Thanks again to everyone for the kind wishes for my dear cat, Dida. She is humbled to be in the spotlight. Hopefully Dida will get used to her new feeding schedule before her owner keels over.
I've been listening to podcasts at work. It's my small attempt at multitasking and maximizing what few brain cells I have left. Today, an episode of Fresh Air, an NPR favorite, moved me to tears.
The story is set in LA. Steve Lopez, a columnist for the LA Times, met a homeless man named Nathaniel Ayers. Ayers turned out to be a musician. In fact, he also once lived in New York, where he trained at the Julliard School of Music, but dropped out due to mental illness.
I know how many readers of this blog love street musicians. Here was one who was homeless, who could play the violin and picked up the cello and trumpet. And here was Lopez, a writer just trying to do the right thing, who didn't know much about classical music but was learning about it through his new friend.
Lopez published articles in the Times about the homeless man, and his readers donated musical instruments in response. Lopez used the instruments as rewards to try to get his subject off the streets and into rehabilitation.
I don't want to give too much away, but you get the point. Lopez has written a book about the experience, and a movie is in the making. Called 'The Soloist', it stars Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. It's that good a story.
Should you hear the podcast, be prepared. It's moving.
Well, I was moved. I sat there at my desk, sniffling away. All the elements are there - the talented man tortured by inner demons, the ardent writer trying to save the situation, the lessons learned on both sides.
If every one of us were as actively involved in our cities as Steve Lopez, what kind of world would this be? Or if every one of us had a Steve Lopez to watch out for us and help us reach our potential, what then?
The possibilities are beyond our imagination.
For the Fresh Air podcast, click here.
For the articles Lopez wrote in the LA Times, click here .