Standing at the corner of W. 18th& 7thin NYC, an elderly blind man grabbed my arm, and without words, urged me to help him cross the busy intersection. As we crossed the street in silence, the energy of our connection was palpable. The old gentleman then asked me to continue to walk with him. For over two miles he recounted his raw life story of love, tragedy and hope. From this stranger, I received the gifts of perspective and clarity.
Every human grapples with the complexity of deep internal and external struggles and within each of us exists a fragile breaking point. A turbulent mind can throw us into our own inferno for a moment or a lifetime. Through simple human connection and an open-heart, if only for a second, we discover ourselves in relationship to the world at large. This fleeting moment is when enlightenment presents and hope exists.
The initial non-verbal connection with the stranger came at a critical time in my life and was so profound it seemed to etch itself into my soul, later becoming the inspiration for my short film The Crossing. I am honored to have cast Cote de Pablo and Vivienne Leheny both of whom embody the grit, grace, and transcendent magic of daily life in NYC. At this critical time where political and ethnic division tear at society, it is vital that we walk through life wide awake and welcoming of these touchstone experiences as personal catalysts for change, large and small.