The Magic of an Encounter

The Magic of an Encounter

The most magical times in my life have been those moments when I met someone and the connection was instantaneous or they did or said something that was particularly moving and memorable. Likewise there have been places that felt magical, like some sort of spiritual vortex, inexplicable, yet utterly unique and beautiful. And there are those moments spent in the company of an animal, whether domesticated or not, moments when your breath is taken away because of the sheer beauty and magnitude of this creature that you are sharing space with. And then there are those times spent in nature, so exquisite, words cannot do the experience justice.

I had one of those moments last weekend. I was accompanying my husband to the Farmer’s market and happened upon a young violinist, Wael Elhalaby, playing in front of the Union Square Market entrance. I stopped and began recording. The music he wove expressed a deeply soulful, yet playful being. Entranced, I stood video-taping him and when he finished we chatted for a few minutes. That man made my weekend. It was one of those magical moments, beautiful, rare and profound. I made a youtube video and inserted the entirety of that recording into the video. So if you’d like to hear it, click ‘here‘ and go to 3:06 to see the beginning and through to the end of his playing. It’s well worth it. In the description section of that video I include links to all of Wael’s social media as well as how to help support him, if you feel moved to do so.

I’ve been lucky as I’ve had a few of these kinds of encounters. I still remember them in minute detail. A couple even led to friendships that I treasure to this day, others were one-offs and I never saw that person again, but all of them were magical.

When my children were young, we had spent a long hot day in the park and were headed home. Both kids were in, what I referred to as the “hummer” of all strollers. It was a double wide – in other words seated both children side by side. My son in a moment of cranky exhaustion began squirming, managed to unhook the straps securing him in the stroller and when I asked that he sit back down, refused. I tried logic, I tried bribery, I tried cajoling to no avail. I was tired and had zero patience left. My daughter, having been asleep, now awake, began to scream bloody murder and then suddenly a complete stranger appeared by my side and said in a soft voice, “I want you to know what a good mother you are. I can see it in your eyes and your children know it too.” I looked at this woman and burst into tears. She smiled, held her arms open to me and embraced me. Then she whispered, “Thank you for being such a good mom.”

I’ve never forgotten that woman.

Here’s to enjoying the magic.

Courage is not the Absence of Fear…

Courage is not the Absence of Fear…

5 PM – 7th Avenue in Manhattan

I’m not sleeping much these days. The up-side is I’m getting a ton of stuff done. Also, photographs of empty New York City streets, though eerie, have a certain grace to them. I only venture out every few days, but when I do, I’m struck by the same things: the exquisite beauty of New York City, the increasing number of people wearing face masks, the amount of space people are keeping between themselves and others, and the absence of noise.

Someone on social media posted an image like this one, with the caption (I’m paraphrasing) – Remember these? They’d be good to have right about now.

Every morning I go over the things I’m grateful for. It’s a routine at this point, something I’ve been doing for more years than I can count. Only now my list has increased exponentially. Things I once so took for granted as to not even make the list, are now at the top, among them are: electricity, food in our refrigerator, my husband’s breathing next to me during these early morning hours when I cannot sleep, but keep hoping I will be able to, the sound of sea gulls calling to each other, a friend texting or calling to check in, the little snoring noise our cat, Merlin makes when he’s curled up next to my head at night, knowing we have enough toilet paper for the next week, who knew that would ever make the list!? All the people in my life whom I love. The list is long. I’m so grateful.

Gratitude and fear are not easy companions. The fear may still be there, but its power is greatly diminished. The other day my husband and I were discussing fear and how insidious it is. He reminded me, “Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s going through it.” Here’s to courage, and noticing those thousands of moments of joy and beauty in every given day.

Merlin knows he shouldn’t sit directly on top of a piece I’m working on.
Until I look away, and then he does this…
My interpretation of this project by Sue Spargo is giving me great joy at the moment. For more about it, and my collaboration with Sue, you can go to my YouTube videos all contained in the Playlist #instastitchwithsue.