Strong, vulnerable men.

A few weeks ago I went to a PINK concert on a Monday and a Deva Premal & Miten concert that Thursday. (And in between, I re-watched Lou Reed’s Berlin doc, and fell in love with an ethereal band called Active Child.) But I musically digress. I’m here to share with you a vignette on the healing power of The Masculine…

Deva & Miten are iconic in the world of chanting and their integrity on stage is, well, resounding. Miten, who’s a sexy, silver haired Irishman, had a chorus in English that went like so: May the earth rise to meet the sky. “You know gentlemen,” Miten said as he strummed his guitar, “I think this lyric speaks to the masculine, to the heart of our sexuality. It’s what we’re here to give the world, you know. So it’s a bit radical, but would all the men in the audience please stand up.”

Silence. All the men in the concert hall rise. The women started looking around, behind our seats, next to us, taking it in, softly smiling, nodding to each other, like, “Well THIS should be interesting.” And soon they were singing to the melody over and over, May the earth rise to meet the sky.

Deep and medium tones. Tall, short, fat, fit, straight, gay, brown, white, grey, tattooed. Alone and in chorus. All men. Now the women were catching each other’s eyes in a shared “Like, holy wow,” kind of knowing. And we weren’t just misty-eyed, many of us were weeping — that kind of big-tear cry that you try to muffle by holding your breath because it’s so deep and true, and it’s been living in your body for a long time. Ya, that cry. The women were melting into a puddle of gratitude and respect.

With the phenomenal — and I do mean phenomenal — combination of strength and vulnerability, the men carried the women. Those dudes could have powered a major city with their energy — fierce, proud, soft.

Fierce. Proud. Soft. The Masculine needs all three elements to rise.

If The Masculine has confidence without tenderness, it can turn to arrogance. And then there’s no real invitation for The Feminine to show up. And all softness with no fierceness, well that doesn’t give The Feminine a very safe resting place to unfold — and what The Feminine really, really wants to do, is unfold.

Eventually the women stood, all of us on our feet together, and chanted a feminine mantra into the mix. Shiva & Shakti all the way. It wasn’t as hippy orgy as it might sound. It was what happens when you lighten up and open up on a week night in a concert hall with some like-minded people — and it was the religiousness of concert-going at it’s best.

The show ended late. The night was cold. My friend and I hurried to the car to get warm. I cranked the heat. We looked at each other, “So, ya, about the dudes standing up to sing…”

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