I was driving through Missouri late in the evening, my windows open to the blistering heat and the sound of crickets ringing in my ears. A meteor shower rained down over the dark, forrested hills while Bach played on the radio-one of the Brandenburg Concertos, I think. I was only 10 miles from the Arkansas border on my way to see my Irish friend from Dublin that I had met 4 years earlier in France. The next evening we would meet with the Native American medicine man who I met in Chicago via a mutual friend we shared in Dublin. That evening would be Friday the 13th, but a notoriously unlucky date would not affect what was waiting for all of us....kinship.
We spent another weekend emersed in music, prayer, and amusing anecdotes. The medicine man hummed, my friend spoke wisely of her hopes and dreams for the future, while her husband and I traded light-hearted insults trying to "one-up" eachother. What does one expect when you pair a southern revivalist and a Chicago activist in a room together? But, when the laughter and humming faded, we sat together in the creative magnetism flowing through the small room. The same magnetism that brought us all together from four seperate worlds, creating music under a starlit sky. "I don't know what brought us all together," the medicine man said, "but it is for a reason. A beautiful reason." Humbled by his wisdom and strength, I walked out into the humid night and shut the door behind me. I let the other three chat and get to know one another better. The distinct sound of glasses clattering and rum flowing came through the windows and I smiled to myself. I laid upon the hood of my car and stared up at the sky. A gentle breeze began to blow and I started to wonder who else was staring up at this very sky. Someone in the Celtic world? The Native American world? European, Asian, African? When I was a child, I used to sit under the stars and imagine the special people that stared up at the sky in wonder, just as I had. I would hope and wish that through the power of music and good will, I could find those people some day. That in meeting such people, I could grow into a good, loving person and a passionate musician. I spent my teenage years and the years spent at University searching for answers and connections that can only be found through kinship of like minded people, music, language, and art. Even now, I am still searching, but it is only recently that I have realized that everyone is just a starchild, gazing up at the sky and searching for that connection, that passion.
I always knew I would find what I was looking for, but I never guessed that I could be what someone else was always looking for. I think for now on I will look up at the sky with a renewed sense of purpose and respect. And even in the winter months when the stars are few and the cold nights deep, I will think of the humid evenings in the South, humming with the crickets and the genius of Bach spilling into the night air.