the older i get the more my inner southern baptist pops up at peculiar and unexpected moments. the first time it happened was in the front row at sting’s sacred love tour performance at the rosemont in illinois on february 27, 2004. joy rose, one of sting’s “back-up” singers, was going to town on “whenever i say your name.” she embodied the song – literally. the lyrics, the music, the melody, the harmony… she was the vessel for some otherworldy talent, some holy inspiration.
standing at the foot of the stage, not three feet from joy, i had no control over my religious instinct. the left hand went up to the sky; a lightning rod for divinity. the eyes closed; no stimulous other than the music. the head hung down and started to shake as if to say ‘no’ but meaning, ‘holy father, yes! you are here! i recognize your presence.’
i was mortified. i had no idea where this old-school, tent-revival, vacation-bible-school baptist came from. but there she was. jung would have a heyday analyzing my behavior in the context of the collective unconscious.
this same peculiar behavior accompanied my discovery of this on youtube – slide to 3.21 only if you absolutely must: