Sheer Bliss

The Peacemakers were, as always, beyond awesome.

Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t good enough for my poor ol’ camera, so you’ll have to content yourselves with some older pics. Here’s Circus Mexicus, May 2005:

The Seattle crowds are getting better. Still not enough straw hats – they’re hard to come by up here – but at least everybody’s learning to count in Spanish. Everybody roared all the words to the songs. Everybody knew all the in-jokes, made Roger proud, and had a spectacular time, and that definitely matters more than haberdashery. However, if I come into money, all of you horribly hat-deprived fans shall have only to ask, and the hat of your dreams is yours.

Roger & Me at J.J.’s Cantina, Cholla Bay, Mexico, in October 2005. You’re dying of envy, aren’t you? You’re pure-yellow jealous he’s wearing my super-awesome hat, and I’m wearing his, and he even remembers my name.

I took a friend tonight who, judging by his face, is now in love with the Peacemakers. I didn’t ask if he’s of Justin’s opinion and now wants to have Roger Clyne’s babies, but that’s okay. I’ll be happy to have Roger’s babies for them both.

Yes, I’m a hopeless fangirl. However did you guess?

Here’s Roger taking the traditional shot of tequila from the audience at Circus Mexicus, May 2006:

If we all lived by the Peacemaker’s creed, life would be utterly simple. Bring peace, take care of each other. That’s it. That’s what Roger tells us to do, every show, and his music makes it happen. I can’t explain it to you. You’ll have to be there. But if we could translate that feeling of love and beauty and community into the everyday world, there would be no war. There would be no dogma. There would be no conflict. Just a lot of people drinking the world and enjoying each other immensely.

I noticed something strange this time. Now that I’ve made the full transition to atheism, now that I’ve grown utterly comfortable with my lack of faith, I felt completely free. Free to enjoy the music, the company, and the beauty. Free to live in the moment, without pressure, feeling the joy and wonder of the world flow through me. I’ve felt this way at Peacemaker’s concerts before, but there was always a touch of anxiety under the sensation. This time, there was no anxiety. Just bliss.

Christians in the future may ask me, “But don’t you miss God? Don’t you wish you could feel the Spirit in you?”

And the answer is, “Not a bit. I have all I need, in the music, in the people, and in this world.”

Even atheists can feel transcendence. Even we can feel this boundless sense of love and awe, but for us, it comes from the natural world, and from the wonders our fellow human beings are capable of. I don’t need to believe in a perfect God in order to have perfect moments like this. For me, it’s actually easier to have them without trying to convince myself of the existence of just such a God. As the song says, “Better beautiful than perfect anyway.”

While the moon wanes and waxes,
Surely death and taxes
Are lurking out there.

Life is grand,
Love is real,
And beauty is everywhere.

Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ., 2007

Sheer Bliss
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