One Heart, One Mind: A Streetlight Manifesto

 In the dimly lit arena, we become as one. I can make out vaguely humanoid shapes, but without the distinguishing features that serve as the focus of so much of the day-to-day grind. No way to discriminate and judge one another. The band begins to play. Electric, horn-driven ecstasy flows from their instruments. The trombone and saxophone duel, a debate for the ages- for truth. The electricity rises and spreads from the stage to the crowd. It begins to awaken. Memories are stirred of why they came here, what drove them to this dark collection of misfits. Soon the power is too much and it shocks the crowd into action—a pulsating, perspiring pit of purity swirls around the arena. The crowd goes and soon I lose myself to the crowd. I too become one with the music, one with the truth and the purity channeled through the brass and through the strings and through the vocal chords.

No longer am I myself. I am one with the Streetlight, one with the Manifesto. I am carried away and join the we. ‘I’ is no more. Only we. We seem to be in chaos, jumbled and jostled, with power punches and scattered skanking, yet we are one. The chaos is the order. The truth is too pure to hold still- it demands movement, electrifying us to action, to continue in the purity of the pulsating, perspiring pit. On and on. It seems to never end.
When we slow down and I begin to drift out of the we, I notice the sweat and the smell of the underground. Only outside the we do I begin to remember the toils and pains of school and work, the grind that awaits. As I start to lose the drive, the transcendent touch of truth, the horn-driven electric ecstasy, returns. The crowd remembers once more the purity and power of the pulsating pit and I become we again.
Worry and anxiety drains from my body as I lose myself to the music. We are there for truth, for the liberation and freedom sung from the stage that stretches to touch all of us. In the midst of the pit’s pure pulsating chaos, smiles are shared, hands outstretched to lift a falling friend, as we join together in collective harmony, letting the truth flow through us. The anonymity of the crowd makes us one, no longer shackled to appearance and expectations. The power of the music stripping away the trappings of the world, leaving only the purity of transcendent truth that carries us together to new heights.
Fists fiercely raise in collective cries against the pressures and prejudices of the outside world. We rejoice in the freedom of ‘us’, rejecting the false notions of individuality and worth. The pit is pure electric truth channeling through all of us. The truth that I wish to float in and embrace. A truth made transcendent by the collective experience. Together we pulsed and punched and skanked to the beat of that magnificent horn-driven, electric truth long into the night.  

I lost myself and found myself in the WE.
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