Beautiful Soul


I saw Burt Lancaster today. He was in the amusement arcade. He even had Burt’s famous smile but without the teeth. He only had a couple of front teeth. It was a toothless smile, but still, he had a beautiful smile and a beautiful soul. Sometimes, I like to observe people, but only people who stand out, by the summer day that is shining through their soul.

When you see someone physically attractive, you can’t stop looking at them. Maybe you’re a deer in the headlights and maybe they’ll catch on and get all big headed and egotistical. Even if you just glance in the direction of a man or woman who knows they’re attractive, they’ll catch on very quickly, and then they’ll get all smug and stupid, but, when their soul is pleasing to you, they are oblivious. That in itself is immensely telling. It’s not physical attractiveness that’s important, but something on a much deeper level. I’m sure others have been frozen in time and feel like they just want to sit in the darkened cinema of life, with that bag of popcorn, just to observe someone’s beautiful soul on the big screen. Coming to a street near you.

Well, for the record, I observed Burt. He was with several people, a woman, three other men and a teenage girl. While the others were taking turns to use the public bathroom, he was laughing along with the girl because she was having so much fun on that dancing game. What’s it called now? It’s big in Japan.

Hang on, I’ll just google…

Oh, Dance Machine. Is that it? I thought it would be something more… I’m  a bit underwhelmed.. Well, if that’s what it is, then that’s what it is. A Dance Machine. 

So, she’s on this dance machine and having fun and Burt is laughing, but mostly smiling…genuine laughter and fun. Laughter can sometimes be a bit maniacal, a bit crazy. We have to be careful with laughter. Unfortunately, there’s a time and a place for laughter. I wish it wasn’t so. Well, this was the time and the place but it was mostly smiling, the benign type, so it’s allowed.

So these guys had rucksacks as well. Signs of a tourist. They were  wearing waterproof coats. The proper expensive ones, not the shower proof ones for £1.99, which can sometimes be a compulsion to buy. Burt was tall, like Burt. Maybe a bit older than we remember him in say,  Trapeze. And maybe he didn’t have the muscles Burt had either.

I wanted to follow him for a tiny bit. Not so that they would ever know, or get uncomfortable. They never know, these beautiful souls, because they are always in another world, the world of the people they’re with. Now that’s sanity. I’m careful not to burst that bubble. 

When I say follow, I mean watch, just to get some of that joy, by osmosis, but it’s never premeditated. It’s always very natural, spontaneous. Spontaneous. me? Ha! My husband just said ‘don’t make me laugh, so that I have a heart attack through laughing’.

So I just watch them go off into their happy world. I watch them leave. They were all blissfully unaware. They never know. They never feel it. They have too much to give. I just observe the beautiful aura that surrounds them. I’m like a rabbit in a headlight and just have to snap out of it. Sometimes, like my friend Mike says, the rabbit needs to be restrained.

Burt was holding a plastic carrier bag. I have a soft spot for people who carry plastic carrier bags, especially if they are the resilient, environmentally friendly ones, the ones that last a lifetime and look a bit worn and are full of stuff. My heart just melts. I’m not sure why. 

So I said to my husband, very seriously. ‘Look, there’s Burt Lancaster’, and of course, he ignored me because he’s known me for twenty years, and because it happens sometimes, not a lot, but enough. It’s not just men. It can be women, animal, vegetable, mineral. If you feel it, you feel it. I’m not even sure if, in real life, the real Burt was a beautiful soul, but the one in the arcade certainly was.

So I watched this lovely little troop leave the arcade. I blessed Burt and his friends/family and wished them a great holiday.