Body and Soul: If Half the Game is 90 Percent Mental, What’s the Other Half?

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I was well past the salad days of my formal schooling before I fully comprehended that, sometimes, mental prowess doesn’t do you a bit of good. Sometimes, it can even do the opposite of good. A life lived only from the neck up is not worth living, that sort of idea. Besides, sometimes, as Curly Howard of the Three Stooges sums up: “I’m tryin’ ta think, but nothin’ happens!

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

So it’s especially festive that life at Davidson also affords plenty of moments sublime and intervals hilarious to touch body and soul, moments that have little directly to do with, you know, thinkiness.

Item 1: Yesterday afternoon, a couple of comp tickets to last night’s opening of Leading Ladies were floating around my department. I was on the fence until somebody told me Matt Baum ’10 was one of the leads, in a slapstick romantic British cross-dressing romantic Shakespearean comedy play within a play farce, et cetera, ad hilarium. Seriously, this guy will crack you up, especially in heels. I knew that much already from following his thespian career to date. Put him opposite hysterical co-leading-man-woman Josh Tobin ’10, under the direction of Mark Sutch with a great cast and crew, well…. So I rustled up a date and hustled over to the Duke. A couple hours worth of belly laughs ensued, the kind you can only get when you idle the more thinky, academic parts of your noggin and just go with the flow. Mirth. It does a body good. And Leading Ladies. If you can go, you should.

Item 2: Our next body and soul example comes from next door on Main Street, where my WDAV peeps are toiling down the home stretch of their spring funds drive. Please support them; they share food with me sometimes when I forget to pack snack. Breaking news alert: My phone just rang and it was WDAV putting me on the pledge volunteer schedule to help wind things up tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to see who wins the trip to London!

Listening to the intellectually clever and nimble drive-time patter of the good folks at WDAV, expounding on their knowledge broad and deep of classical music, I sometimes feel like a bit of a boob, having somehow got through Davidson without a music survey class. But just so: WDAV is essential because it brings classical music alive for everyone, boobs included, versed or not in the finer points of the musical arts. And I can assure you that when I hear some certain selection sing out to me, and I sit down and shut up and close my eyes and stop thinking for just one blessed minute and listen, really listen to the music, well, it sure works for me. Body and soul.

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