The following is taken from my favorite book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach:
Think about that for a moment (for that is all we really have.) You are standing on a crowded street corner of a busy intersection in a big city. Someone bumps into you, knocking the bag from your hand. He apologizes and helps you pick up the spilled items, and then you both go your separate ways. Both of you spent your entire lives to reach this seemingly random point of time where the two of you met. Or was it a really a chance meeting? Your whole life, every decision, action and non-action led you to this encounter with a stranger. Now what?
The choice is yours, to do with as you wish, in that particular moment. The universe doesn’t care. It accepts your desires and responds accordingly.
Recently, as I wandered the Portland Saturday Market I encountered diversity on a grand scale, which is one of the big draws for me. For the most part, we came and went, maybe an exchange of pleasantries, maybe not. But a few of them offered their gift of humanness, and for that I am grateful. They are:
The 8-year-old (approx.) girl playing the violin near the Max tracks. She played with an intensity and emotion well beyond her years. The violin sang, cried, laughed and smiled in response to her effortless display. I wondered which famous violinist had reincarnated as this little girl. She was amazing.
The man playing the didgeridoo. I’ve heard this instrument (if that’s what it’s called) several times on HOS, but never seen/heard one played live. The sounds he produced with it were nothing heard anywhere else.
The empty bucket drum guy by the fountain. Maybe not homeless, but certainly not well off in the least. With no other accompaniment he had several people dancing and clapping, enjoying a rhythm he heard in his mind and then brought it to life with his drum sticks and a dozen 5-gallon buckets.
The hula-hoop girl. Probably more correct to say rhythm gymnast, but she twirled the hoops with every manageable body part without breaking stride or losing a hoop. She was a street performer you don’t find many places.
The Prince Impersonator. He looked quite a bit like the original. With his guitar and soundtrack machine he did a good job of putting on a solo Prince show.
The man some would describe as homeless; I think he’s just in transition, who was selling copies of the newspaper Street Roots. He appreciated my purchase and politely responded with thanks. I got a great little paper with the front page story of Paulo Coelho, which led me to purchase the 10th anniversary edition of his book “The Alchemist.“
And finally all of the artisans displaying their crafts and wares. People doing what they love and putting themselves out there for public scrutiny and praise. I chatted a bit with one artist whose work caught my eye. His name is Justin Slattum. (Find his work here: www.jslattum.com) His work is truly unique and thought provoking. He told me a while ago he wasn’t that committed to selling his work, staying in the far reaches of the Saturday Market scene on occasional weekends. But he turned that around, moved to a more visible space and is at the Market every weekend. I purchased three postcard sized pieces of his:Waiting for Rain, Intuition and Opening the Heart Chakra. He opens at the Atrium Gallery in Portland, OR on October 4 with his show: The Other Side: Chronicles of Near Death.
I wish I could be there for that.
All of these people I met inspired me to continue to work through my stalemate with my first novel Ghost Guide and to continue to submit pther pieces of my work for publication.
As we left Portland that afternoon and headed south to Eugene, the first song that came on my iPod was Shawn Mullins’ Twin Rocks, Or. The singer says he won’t get rich performing small time gigs, etc. and the stranger he’s met replies: “But ain’t it a blessing to do what you want to do.”
Yes, it truly is.