(Jepson Center for the Arts seen through tree branches. Photo courtesy of Flickr.com)
The primary objective of a book signing might be to sell books but one of the great priceless perks of such events is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. So it was Sunday, July 27, when I signed copies of ELEMENTAL The Power of Illuminated Love
(along with the title’s co-creator Luther E. Vann) at the monthly Sunday Gospel Brunch hosted by the Telfair Museum Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia.
Among those I was honored to meet during the event was a professor who had moved to the South from Puerto Rico. We shared a dialogue about the evolution of race relations over the centuries––from intercontinental trading enterprises and slavery of the past to the uncertainties and potentials of the present––and she shared some insights about the celebrated island:
“The people of Puerto Rico are a rainbow and they knew almost right away that slavery was something they did not want.” The rainbow part was not news to me but the history part was. Then she focused on the copy of ELEMENTAL in front of her, and both thrilled and humbled me as she read aloud from it the poem “Return to Savannah.”
A little later I met a beautiful family from Pennsylvania. The family patriarch (like my newfound acquaintance from Puerto Rico) turned out to be a professor with a more-than-passing interest in photography, art history, spirituality, and positive cultural exchange between ordinary denizens of the planet. This last bit of information prompted me to suggest he check out the Creative Thinkers International website. He, in turn, invited me to visit a very cool site called Birth of the Painted World
Because this was a Sunday Gospel Brunch, it was blessed by the extraordinary voices of the Temple of Glory Community Church Choir. The emotional impact was not a small one as the choir stood gathered on the wide steps leading up to the galleries of art and the voices of the singers flooded the museum’s high-ceiling atrium with angelic harmonious precision.
The intensity of the musical ministry and beauty of their souls in sonic flight almost made me forget my own reason for being there. I can’t say I actually met the members of the choir but just sitting within range of their apparently anointed songs provided one more priceless perk that I remain very happy to savor.
author The American Poet Who Went Home Again