It began as an ordinary Saturday's duty at the Visitors Center -- but something about it was different. Colors more vibrant, intense, penetrating. Sounds of children playing along the shoreline and soaring gulls overhead blended melodically. I felt more alive than should have been expected at the end of a busy work week.
My schedule was busier than usual with two groups scheduled for my presentation of the orientation film, "Home Front Heroes," plus commentary. The two groups would be in the little theater -- back-to-back-- at one and two o'clock sessions. One would be 16 African American members of Easter Hill United Methodist Church for whom I'd given a black history talk in February. To that group would be added other visitors who were in the building at the time. The other would be a local bicycle club that has become engaged and excited about Richmond's history, and were of varied ages and races, plus those visitors who remained for a second viewing. Our little theater holds only 45 seated, so it is an intimate setting -- a plus for me.
I was aware -- as my talk began to unfold -- that I was feeling hyper-sensitive and keenly perceptive. It was as if someone had hit the "high intensity" button, and everything was "turned up" and magnified. There was a deep undeniable connection between me and both audiences in that space which allowed me to see that my words were not only being heard, but felt, in ways that was unusually powerful for me. From the expressions I could read in those faces and eyes I could feel myself being strangely energized.
This is the result of ...
When his permission has been received, I will post it here. Until then I will continue to be strengthened by having become a part of the art of another. This has happened before, but I'd almost forgotten what a powerful life force this can be. Chris Nauman's lovely gift generated my magical afternoon -- one that I'll not soon forget.having arrived at my desk some days ago to find a padded manila envelope containing a CD of an original song, "Rosies," created and recorded by an artist in Massachusetts -- with a handwritten single page neatly folded and tucked inside saying that the writer had been in the audience for one of my commentaries earlier in the year when he visited the Bay Area, and been inspired by my words. He'd incorporated my thoughts into his lyrics. The song is so lovely! The heart of a young stranger has become a part of my story -- and life-of-the-moment. His spirit was clearly in the theater over those magical two hours.