Normally I wouldn’t do it. I would simply drop my change into the case of the musician and keep going on my way.
There was something about the way he played. I don’t know how to describe it, but I was compelled to stop and talk to him.
The gentleman introduced himself as Brian. He told me how has played in this park on and off for about 20 years. Even before he was diagnosed with bipolar 12 years ago.
After chatting for a little while, I learned that he loves to sit by St. James Church and listen to the bells. Then he comes back to the park and plays the song of the bells on his old sax. He loves playing in the F-Chord, and will teach anyone who comes along, how to play a melody or two.
He told me how this was a fresh start for him. He’d just returned from Vancouver where he had trashed his life, because of bipolar, and lost everything. “This is all I have.” he said pointing to his old sax. “Bipolar is great for the arts, but it makes for a really crappy life.” He told me. I believe him.
I don’t know why, but i asked him to tell me if there was one thing he could say to the rest of the world, what would it be? He thought about it for a moment and then said “Are you not God?” before playing the old sax again. When he stopped again, he said, “Because I’m looking for God, are you it, am I?” He then laughed and said those where the sort of things his bipolar caused him to think.
I left him playing there, with those questions ringing through my head. I hope Brian finds God, I know he will if he keeps looking. I know we aren’t God, but we certainly are his vessels. It shouldn’t be that hard. Right?