I love The Catcher in the Rye.
Why do I love The Catcher in the Rye?
Because nothing happens.
Our main character, Holden Caulfield, goes from one scenario to the next...and...that's about it. Sure there's a reason he's in manhattan and most of the situations have some vague goal that he's trying to accomplish, but overall everything just sorta...happens...with no significance whatsoever. This is a John Hughes movie before he ever picked up a camera, and of course I'm thinking more Ferris Bueller's Day Off than Breakfast Club. Whatever the case, I love this book because through these random, intermingling events, there is something relatable and quite memorable about it. Holden seems to think so to; which is why he chose this story to tell.
Sometimes we have our own Catcher in the Rye moments. Those days where your life just takes turn after turn, not in ways that alter your future, but just in ways you never expected. We get caught up in the day to day routine, seeing the same people and doing the same things, coming back to the same projects or visiting the same places, that mostly we never think about what would happen if we just took a break. I'm not saying stay at home or go on vacation type of thing, but just forget about all the stuff you're worrying about today and just live - and see where life directs you. It's sort of spontaneous without being crazy; which most people seem to believe are synonymous. It's going with the flow. Letting the wind fill your sails. Going on auto-pilot. You get the picture.
In essence: what if we stopped saying no and just "ok." What would the moment bring?
I had one of these moments this past memorial weekend.
It started out like any normal weekend (and this sentence started out like every other sentence) where I hung out with the same friends and planned on doing the same things. The most exciting thing to happen so far was attending the USEF Futbol Final at Fado's Irish Pub with Diego and Colin; and wow was it packed. However, I believe that day ended mostly uneventfully. Sunday was where things got interesting, and it was only after spending almost the entire day doing the normal church/hangout routine.
At 6:30 pm I go to see my friend Marshall (one part of the Marshall and the Moondance band) do an acoustic performance in between a free show of ariel dancers. After seeing them and some other traditional dancing Marshall and I decided to go to Lamar Pedestrian Bridge to watch a street magician - a friend of Marshall's who was at the show and whom he had only met once before. After watching some sweet street magic we contemplated what else to do, and the girls who were with Marshall mentioned something about 21st street co-op. I know a friend who lives there so I call him up. Dominic says there's a wedding going on and a reception, so assuming it might be interesting we drive on over.
There's something fascinating about weddings in this type of setting. It being not too terribly traditional or privatized. I'm reminded of a parable Jesus told about a dinner that was being thrown (I'm sure it was a metaphor for the kingdom of heaven or something) and the guests made excuses the day of and didn't show. So the host tells his servants to go invite everyone in the town, rich or poor, to come to the dinner party instead. When this was done he again told his servants to scour the countryside for even more misfits or hungry, and he wanted his house full so they could party. Weddings themselves back in that day were quite the occasion. Jesus attended one that went on for days, so long, in fact, that they ran out of wine and he had to turn barrels of water into wine so that they could keep celebrating - even those who weren't invited.
Here I am at this wedding reception being completely uplifted. Immediately all the troubles that may have been plaguing me are gone, washed away, because life is happening right there in front of me. Who cares what may be going on in my life anymore - it was time to celebrate - and I wasn't going to worry about it.
Eventually my friend Cory shows up, who I had texted earlier that day and said we should hang out...no...we needed to hang out. Marshall and the girls leave, but me and Cory stick around just to see what happens. Interestingly enough a girl he hasn't seen in a year or so runs into him, and get this - She's a bridesmaid! At this point I'm completely in awe. Meeting new people is one thing, and running into old friends is another, and here I am witnessing all of this at one simple wedding. Spirits are high and I feel lifted alongside them. I felt blessed.
Soon some fire tumblers came out to put on a show and I was struck with delight at the things I had already seen that day. Ariel dancers. Street Magician. Now this. How did I get here?
We stayed at the reception till 3 a.m. and it was still going when we left them dancing to some cuban music in the party room. I got to meet some amazing people. I got to experience a fun-filled day. All because I just kept saying "ok" to whatever situation came up next.
"Come see my show at 6:30. I'm playing for twenty minutes."
"Wanna see some street magic?"
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24629311 w=500&h=281]
"How about 21st street Co-op? They usually have some fun parties on weekends."
"Wanna going to a wedding?"
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24669992 w=500&h=281]
"Wanna stick around for the reception?"
I now live for these types of moments.
Mattias is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He often writes about his observations about life, the human condition, spirituality, and relationships. He also enjoys writing about movies, pop culture, formula one, and current events. Often these writings are 'initial thoughts' and un-edited, as authentic as possible, and should be considered opinions. If you're interested in commenting on his work, or continuing the conversation, you should consider following him on Twitter or share an article on social media, where he would love to engage even further. Consider subscribing via RSS for more.