Can I sing for you?

My interaction at Barnes and Noble (see previous post) flashed a vivid memory forward as if I were in the very moment again: While descending the ruins of an ancient Incan site in Peru, I was approached by a young child. The image was quite fantastic; a long stone stair descent to the base from the steep walls of the Sacred Valley. The sun was setting and the sky was a deep Andean November twilight blue. Puffy white clouds dotted across the panoramic sky. Very few tourists.

About twenty steps from the base of Ollantaytambo I met eyes with a small boy no older than ten years. He was expert at his craft of solicitation. I watched him stretch out his hand for some reward and I listened to his proposition. And now, nearly a year later I can not shake the sound of this childs voice asking “Can I sing for you?”

Why isn’t everyone asking this question of each other without recompense? Can I sing for you?


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