Lady Liberty to my left and the Freedom Tower to my right at 199 State St. Brooklyn, New York, and it basically just fell in my lap. How does such a fitting metaphor have me here in such a historically rich place? Lord knows I have my share of friends, and they have their share of networks, but I never expected this. These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive and well! I love New York, and I want to come back. If I could land a well-paying source of income, I could most assuredly live here. Like Nancy said last night, “If you stop and listen, you can hear the hum”

I want to kickstart the “hum” in my life. I’m taking my sweet old time doing so, but I truly do. I want to get up, move, make things happen, and make my way through the streets with purpose. I can do that again, but this time with a different purpose. A purpose on a grander scale. The thought occurs to me often, “I can do whatever I want” I mean, within reason of course, but this thought was non existent in the old me. Particularly because I had everything that I wanted, and never felt the need for more. In my eyes, I had everything. In general, I did have everything.

This is different though. Now, everything means sustaining this family on my own. Even though I have the safety net, I have to secure a dependable living, which I know I can do, but I have other facets of responsibility to consider as well. I have a child in college, I have a grandchild on the way, and I have a son starting high school. It feels like I’m dabbling in life’s many experiences all at once in some sense. I don’t know why God thinks I’m so good at multitasking and juggling, I’m really not. However, when God calls, you better answer I gather. I don’t know if He’s calling, but He sure thinks highly of me. I guess I should bask in that thought, but it tends to make me anxious. Perhaps that feeling is just experience rearing its familiar head.

I’ve visited a few places that left enough of an impact on me that it didn’t seem like a place at all; Savannah, Ga., Windsor, Canada, South Padre Island, TX., Nassau, Bahamas, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, and now New York, NY. These places all share a unified concept, just like many other places I’ll visit, and that is they represent emotion, passion, love, culture, language, asthetic value and rich, experiential knowledge of people. The world is made of people, so the more we’re exposed to them, the more we become comfortable being ourselves in the world. We create mental connections with those we encounter on the way home from work, and on our way to band practice. We may not have an extended or intimate conversation with people regularly, but we are a part of one another’s passing time. A human fragment attached to our day, therefore us. Haven’t you ever passed someone on the street, took one look at them and thought “I wonder what their life is like?” No? Never? Well you should. You should, because you’ll hear the hum inside of them. It’s a feeling, not a place. It’s a piece of the pie with surround sound, and we’re in charge of getting those details. They’re the details that make people a person, and I’m enthralled with learning what makes us all tick.

If you have asked that question, then you know what I meant by “a human fragment” People touch our soul, whether it is in a way that we get satisfaction from or not, it is true. People come in and out of our lives on a daily basis, and it can just as easily be a stranger you see wheeling a shopping basket around, carefully as so to not lose the excessive amount of returnables hanging off of it, as it could be someone you’ve slept next to for over twenty years. We have no control over who we fall in love with, and almost no control over those we invest in. I give my heart, freely whether it is to my lover or my best friend. Simply because we are human beings and have this incessant need to love, we crave the human contact. I crave human contact. When I find myself in a an unfamiliar place, I go out of my way to meet people. I spark up conversation. It can be mundane initially, but eventually I’ll guide the conversation into territory where we talk about the geography, history, and sooner or later, some retrospective memory of this place pops in their head, and I get this vastly layered short story of how this particular location became significant to the individual. It’s what I like to call unofficial participant research. It’s unofficial because it certainly isn’t academic by nature, but I’m participating in people researching, so I find it fascinating!

I love this stuff! The kind of inspiration I get from these observations is gold. One can only learn outside the box from people and experience, books cannot provide it. Personal stories are manifestos of life. They are irrefutable happenings with lives, emotions, and livable, credible perspectives shaped by wisdom. I thrive on it. So, I try to listen more than I talk, and for those of you that know me, you know this is a daily struggle for me 🙂