Out There

As in throwing myself out into the world, gracefully or awkwardly. On one level, it doesn’t matter what I do with the throw. It’s just happening. And actually I feel launched … by some unknown force.

I went to a concert last night and found such a person. Carlos Nunez is from Spain. Five musicians had gathered on the stage, along with an empty chair. All instruments were at the ready but the troupe didn’t bring forth music. They just sat there, looking to the back of the hall.

And then! The wail of bagpipes filled the space. A tall man, dressed Western, and looking remarkably like Pierre Trudeau (former Prime Minister of Canada), strode majestically towards us. The music was loud. Onto the stage he climbed and walked slowly towards my front row viewing spot. So tall, so passionate, so much air being moved, so there.

I could only gape. Charisma is too small a word for this man. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. His final note was a high squeal, and then he stood in front of us – eyes flashing and mouth widening. Carlos was amongst us. I know that sounds like I’m bowing down to God, but that wasn’t it. Here simply was a human being whose cells seem to burst out of his body and shower us with blessings. But still … merely one of us.

During the concert, Carlos played a variety of whistles as well as the pipes. Almost always, his eyes were closed as the melodies soared. And there was great stillness surrounding him. At the end of a number, he would often gesture towards the other soloists, willing our attention onto them. When his eyes were open, Carlos wrapped the audience in contact, seeming to make a connection with many individual faces.

Carlos is no better than me or anyone else. He’s found a way, however, to let the filters drop away, and to throw celebration to the far corners of the room. “Here I am,” he seems to say. “Love me or loathe me – it doesn’t matter. I’m here to show you me.”

What a fine job he did of just that.

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