Last night, at a different bar in Santa Monica California, I sat eating a Poblano Chili Steak with a glass of California cabernet before heading to a movie. I don't usually like to sit at bars, but when I walked into the restaurant, there was a woman seated on the side of the bar, hunched over a journal. She had a trappers' fur hat on with a dress and boots. She seemed like a rebel and that made me feel comfortable.
The bar now felt like a safety zone and I wouldn't feel foolish writing there myself. I had just purchased a new journal at the Barnes and Noble bookstore down the street. I sat, ordered, wrote, ate. On my other side, another young woman sat down and hurriedly texted on her iphone while eating her happy hour dinner. I thought we looked a bit formidable, the three of us. There wouldn't be a man coming to interrupt our busyness, that was clear.
She asked me what kind of writing I did and I told her I'm a travel writer. "Do you have a Blog?" she asked. ( Funny how my generation still doesn't ask that right up front. It might come up later in conversation, but not one of the first things.) She wanted to check it out. I told her I'm also currently working on a book about my travels in Japan. She nodded quickly and a huge smile lit up her face. "My album, Purple Skies, is now #7 on iTunes Japan!"
Worlds collide indeed.
Her name is Michelle Shaprow. We exchanged email addresses and I had to run off to see my movie, but we promised to check out each other's work. Today I spent the morning listening to a few of the songs off the album. Jazzy and soulful, but with the brightness of youth in her voice, it appears Michelle Shaprow's Morning Pages have been more than somewhat successful.
Sometimes you just know you're on the right track in your life because the Universe makes arrangements behind your back, then hides little gifts for you to find that make you smile, look up at the sky and say, "Thanks. I get it!" Who knew that I would be writing in a bar in Santa Monica with one of Japan's favorite new American vocalists?
Have a listen to one of my favorites off the album titled Back Down to Earth: