On Saturday afternoon I carved out time I didn’t think I had to join a friend last minute at an event where Leslie Odom, Jr. was speaking. He was this year’s Speaker for the Arts at the University of Virginia and he spent an hour or so in conversation with the University’s new president Jim Ryan. Ryan, author of Wait, What, a New York Times bestseller inspired by this commencement address asked questions and mostly listened as Leslie Odom, Jr spoke with humor and humility on a variety of topics including the willingness to take risks, the importance of nurturing a creative and spiritual life, and the experience of playing a white man in Hamilton. The presentation was full of things I love- food for thought, funny moments, smart questions, hard subjects, and honest answers. I wish you could have heard it all, including his spontaneous serenade at the end. (If we are “friends on Instagram, you can see my video post there.)
As I drove home in cold rain, I was grinning, inside and out. And I thought to myself, “This is joy.” For me anyway. Joy feels like warmth and wonder, laughter and learning, honesty and humor. How glad I was that I’d dropped everything I “should have been doing,” and made space for a little Saturday afternoon joy.
Happy to be “slicing” today with Two Writing Teachers.