Fernando and I were walking North on Calle 60 tonight when I heard such a beautiful voice that I had to turn back around to stop and listen for awhile. We crossed the street at 67 and saw this lovely man with his guitar. He was blind and I believe that somehow, his loss of vision strengthened his compassion for life because when he sang, I heard it with my heart.
I noticed one guy standing very close to him on the sidewalk, enjoying the songs. He stood there for a little bit and while he did, our singer leaned into his way, knowing that a listener was there and acknowledging him by facing him and singing to him. He had this easy way about him… or maybe it was more of a gentleness.
When the man left, I walked over and stood in his place. The singer recognized the change, smiled, and then starting singing to me. After a couple of songs, I asked him if he could sing something really sad. He smiled, and when he did, I noticed that all his wrinkles were from smiling. He told me he had to think a little bit because he didn’t know many sad songs (and I thought almost all of them were!). But then he smiled again, perhaps remembering a good one from long ago, and began. He sang in my direction a song so sad with a voice so sweet that I stood next to him on the sidewalk with busses wheezing by, people stepping off the curb to get around us, and just let the tears roll down my face and drip off my chin.