I saw John Travolta. Yup, I did.
He was strolling down 5th Avenue, checking out the elaborate Christmas windows at Bergdorfs on a Friday night just like some sort of normal guy in New York in December. It was chilly, the crowds had thinned enough that my mom and I could really see the windows up close and then, BAM! There he was, John Travolta, walking down the street, carrying a baby, laughing with his family.
He was glowing.
Really, he actually had a bright light shining around him. Oozing out of him. Even his baby was glowing (probably why Mom completely missed JT as she goggled over the lit-up baby). The Travoltas: magical beings carousing on 5th Avenue; beamed down to Earth to spread their light and bring joy to the masses.
And joy they brought! I was star struck. I whipped out my phone to text Kate that I’d spotted the real Urban Cowboy, the better-with-age Vinny Barberino, our god-in-the-flesh Tony Manero in all of his one-piece-jumpsuit glory. I told everyone who’d listen about my special moment. My 3 second brush with celebrity gave me a weird rush; as if being in the mere vicinity of JT’s fabulousness somehow made me fabulous, too!
His glow made me glow.
On the train down to the city I got a phone call from one of my students letting me know that she’d been accepted Early Decision to an incredibly competitive college. I cried. And then I giggled uncontrollably. The woman one seat over gave me a funny look, not knowing that the stifled weird squeaking noise was my version of holding back from jumping up and down and yelling to the whole train about my student’s amazing news. While I was giggling a giant spotlight seemed to shine on me with that loud Thunk! you hear in the movies when the stage is dark and then it isn’t. I’m sure the entire train was looking at me; like that scene in “The Lonely Guy” when Steve Martin goes out to dinner alone. Only they weren’t looking at me because I was awkward; they were looking at me because I was experiencing the fabulousness of someone else’s magical moment. I was glowing.
Celebrities are cool. But they’re only cool because of us. Not to discredit JT. He’s pretty amazingly cool.
But, so are we!
My friends shine light like there’s no tomorrow. And my students, my students are stars. My nieces and nephew, beaming. My brother, on fire. My parents and the rest of my family are all kinds of lit up with coolness. And, on a good day, when I’m surrounded by all of the energy and light of the amazing people in my life, I am a firework.
That’s UBUNTU. You glow, I glow, We glow.
There’s enough light to go around. Shine some. It’s fun.