I write, I cruise at an altitude of 22,767 ft above the topaz sea, walking amongst the polar caps of the skies. The clouds roll out farther than the eye can see, caressing one another as though long lost lovers, hearkening to the beauty of the sea with rippling clouds that form the mat I glide over. It is the night of the super moon, the night where the moon will find itself closest to our little orb of life, and so the clouds meet the horizon in a brilliant inferno, cutting a stark line through the fabric of the heavens, setting ablaze the sky. There is a poetry in this moment, an indescribable beauty where one feels at peace with the universe. A smile plays itself across my lips. Right here, right now, I am happy.
I am happy.
This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of spending my time in Chicago with my family and friends to attend a wedding. A big, fat Indian wedding, complete with a white horse parading the groom though the streets of downtown Chicago at noon, accompanied by 100 brightly dressed, dancing fools behind him. I watched two people commit to seven lifetimes together under the cavernous roof of a cathedral that sported biblical imagery as a priest invoked the presence of a god with an elephant’s head.
It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
But perhaps I left out one vital detail: the groom who rode through downtown Chicago on a white horse, clad in traditional Indian clothes, could not speak Hindi. In fact, he had never even been to India prior to the wedding. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that his entire family had for generations, (including his own), grown up amongst the vineyards of Alba, Italy. His parents could not converse with us without a translator, and I myself had to pay close attention to make sure I could understand his English through his olive oil accent. And yet, it was here, at this wedding of an Indo-Canadian girl that I had not seen for five years and a pure Italian man that I rediscovered what it means to be happy.
After 3 or 4 hours of dancing the night away, at 1:00 in the morning, the DJ told us that he would play the last song of the night. At this point, this group of mismatching cultures and people had become as though a family. The groomsmen, whose name I still do not know, treated me like an old friend and the love I felt for them was comparable. The sweat we had all shared on the dance floor, the acceptance of each other’s crazy cultures and the overall calibre of this party had forged a beautiful bond. Therefore, when the DJ called the last song everybody linked up in a circle with the bride and groom in the centre. At this point only those closest to the family were left. As the beat drifted into the air, the circle would close in on the newly wedded couple and then recede again. Bum, bum, bum, bum. Dum,
dum, dum, Dum! As the beat reached its crescendo, everyone closed around the couple and started jumping together, yelling words of adoration over the beat. We were celebrating life itself now! It was not about a wedding, or a culture, or anything else. It was life itself!
And it was in this moment of catharsis that I closed my eyes and was swept away by the current of the universe.
Why do we smile? Why do we live? Until this weekend, these questions baffled me. Questions surrounding the purpose of life wrought havoc on my mind and soul. Why? Why damnit! Why?
Questions surrounding the purpose of life wrought havoc on my mind and soul.
The purpose of life:
We live to smile at a complete stranger and share the funniest inside joke ever told for the briefest moment.
We live to watch our friends forget to wear dress shoes with their dress pants and look ridiculous as they parade around wearing sneakers.
We live to laugh with that same friend for hours over how bad that day was for them.
We live to share a momentary glance with an attractive stranger that acknowledges that God created wonders within them and didn’t do too bad with yourself either.
We live to hold our friends close as we share in moments of great triumph and crippling defeat- all the while, never letting go.
We live to dance the night away until our feet swell and our bodies ache, but we can’t help but beg for one last song.
We live to look deep into the eyes of our lover and be forever lost in the universe you two create for a split second.
We live to awaken to the endless possibilities of the new day, cheered on by the universes brightest and most supportive cheerleader.
We live to smell those smells that remind us of who we once were, and to encounter smells that will one day remind us of who we are.
We live to smile.
We live to be happy.
But too often we forget that when the long race is over and cards have been flipped one by one, we will not be remembered for which university we went to, nor the marks we received, nor the awards we collected, but for the smiles we had and the smiles we gifted.
So don’t forget, for I promise I won’t…
Smile! Laugh! Dance! Sing! Enjoy! And smile some more!
You’re on the camera of the life. 😉