Tripping the Light Fantastic

For a period of time in my twenties, the nights of the week I stayed in could be counted on two fingers: Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesday meant drink specials; Thursday was ladies’ night (essentially, more drink specials); Friday was of course Friday; Saturday was the biggest whoop-it-up night; and then Sunday was a chilled-down locals’ night. Catch up on sleep for two days, do it all again.

On many of these nights, my friends and I stayed out until 4am, when the lights came on and we were ushered out the door. What, you might ask, could have prevailed upon us to fritter away that much of our lives in a bar? Well, I’ll tell you: For me it was the dancing.

For as long as the DJ would crank out the tunes, I shook my moneymaker. Sweat happened. And I’m talking blow-dry-your-hair-under-the-hand-dryer sweat. As soon as the hair stopped dripping, I’d head back out for more. There was just something about losing myself in the music and letting go of everything else around me.

It’s been a lot of years since I’ve done that. And, to tell you the truth, I enjoy getting enough sleep every night! Have for a long time now. But, sometimes the music calls, and when it does, sometimes it’s good to answer.

Saturday night a band named The Mulligans called me to the Emerald Coast Convention Center, and off I went, with friends. While this was not a 4am-kind-of-night (which I’m thankful for), it was quite the soiree and we absolutely got down.

If you have a chance to go to a Mulligans concert, go. The band members have backgrounds as varied as CEO and entrepreneur, Marine Corp fighter pilot and airline pilot, professional musician, Navy EOD Specialist, and pastor. There’s founder Edwin Watts, band leader Steve Spayde, vocalist Ray Angerman, guitarist-vocalist Dan Mossman, guitarist Tim Richey, keyboardist Brad Sanko, drummer Harry Eckel; and bass guitarist Greg Roth. Together, they magically rock the place.

Picks from The Allman Brothers, Santana, Neil Young, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Beatles, Bob Seger… all these and more, roll off the stage, pulling the entire packed room onto the dance floor. We grooved to Black Magic Woman, sang along to God Bless the USA, shimmied to Mustang Sally, gyrated to Nights in White Satin, spun and swung to Taking Care of Business, and kicked up our heels to Maybe Baby. And sweat happened.

It felt so good to just let loose, and apparently I wasn’t alone in that feeling because we were surrounded the entire night by energized, laughing, hair-down men and women who were really cutting a rug. We danced with people we’d never met, and in some cases still haven’t. At the end of the night, not only did my pores feel washed clean from all the perspiration, I was so thoroughly spent that sleep pulled me in deep and didn’t let go ’til morning.

And maybe that’s the nitty-gritty of why things like dancing, writing, traveling to a new destination, painting a picture, designing a necklace, rearranging the furniture, or whatever fluffs your stuff – feels so exhilarating. Because when you’re done, if you’ve done it right, you ARE spent. You’ve let go enough to push your essence out into the world and you’re left pleasantly emptied and freed. You have a picture, or a necklace, or new memories… and maybe you have sweat.