I went to Utrecht today. There was a magic in the air. I fell in absolute awe and love with the city as I walked the cobbled streets, listened to the sounds of cycle gears shifting and danced to beautiful music in my mind. Nothing compares to the emotion I am feeling right now. Nothing could ever compare.
While at a cathedral in Utrecht, I met Zeke, a musician who’d brought along his guitar and sat in a quiet corner of the cathedral corridor with one of his mates. The moment I watched him stroll in, the energy shifted. And when he pulled out his guitar, I knew I had to meet him. So, eventually, I went and sat down with Zeke and his fellow musician. I listened to them play, had a short conversation and shared the feeling of ‘flow’ with them. The beauty of listening to the acoustics of a guitar while in a space like that is enthralling. It’s wondrous.
He told me of how he too was once a student who walked the corridors of Utrecht. He’d studied anthropology on the grounds of the very same university whose campus this cathedral belonged to. I could almost imagine Zeke, as young as I am now, guitar in hand, strolling from one class to another. It feels so real in my mind despite it being so long ago. I can imagine Zeke playing between classes, falling more and more in love with the art and emotion of music. I can almost feel what he must’ve felt. Zeke, 21-years old, the guitarist. Zeke, who, despite his degree in anthropology, chose music over academia or a conventional career. Zeke, the guitarist who used to travel the world, music in his heart. I feel what he felt.
And sitting down with him, even if it was for just a few moments of my many spent in that city, was a million-fold more precious than sit-down lunches or fancy restaurants. Watching Zeke was more precious than quick buzzes and social media. Sitting down with him was feeling alive. Sitting down with him was my heart dancing, lungs singing and mind quieting. Sitting down with him was falling in love. In love with a new city, with new people and with the magic that’s around me. Sitting down with him was being alive.