Today was mysterious. As I was walking along with Judy Brubaker I missed a call from an unknown number. I began thinking that maybe it was Oprah, or Quincy Jones, or anyone! Then I realized why the “unknown” was so awesome; it had infinite potential! It could’ve been the president calling! And if it was, I’m sure he’ll try again later anyways.
In the midst of that call was my walk with Judy. That was even more mysterious. I didn’t know Judy before this. I had merely been walking home, found an elderly woman unable to unlock her door, and asked if she needed help. She told me she didn’t but would love to go on a walk with me. I obliged. I had no way of knowing who this woman was, but she told me about herself. She was 89 years old, had been living in Chicago for the past 50 years, and used to be a film star in Hollywood during the early 1950s. I believed her, but she seemed a bit forgetful, and at the back of my mind I was still wondering what her story truly was. She then told me she still sings on Wednesday nights at Maggiano’s, but hadn’t since her recent surgery. She sang a few lines for me and I was amazed; she did in fact have a beautiful voice.
She insisted that I leave her where she was and continue my walk home, but I refused. I told her that I must walk her back home. So we slowly walked along, but as we got closer she made me leave her side, saying she didn’t want her husband to think she was doing anything crazy. I walked ahead of her but I made sure I saw her walk back up the stairs to the door where we first encountered each other. She must have gotten inside because I didn’t see her as I walked back up the street in the direction of my apartment. I felt so compelled to know what she was doing, what her life was like. We made a real connection and at this point I still have no idea why.
When I got home I decided to Google her. Judy has in fact lived in Chicago the past 50 years, does still sing occasionally at Maggiano’s, and was a film star during the early 1950s. I was amazed! I had just been on a walk with the Judy Brubaker! I may never know the meaning of our encounter. I also may never know who the unknown caller was. But the mystery is so curious, and so enjoyable. Many things in life are inexplicable. Many of the things that we do explain away are, in truth, inexplicable as well. Although the mind prefers to label and have things fit into its set parameters of perception, the world beyond such explanations is more alive, more real, and more curious than one could imagine. One of the greatest lessons I have received is to embrace the mystery. Shout out to the universe, “I just don’t know! I have no idea!” It is at that point that the miraculous has an opportunity to appear. It is at that point that anything can happen.
This is a video I found on YouTube of Judy singing at Maggiano’s: