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Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Installment Two: Kin Domains support creativity

This is Part Two of a short story I wrote, The Musician in Me, published on March 7, 2009

On a good day I’d play for about forty-five minutes. On a not so good day, I’d play for about an hour. It was on one of the not so good days that something miraculous happened.

The location was a beautiful dock where water-taxi’s let off tourists ready to dine and shop. A gentle summer breeze blew salty air over the tops of decorative trees and benches lined a heavily trafficked boardwalk. Occasionally, horn blasts from private boats rent the air. Perfect was my first thought.

As usual, I fumbled a bit getting started not sure what the audience wanted to hear. You could always tell the mood after a few pieces. If people stopped and threw in money after a particular song, I’d play another of similar style.

I played for about fifteen minutes and folks just kept walking past ignoring my open case and me. For the first time, I was ready to give up before I really had finished my warm up. From the corner of my eye, I scanned the environment. My gaze settled on a vagrant shuffling down the walkway. He took a seat on a bench about five feet in front of me.

His hair was a kinky gray. His clothing exploded with every design and color sequence imaginable. His cocoa brown face was etched with deep age lines. The kind of lines that spoke of a happy person—you know the ones that indent upward from a perpetual smile. My mom had always called vagrants ancestor spirits sent to us from God to give us timely messages.

Our gazes locked, I smiled. He smiled back several teeth missing from the grin. His eyes twinkled with merriment. I finished the piece I was playing and he clapped. When I resumed again, he reached for a brown paper bag. After careful scrutiny, he pulled out a handkerchief laid it on his lap then emptied the contents of the bag onto it. A sandwich, an apple, some raw vegetables and a cookie. Since it was five p.m., I imagine this was his dinner.

He arranged all the items purposefully on the handkerchief as I well imagined someone arranging a place setting at a fine restaurant. He then proceeded to eat. No matter how long—or short my piece, he managed to set down his food and clap. While he ate I watched his feet. His toes tapped to the music, even my classical selections. I couldn’t help but note his shoes. They appeared to be the only new item on his person. Highly polished brown leather, thick sole. Very sturdy. Every time I made contact with his gaze his eyes told me that he knew I played just for him. It was as though we were in our own private outdoor amphitheater.

(End of part two)

(Watch for part three--the final installment)


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