Ray Lewis played his last home game yesterday and gave the viewers at M & T Bank stadium and home two chances to see the infamous “Ray Lewis is getting crazy pumped up” dance. First, when entering the field and again at the final snap of the game.
I’ve seen this before but as I watched it one final time I was struck by how I wanted to both keep my eyes on him and turn away in discomfort. If you haven’t seen it, this dance is that of a victor and predator. He slides and shakes, stomps, growls, snarls. This is the stuff “men are cavemen” jokes are made of: chest thumping, grunting, pounding at the earth. It’s primal and a part of us.
Really, for all the grace we’re capable of we also have this primordial instinct that makes us capable of things more lively! Things that we forgot are fair game because we’ve been reminded too many times that to show such excitement is “tacky” or “stupid” or “premature.” We’re capable of things done unapologetically. Dancing and karaoke! Things a little more lasting, like loving, forgiving, getting up and going for it over and over and over again. It is not a dance for the naive. It’s daring, dark and dangerous. It’s done without a known outcome.
When we tell someone “I love you” for the first time. When we submit a piece or go for the part. When we leave the secure job. When we have that scary test done. When we finally face that the person we love so much is dying. When we apologize. When we give a second or third or fourth chance. This dance we’re doing shares our pain and our hope. It’s not easy but it’s ours and now more than ever maybe, we need to be dancing out the pain and joy and truth we have hiding in our bones!
(Also relevant, Go Irish!)