Sunday, January 11, 2015

I See… Flash Reunions

There are very few things more electrifying than a well-organized and executed flash mob. The  arranged spontaneity of 50 or so apparently innocent bystanders breaking out in choreographed dance and song lifts my heart and soul to new heights of happiness. Although I have never personally been caught in the cagey clutches of flash mob on location, I still remember the magic of my first viewed flash mob on youtube. While regular-looking people milled aimlessly about in an ornately cavernous train station somewhere in Europe, scurrying for the 5:00 pm Express, a stealth disco beat started lilting out of the station PA system.  Then, before you had a chance to cognitively process what should be happening next, the human dominoes started to fall and synchronized arms and legs were swinging to pulsating music filling the hall. Everyone was mesmerized by the effect, including two buzillion youtube viewers. I was one of them. 

The Mormon Third Eye sees one puny flaw in the typical flash mob scenario- it’s not truly spontaneous- it is merely arranged to appear that way.  What if… what if… you could be a part of a real “flash” experience? One where participants just naturally flowed together, with little or no preplanning or practice? Is it even possible?

The Mormon Third Eye says “yes!” and has the evidence to prove it.  For the past 4-5 years or so, my extended family has been inexorably transitioning through mid-life joys and sorrows; parents are passing on, sons and daughters are getting married and leaving and returning on missions, etc… This stage of extended family life requires all of us to be in one place at the same time.  Various brothers and sisters have decided quite spontaneously and efficiently to piggy back family reunions before or after seminal family events.  After a few ad-hoc reunions associated with funerals and weddings, it appears that we have got the lack of planning down to a science. The only advance coordination is knowing when each family arrives in town and ensuring that we stay at the same hotel- the rest we leave up to chance and last-minute collaboration.  

Inevitably there are long, late-night lively games and discussions and perhaps a meal or two together, with the dinner location decided no more than 15 minutes in advance. One minute we are hanging around temple doors with reverent anticipation, waiting for a fresh new bride and groom to appear-  the next minute we are all sequestered in a single hotel room suite, running separate, competing discussions on quilting, missionary sons, BYU football, and de-cluttering homes, all while nieces and nephews are simultaneously talking smack over a game of “Suspend.”  The only requirement is that we spend time together. 

Why? Because this is how we roll- Tait family “flash reunions.” They are much more inspirational and satisfying than the most tightly choreographed flash mob.  I highly recommend it. 

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