Doing what a musician does
Raych headed out on her second Stay Ailive to go Uptown and play for a Bike Week Ride-a-Thon
Shelter set, sun still out....
Friday afternoon I finished my last job of the day and as I was coming around on Tryon I passed a Bike Traveler pushing her loaded 105lb Jamis Rig on the sidewalk. She saw me as well, our eyes met and I passed but knew within 3 seconds that my body and bike were already turning around to go back and talk with her. Meet Rachel Van Slyke, musician and human force of nature embracing the world with knowledge, spiritual clarity and internal physical strength which is powering her path to enlightenment.
I introduced myself and we sat down for a chat. Rachel had left Miami Florida on Easter weekend with everything she needed for a ride to Montreal Canada strapped to her bicycle. Along the way she has prearranged to play her soul full music in certain cities having bike related festivals which is what brought her to Charlotte. Her 1,300mile(130 Stay Alives!)route thus far has not been direct. To keep her schedule she went from Miami to Savannah GA, to Charleston SC, to Asheville(MTNS) then to here. A non direct to route to Canada? With a 105lb rig that no man would ride?
I have met some strong smart girls in my life but this one is OVER the top because those 2 attributes are not separate with her like most, they are tied in a knot, they are ONE which is evident by what she is actually doing with her life.
We chatted on the bench for awhile, my intuition was vibrating, the orthopedic electro-pulses that I spent the first half of my life ignoring were screaming at me. This girl was supposed to be around my family and friend for the weekend, there was no denying what already had been written. I invited Rachel to set up her tent in the wildlife preserve that I call our family home in Dooleyville. By looking into my eyes she too knew it had already been written so we left the Jar and headed out on the East side Stay Alive.
Soon she was dropping gear and setting up her tent way out in the back with Ms Arcen milling about offering our new house/yard guest some fresh Honey Suckle. Jordy came by and after Ms Arcen went to sleep we all pitched in to create a delicious meal of Couscous served with the Jordy special olive oil Turmeric saute of carrots, onion and tomatoes. It was a great night out at the fire pit. Music was played and there was plenty of real laughter to go around with all the circumstances of the day and life meeting by the flames and warmth of my back yard fire pit.
Saturday morning even though she was going to be camping again that night she broke down her tent to be sure that she carried everything she had with her back to the Jar for her Uptown show at the Dowd YMCA. We went and watched her play even though at one point the Charlotte Organization was confused and not going to give her time. It was emotional what she was putting out through her guitar and voice mouth. This type of talent seemed natural to begin with but amplified from the heart that is pumping blood up the east coast. Her lyrics were deep talking about tomorrow but being stuck in yesterday. Her small set was amazing.
Saturday night we all went out for Ethiopian after Jordy had hooked her up with a gig at a local musicians house party. It was a chance to play and get a little cash for her continuing journey north. Lights were out early that night, the fire burned, the owls screamed and the transfer was complete.
Sunday am wake up early, the WonderBoy is on the way to scoop me for a Mother's Day Mountain Bike Adventure(pics and story tomorrow) with Eric and Erinna. She stuck her head out of the tent around sunrise with rain making a noise against the nylon fabric. We said our so longs in the light rain for in a few hours I would be in Pisgah and she back on that 105lb Rig headed east and north for the Canadian border and then in to Montreal. Ride safe Raych, keep it up and thank you for affecting my kid with your positive artistic strength energy~