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I had attended a beautiful performance by the L.A. Master Chorale of Bernstein’s
“Chichester Psalms” and Orf’s “Carmina Burana.” The first, gently satisfying, the second, stirring and rousing. Afterwards, I walked through Grand Park in the late afternoon sunlight. It was silver and fragile, a harbinger of the fall season to come. I stopped at a Starbucks there for an iced coffee, gentle refreshment on this quiet afternoon.
Stopping at the restroom before heading for the Metro to go home, I saw there was a homeless man standing at the sink. I noticed his belongings were neatly arranged on a travel stroller. Stack upon stack of ordered satchels, all latched with bungee chords. He was washing laundry in the sink of the restroom, wrenching a t-shirt under the faucet and occasionally getting soap from the dispenser normally meant for washing hands and gently kneading the cloth. I was deeply touched by this almost domestic procedure, There was both dignity and purpose in his actions. Knowing how fickle fate can be and reminded of life’s transience, I remembered when my father became abruptly ill and passed away at the early age of 59. In a moment, one’s life can drastically alter.