SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 154: “Trust Jah”

My wife rocked my world with her host writing for me yesterday. The bar has been set high by her word smithing ability, and I’m humbled to say, “I hope I can be as articulate as she.”

I have to globally thank her, if not for her effort, we may have missed a timestamp with my slammed schedule. And in a way, it is fun to get a third-party view of 365 from the inside. So in support of her contribution, let us all raise our glasses in a toast to Terri… “Kanpai!”

In talking to you, Terri mentioned note of my doctor appointment, a little bit of an overstatement, I promise… I’m here to stay, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll tell you of my condition, and it’s no big deal.

My treatment, a sharp back pop from my chiropractor, seems my lower disks are arguing with me lately. I’m guessing a result of the copious amount of slouched writing, photo retouching and forty plus pounds of camera gear that presses into my spine every day during my 365 travels.

And with that spinal pop today, I decide to keep my backpack weighted 365 walks to a minimum for a few days. As a result, you may see a few more daytime experiences over the next little while.

And the thought of nighttime car drive-ups to say hello is kind of disturbing. To be approached by an unknown dude, in a car, at night… very creepy man!

Although I will admit, I have done it with a reasonable amount of success, and have met some of amazing new friends through my car window. I’m sure I’ll do it again, but still, it’s a bit like becoming a night stalker.

A stalker I am not, I much rather prefer to be called an observationalist (Great Scott…! yet another Radstone invented word). Plus, it is much easier to view the world by lit skies, so for that reason, I embark today on a series of daytime people seeing drive byes of various areas of the San Fernando Valley.

The day is warm and bright, perfect conditions for being outside. My windows are fully rolled down, and with the rain passed, the air is fresh and clean. Got to love the harsh Southern California winters.

Although the streets are brimming with summer like energy, with limitless pedestrians everywhere I drive; I find myself a touch stupored in knowing where to go. You would think, with so many people around, it is a no brainer in finding a good place to stop; yet I feel zero urgency to approach anyone.

And as I have done on countless occasions, I become a nomadic wanderer of automotive proportion, when as always, the second I give up the thought of finding a friend… one always emerges. You would think that after over 150 days of 365, this is a lesson I would embrace. That lesson, “Let go, keep the chin up, and listen with your eyes, ears and heart; and not your mind.”

Here is how it plays out.

Brain says, “Time to throw in the towel, go to the mall to meet your wife earlier than planned, and find someone there.”

Indoor shopping centers are not really the most optimum place of diverse culture, and with my submission to mind, I begin my not preferred reroute to the Topanga Plaza. When, in less than thirty seconds of this decision, I spot a man running high steps in a park. A park that is mostly impossible to find easy parking, especially at the last hour of daylight, and on a beautiful day like today.

At the instant of this thought, a car pulls out of a spot just in front of me; I take it as a sign telling me, “There is your stranger of the day.”

I’m a silver lining kind of guy, and if the cosmos is trying to direct me, so be it. If not, maybe I’m just a guy in the right place, at the right time, meeting the right person. But whatever the case, I find myself very privileged to associate with yet another amazing stranger turned friend, the very enlightened Sir.

Turns out Sir is not alone, I approach him as he is enjoying a park outing with his wife and two young daughters. They are a very happy and connected family. The kind of people that you want to be your neighbors, and there is something magnetic about Sir.

He stands in comfortable conversation with me as we talk about humanity and a set of shared career interests, our beginning common ground; Sir is a filmmaker, communicator and teacher.

Yet there is more depth to Sir than that. Something about him that peacefully screams of deeply seated spirituality. He talks of honesty and integrity to humanity and craft, and shortly into our chat, he reveals the foundation of his beliefs in answering my question of advice for the world.

“Trust Jah (Yhwa),” he smilingly shares.

Jah (Yhwa) is a new term to me, but as I talk with Sir, he give me a thumbnail of the deep spiritual connotation of Jah.

“It’s ‘The I Am, of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Ismael,” Sir testifies and further encourages, “The lord our righteousness.”

The lord our righteousness. I do my Google time and find endless links to the sentence. From Christianity, To Judaism, Islam and Rastafari, the phrase speaks powerfully. It is in many books of scripture and other spiritual writings and is powerful in its admonition.

Sir speaks of its relevance, “We all came from the same ‘I am,’ and if we trust Jah… we’ll be closer to loving each other selflessly.”

I do not seek my new friends, somehow they find me, and I’m continually astonished at how many of us, from so diverse backgrounds and beliefs in worship, have one message in common.

Simply, the golden rule, respect, and with all possible consideration – love one another.

Not necessarily to, “Be in love with one another,” that would be a really scary thing, but to love each other as fellow humans.

And to do so, my 365 friends are telling me is this, “Judge not, condemn not, place ourselves in the shoes of others, be kind, do good works, think of others, listen, look and feel, fear not, dare to dream, etc., etc., etc…”

And in the words of Sir, “Always do your best to be Selfless.”

One Comment Add yours

  1. abracole says:

    I look at this man’s face and all I see is peace! His eyes, his smile, this is beautiful! Really great work.


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