Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorite - Brush With Something


"With the brush we merely tint, while the imagination alone produces colour."
- Theodore Gericault

Once in a while you get the chance to brush with fame. In this case, it was Salman Rushdie. Or so I believed it was him when having breakfast at my hotel in London one morning.

I was on a business trip and due to my frequent hotel stays, the club room is a convenience that makes the trip much easier. I was always asked, why not ask to take a picture, why not engage in a conversation, why not....

But I did not ask and here is why.

In all of my travels, it is very rare that I come within earshot or even see people of fame. For all of the media exposure so many get, there are many others that are average, everyday people like you and me. So it was with great interest that the man sitting one table away from me seemed very familiar.

In my hotel in central London, the business lounge provides breakfast on the top floor for members. This particular morning I chose a later time to arrive. With only three of us in the room, there was no particular reason I sat near this man. The only thing which drove me in that direction was to be close to the television. It also gave me a clear view of the Thames River.

Well then, maybe I did have a reason for sitting where I did.

Something about the presence of the man sitting near me and his familiar face told me he was of some importance or celebrity. After a short while it dawned on me that it could very well be Salman Rushdie. Yes, the famous author who wrote the Satanic Verses which became the scorn of many Muslims. His book was so scorned that in 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, (leader of Iran at the time) issued a fatwa or decree telling all Muslims to kill Rushdie and his publishers.

After the death threats came, Salman Rushdie was placed under police protection by the British government. As of this year (2010), Salman has not been harmed, but it is said that 38 others connected with the book have been killed.

So my mind kept thinking and rationalizing his presence in this place. No body guards or other noticeable protection in place. But I reasoned after so many years, he had slipped back into obscurity and maybe it just wasn't as big of a concern anymore.

But was it really Salman Rushdie?

I never asked because I have always felt there are times of approach and there are times of quiet. This seemed like a time of quiet. We both nodded a good morning to each other and left each other to our quiet and peaceful breakfast.

He may have simply been a person that looked extremely similar to Salman, but I am pretty certain that he was whom I thought. I choose to believe that I had breakfast with Salman Rushdie and we each enjoyed the peaceful quiet of the morning.

All of us need those quiet moments in time.

It helps us to pull ourselves back from the hurried and noise filled life which surrounds us each day. It is a time to reflect on things that matter to us. A time to just let down our guard a little bit and not be looking over our shoulder.

Maybe next time I will ask to be sure, but then it might disappoint me. Then the peaceful and quiet breakfast that I had with Salman Rushdie will disappear forever for both myself and for him. So thank you Salman for giving me a quiet and peaceful breakfast.

Stay inspired my friends.

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