On the way home from Germany, I am dragging an enormous suitcase with broken wheels and lose control. It swivels crazily, bangs against the open subway door and loudly crashes. I crumple into a seat. It’s been a long trip and a long flight. I’m exhausted and coming home.
At Balboa station, a bunch of tech people get into the car. Then at 16th a dozen Chinese guys. We fill up fast. Black guys, Mexicans, women in business suits. It’s rush hour and everybody’s going home. A construction worker covered in dust gets on at Embarcadero. The train makes a screaming noise and we pass under the bay. At Macarthur an old woman with a Hijab squeezes in. I stand up to give her my seat and the train jumps forward. My legs are pinned by the suitcase and I go down face first….a broken Oooooo shuddering from my mouth.
From nowhere, the hands of 10 strangers shoot out to break my fall. My torso, arms and pelvis are supported from every angle. The construction worker has my shoulder. The woman with the Hijab, my right elbow. Nameless others in perfect orchestration slow my downward path and my face stops inches from the floor. I’m pulled back to my feet in a state of exhilaration.
We can’t stop ourselves from doing good. It is automatic. We can’t stop ourselves from reaching out to those who are falling. As much as anything this is our nature. The world is music and we hear each other.