I urge you to participate in this wonderful and joyful community event that discusses through art, dance, and sharp humor both our contemporary troubles and the joyful spirit of community that sustains us all. I might even venture to suggest that it might be life-changing. It was -- in a way -- for me. I don't ordinarily discuss the many events I attend around town, but I am happy to mention this exuberant performance, hoping that others will attend. I also want to make note of an odd event that happened to me last evening, how the kindness of a stranger renewed my faith in human beings and made me aware that a seamless transference of positive energies that can happen if one remains open, aware, and available to the currents of the universe.
I lost my cellphone, dropped it somewhere in theatre, sometime during the 2 hour performance.
When I realized it was gone, my heart sank. I had bought my smartphone for very little money and as I have had it for almost three years, it is now chock full of notes, photos, addresses etc. I can't afford to buy a new phone at today's prices, didn't want to start again, reviewing plans, phones etc. I didn't expect to get it back; folks are being mugged these days for their cellphones, but when I got home, I called my phone and surprisingly a young woman answered; Shawn said she had found my phone and would return it.
After hanging up the phone, I thought what might I give this kind stranger in return for her kindness. I closed my eyes and saw this beautiful dress, made for me in Yola, Nigeria (pictured). There was something in this young woman's voice that made me think -- this dress is not for me; it is hers. To make a long story short, this morning I walked down to the West Oakland Bart, dress in hand, and met Shawn. One look told me that the dress would indeed look better on her than on me, and when I asked her if she might accept it, she smiled and told me that she was a member of Oakland's dynamic collective Sistahs of the Drum, a group that performs contemporary spirit through and within traditional West African rhythms. They perform always in West African Dress. I didn't know that before meeting her; our conversation had been brief, limited to time and place.
How happy I am that this dress, lovingly and carefully made in Nigeria, that I carried back to San Francisco only to hang unused for years in my closet had finally found its rightful home.
The kindness of strangers.