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Have you ever had one of those moments in life when you step out of character, so to speak – where you find yourself saying or doing something that surprises, even you?


I spent most of my life believing that my insecurity and shyness was just who I was – that these were personality traits as fixed and indelible as my pale skin and fingerprints. Like two faithful friends, those traits we’re always reminding me of my limitations – they became the driver of me. They told me what I could and couldn’t do. They kept me from entering unsafe neighborhoods – or so I thought.


But every now and then - a situation would present itself – as if out of the blue -and I’d find myself stepping outside of my usual self – daring to step outside the lines. And at that moment who I thought I was would fall away – something was calling me – inviting me to cross over the line and be open to a new possibility.


One of those opportunities came about, dare I say, with a chance encounter with singer, Van Morrison.

My friends and I had just stepped out of a bar and we were just about ready to head home. We’d had a great evening listening to Van Morrison sing at the City Club in Boston. And it was there standing on that sidewalk, that we got a glimpse of Van the Man waiting to get into his limousine.


To say that this was a big deal for me would be an understatement. You see, Van Morrison was from my hometown of Belfast – my lower-middle-class neighborhood. He had left Ireland and made it big. As a teen, his music – that sublime mix of jazz, blues, and soul was like nothing I’d ever heard before. He was a singer and a poet who wrote love songs with the words “I shall drive my chariot down your streets and cry,” – I mean, who talks like that? Words like that captured my young adolescent mind. I adored this man. So, maybe you can understand that when I saw him standing on that sidewalk I knew this was no ordinary encounter.


And that’s when it hit me at that moment - standing outside that bar – that’s when the inspiration hit me and that’s when I forgot about myself. And suddenly shy Linda was thinking:


I will walk up to him and introduce myself. I will tell him how much I love his music. I will let him know I’m from Belfast. Yes, I will do just that.


And at th