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    The Groove Is In The Heart

           It was past ten at night, and I had been driving for over six hours. Los Angeles, where I had spent my summer, felt like a world away. But the city’s memory was still able to physically manifested itself. All I had to do was look to my right. There, thousands of feet below me, and many miles from this windy road that carved it’s way through the Sierra Nevada mountains, the bright lights and urban sprawl of Fresno exploded out of the desert. Fresno reminded me of the city of angels, if only in it’s stark contrast to where I was going: Sequoia National Park. Home of the Giant Sequoia Trees. The largest living organisms on the face of the earth.
           There were no lights on this road, the only illumination being supplied by the headlights of my rented Mustang convertible. And although it was nearly pitch black, I knew I was surrounded by dense forest. More than that, I could feel the presence of giant trees. Like the kind of sensation you get when you know you’re being watched. I couldn’t see them. But I could feel them. They were everywhere.
           A sense of peace and excitement filled every crevice of my being until it had nowhere to go but out, and I laughed and smiled with a purity I rarely experience. I was in the midst of magic once more. Like that one Christmas morning you’ll never forget. The one, that for some reason felt different and special from all the rest, this night was destined to occupy that same sacred space.
           A simple, yet profound, completely zen experience. One of my life’s great moments.
           Surprisingly, considering the remoteness of my location, I was able to still get radio stations. The Mustang had a crankin’ stereo that could pump out enough volume for me to hear music even with the top down, pushing ninety on any interstate. As I made my way into the Giant Forest, I came across a song that I recognized, although I didn’t know it’s name. But I was way into it just the same. It had a killer groove, an infectious riff, and the melody was completely doing it for me. I could make out some of the words: “I couldn’t dance for another” was one line that kept repeating. But the key phrase, the one that I instinctively knew betrayed the song’s title, I couldn’t completely decipher. “The groove is....something, something, something.” As closely as I listened, I couldn’t make it out.
           That song, seeing as it was part of one of my life’s most precious moments, has stayed with me ever since. I’ve not actively tried to find out what song it was, but I knew that someday, the mood would strike me and I would begin the quest to posses it.
           The other night, that quest began. The title came too me in a dream. I didn’t even have to look for it. It found me. How cool is that?
           In my dream, I was sucking face with...a certain girl. Sucking face is actually a rather crass term here. Because it was one of those very long, deep, soft, passionate kisses where our mouths melded, and her delicious wet tenderness seemed to gently engulf my entire face. In fact, I awoke with my mouth open, drooling on my pillow. I would love to have a video of me during the last few minutes of that dream.
           Anyway, during the kiss, I heard the words of that song clearly for the first time. “The Groove Is In The Heart”. I didn’t hear the song itself, or even the melody. Just the words. But I knew where those words belonged. I just knew.
           I woke up, pillow drool and all, the words reticent in my room, as though they had just been said aloud. I immediately thought to myself “Of course. ‘The groove is in the heart’. Look where I’ve come from. Where I’m at. Where I’m going. How apropos.” Then I turned on my computer and went immediately to iTunes, where I searched the song, found it, listened to several different versions, and bought a few of them.
           Now I’m not claiming that this is some big realization of any sort, or that the dream has any great significance. It was just plain gnarly to hear those words in a dream, especially those words, and know exactly where they belong. Very cool.
           And in a way, it closes the loop on the experience that I had on my way to Sequoia.
           Such experiences are born not purely of the mind, but of the whole being. That’s what makes them so rich and powerful. When you can feel something stirring in your heart. When you know there is something happening in your body. When you are aware of your mind, but not in it. When you intuitively sense your connection to something far greater than yourself, and you are truly conscious that “that something” is connected to everything else.
           That’s an experience. And I want more of them. That’s a life. And I want more of it.

    ©2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a groove full of Wrongs) Reserved.

    Note: To hear “The Groove Is In The Heart”, go here.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    The groove is in the heart - how absolutely true. If you don't own your own groove, go out and find one. If yours is buried, dig it up and use it. If is an old groove it will still work. People are still grooving to swing music from the thirties. Couples that have been together a long time are still grooving on each other. Don't ever waste a good groove. Groove on!

    December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGlen Carliss

    Groove on. Rock on. Thank you for your comment.

    And you are spot on. Find it. Dig it up. Steal one and then make it yours. Whatever. But by all means, do it...


    December 30, 2008 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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