Many years ago, Jody and I went to a Toronto Raptors basketball game. It was at the Air Canada Centre. Last night I retraced our steps.
I walked in the door, escalated myself to the heavens, and then proceeded even more upward to the very top row of the ACC. Way below me were an array of red and blue ants, otherwise known as professional basketball players warming up.
Directly ahead of me, about twenty feet away, was a large screen hanging from the ceiling. As the game unfolded, I forced myself to watch the ants rather than lapsing into TV mode. I’d glance up occasionally at a closeup of a player taking a free throw but mostly I was faithful to the “here and nowness” of it all.
A Raptors game can be a full body experience. Employees roamed around with heavy cameras on their shoulders, watching for fans jumping up and down, smiling, laughing, hugging and in general having a good time. Although I suspected that part of the fervor was an effort to get oneself on the big screen, it was still great fun. Kids bouncing, arms of all ages in the air, mouths agape … go for it you Raptorites! Children especially were totally themselves. Their friends and their parents shared in the joy. So very cool.
Adult moving and grooving seemed to peak when the team’s dancing girls bounced up the stairs with t-shirts to throw. There even was a multi-barrelled gun on the court, sending a rain of shirts skyward. But who cares about the motivation? Give me an event with happy faces and I’ll be happy.
I loved the energy of cheering fans in their thousands. I also love the energy of sitting with one person, talking about our lives. And the energy of silent aloneness, watching the tapestries of life parading behind my closed eyes.
I love it all