Eli was sitting on a creek bank, at least what would have been a creek had New Mexico not been so dry, playing his dig quietly with hums and twirls. I sat next to him and listened for a while until he stopped playing and rolled a gentle cigarette. He’d been living on the streets of Santa Fe for the last nine years, completely by choice, as evidenced in the peace glowing in his eyes. He said he was a musician. In addition to the wooden pipe, he could play pretty much anything with strings, but never used his gift to make money. He felt that using your passion to provide for yourself makes you dependant upon it, thereby stripping it of the pure joy inherent in its mere performance.
We talked a bit about living on the streets and meeting basic needs, when he said the words that have weaved through my mind ever since.
This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. Buy your copy of the eBook on Amazon.com.