Posted by: Marie | February 26, 2013

(789) Trying to be not too obvious – Part 2 of 4

Post #789
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, February 16, 2012 – continued from previous post]

I quickly walked the two blocks from the parking lot to the art gallery in which the book-signing was being held. I wasn’t familiar with the area and it took me a few minutes to find the gallery. When I did find it, I could see through the building’s huge glass front that the single-room studio was dark and Luke’s slide show was in progress. The room was packed with people – so much so that a couple of people were leaning against the frame of the glass door.

I gently pulled open the door, careful to not cause the people leaning against the doorframe to fall backward out onto the sidewalk . . . they graciously parted to let me enter and directed me to a spot in the corner near the door in which I could stand. As I moved into that spot, a tall guy standing immediately in front of me motioned for me to switch places with him – he would stand in the corner and I could stand in front of him so I would not have to lean to look around him.

That was thoughtful of him.

Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could see that the room was long and skinny, and not very large. It had an old-style tin ceiling. The walls were lined with oil and watercolor paintings. The door was at one end, and the projection screen – and Luke – were at the other end. There were maybe 25 people seated in chairs – the room was wide enough for four chairs across with a little aisle down the middle (two chairs on each side of the aisle). Then, there were another dozen or so people standing, lined up against the walls. I’m not sure we could have fit any more people in there; we were packed in very tightly – it was a tiny studio.

From my insignificant position in the room, I was able to unabashedly watch Luke – analyze him – try to figure him out . . .

141) Title Unknown

Photo by Martin Chen

He was lively and entertaining – no surprise since he writes and lectures for a living. He seemed to have a great sense of humor . . . mildly self-deprecating, down-to-earth, sometimes a touch irreverent and off-color . . . a great story-teller . . .

The slideshow was about how the movie and the book were created – the book is a collection of still shots from the movie. He told stories of his interactions with the locals of each location . . . how he was able to successfully entice the wild animals to cooperate with his photographic efforts . . . how being in nature is so vital to his well-being . . . how precious are our natural resources . . .

At one point, he mentioned that there is a photograph in the book showing a woman playing an Irish harp . . . but only the harp and the woman’s hands are visible in the photograph. He said that the hands belong to a special friend, Fianna . . . who happened to be the woman who was sitting in a chair right in front of me. He periodically leads trips to Ireland that are designed specifically to encourage healing on all levels – he feels particularly pulled to Ireland and has found healing for himself there – he enjoys sharing that experience with other people. Fianna had joined him for one of those trips and that photo was taken during that trip.

It was a very interesting presentation. And, for what it was worth, it became more and more obvious to me, based upon the stories he told during the presentation, that he is not married and has no children. And, he gave no indication that he is in a committed romantic relationship.

I was greatly impacted by his closing call-to-action: He encouraged us to take time to be in nature – to allow the organic healing energy that nature provides to lift us up and to speak to our spirits as only nature can do. It brought to the front of my mind the conversation I had just had with Edward a number of hours before about wanting to get back into hiking. I could feel my soul responding to Luke’s words . . .

Of course, I’m so infatuated with Luke that I may have found inspiration in anything he said . . . but, for what it was worth, whatever the driving force, I found myself inspired in that moment. And that is good news.

Luke wrapped up his slide show and opened the floor to questions. Then, he then invited all of us to stick around and introduce ourselves as he signed books (after all, that would be the purpose of a book-signing!) He then brought the presentation to a close by extending a special offer to those of us in attendance . . . he would include, for free, a CD of songs from the different parts of the world represented in his book (a “soundtrack” of sorts for the book), and he would offer the movie at a significantly reduced price when purchased with the book. (I decided I would take him up on the offer and additionally purchase the movie!)

He was immediately mobbed by the crowd. So I hung back and struck up a conversation with the two ladies who had been sitting in the chairs right in front of me, one of which was the woman whose hands appear in Luke’s book. Both ladies were quite energetic and our conversation quickly became very animated, especially when we realized we were all three musicians.

Obviously, the one lady (Fianna) plays Irish harp . . . that makes her a “harper” . . . she was quick to clarify that there is a big difference between a “harper” and a “harpist”, and that she was the former, not the latter. She loves to dress up in period Irish garb and play ancient Irish music – it is her passion and she finds much healing in doing so . . . and, it seems she has had a pretty tough go of it in life and is clearly on a healing journey . . . there is still much of the journey yet to be traveled. She is still struggling with her inner demons . . . she still struggles to simply get out of bed and face life . . . but, she continues to fight to find her way through. I shared a little bit of my own story and relayed to her I could relate to parts of her story.

I learned that the other lady is a hospice nurse who lives in City #3 but works in my little town. She plays Irish flute as well as concertina. She also plays Irish music almost exclusively. And, she is planning to go to Ireland with Luke (the same trip as Fianna had taken with him) this summer.

It is interesting to me that these two ladies didn’t know each other but they ended up sitting next to each other. And, it is interesting to me that I ended up next to the two of them, given my interest in music and my interest in getting to know Luke.

Anyway, we got to talking and decided that it would be fun for the three of us to get together for a jam session. I’ve never played Irish music before, but I figured it couldn’t be that hard . . . it has such a strong rhythm and, as long as I have music in front of me, or at least the chord progression, I can usually improvise a piano part with most any kind of music.

And, they said they might consider being my guest artists at one of my future in-studio student recitals. I’m sure my students would really enjoy seeing the unusual instruments and hearing the hauntingly beautiful Irish music.

That is so cool!!!

We three ladies exchanged contact information, then we continued our conversation until the crowd had thinned to a handful of people. By then, it was getting late, and Luke and the gallery owner were starting to put away the chairs and pack up . . . I had been so busy talking with the two ladies that I had not yet gotten my copy of the book from Luke . . . of course, that had been by design. I was hoping that, if I waited until there was less competition for his attention, I might be able to have an actual conversation with him. I really wanted a chance to exchange more than just a few words him.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 699


  1. The Irish twist is interesting! And you have Irish readers ;-) , traditional music is still strong here, hope you enjoy the session!

    • How neat! I’m so glad you let me know that I have friends in Ireland! I’ve been there . . . in Dublin . . . neat place! The people were very warm and welcoming!

      • I’m glad you liked it! I from the west of Ireland, it’s very pretty and often has plenty of music going on too. I thought you may like this trad composer, he is very famous here:
        Michael O’Suilleabhain

        Best wishes.

        • I checked out his video . . . that is a neat mix of ancient and modern music . . . very lively!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hope you got together with the other muso’s.

    • Yes, our paths did cross a number of times after that!

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