Thanks to Rhonda

The hand-written sign pinned on her back says: “This is for you Rhonda.”

She walks alone, as I do. Her pace is a little quicker than mine, and I see the sign as she strides past me.

She seems determined, focused, eyes straight ahead, arms bent at the elbow and pumping at her side, one amongst a sea of other walkers, which, like humankind, is a diversity of shapes, sizes, colours, and nationalities.

Some are strangers, others are friends. Some saunter, others jog, a handful push strollers. Some are “young,” some are “old.” Some are men, some are boys. Most are women and girls.

On this day, in this moment, we are united in purpose: to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Some people chat as they walk, but she and I are silent – until I step up my pace, catch her up, and tap her lightly on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” I say, “who is Rhonda?”

She turns, looks at me, and replies: “Rhonda is my friend. She’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer. So I’m walking for her…”

Her voice starts to quiver, and she sheds a few discreet tears. She slows her pace a little, and I quicken mine. We walk together. She tells me Rhonda’s story, then her own, before I share bits and pieces about myself.

At the end of the walk we sit for awhile over coffee and talk some more – two strangers who touched each other’s hearts in a street in Dubai… thanks to you Rhonda.

We’re All Connected

In the same theme of streets, connectedness, our shared condition, reaching out, and touching hearts, I offer this interesting short film “Mankind Is No Island,” Tropfest NY 2008 winner. It was shot entirely using cell phones in the streets of New York and Sydney; it’s set to original piano music.