Monday, January 23, 2012

Live By the Clap

button for sale here

Even though winter has finally struck the Bay Area, and the rain has been pounding hard and heavy on our heads for the last several days, I'm still living off the high of a run I took way back when the sky was clear and blue.  Few things make me happier than the feeling I get after I've pushed myself to use muscles that, only moments before, felt too lethargic to even tie my shoes.  I may not be an "athlete", but I have learned to appreciate all the amazing accomplishments I can achieve just by using my very own body.  Yes, I can think of few things that are better than this feeling, but in the midst of this particular run, I found one of those elements:  the clap machine.  

Now, this is not a new love, mind you.  It's been weathered through the years, losing and gaining interest at intervals.  It's like rediscovering an overlooked feature in your spouse.  Or unpacking old photographs to discover that you've kept only the most flattering images from happy moments you'd completely forgotten about.  Yes, the clap machine and I are old flames, but at this moment, when I was pushing through asthmatic lungs and sore calves, we were reintroduced.  And the clap machine looked good

Florence + the Machine's "Dog Days Are Over" pumped through my headphones, and quite literally propelled my body into a faster stride.  My arms were covered with goosebumps, and I had the uncontrollable urge to burst into some sort of awkward, full-body pulse that was probably very popular  during the late-90s rave scene.  I wanted to be the clap machine.  I wanted to be completely absorbed by the percussion.

And that, my friends, is when I discovered Life Metaphor #2:  Experience life like it is a clap machine.  Second on my resolutions-that-aren't-really-resolutions-but-more-like-feelings list is to take that purely visceral, dynamic, energized feeling that happens once in a while and enjoy the hell out of it.  Then try to repeat it.  Again.  And again.  And again.  To stream a live staccato of being completely present, completely joyful, and completely alive.  I was reminded of this feeling again after watching Jenny Lawson's zombie apocalypse video.  Why is it so hard to let ourselves be furiously happy?  

After a quick search, I realize that many, many folks out there love the clap machine as I do.  There's this great blurb by Grace Bonney over at design*sponge, and another ode here by Amy Wong.  And then there are the mixes!!  Check out this one or this one here, and if you try to tell me your head didn't start to bob, not even a little, then I will tell you that you have no soul.  Or maybe, just maybe, you need to get outside for a run.

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