Ben Foster

The power of a coincidence should not be down played. It’s easy to attribute happenstance to dumb luck - that’s to say, if we even bother reflecting upon the occurrence afterwards. Never do we realize that the procession of these phenomenal events that we take for granted, are actually signs - that we’re on the right track. Next time you have one happen to you, understand that you’re exactly where you need to be. You are on the right track. The universe just winked at you. Take it, and let it comfort you. Don’t get tangled up.

I was given this advice by one of my recent mürmur guests. It’s a wonderful feeling when the right words find their way into your ear just when you needed to hear them the most. I am grateful to be in a place where I can notice these positive frequencies as they occur. What good is wisdom after all - if you’re not receptive?

Same goes with coincidences. What good is a coincidence - if you can’t take a moment to appreciate it. To let it ensure yourself that you are being propelled in the correct life direction. Even if the occurrence is bittersweet. You still know it happened to reminder you that the show is running the exact way that it should. 

Last summer during the time of my eviction, I did something unusual. I reached out to a well known individual to get him to be the final guest on my podcast. One of my favorite movies from last year was “Hell or High Water”, a film starring the brilliant actor Ben Foster who happened to live in the same neighborhood as me.

I decided to do something slightly quirky and write him a hand written note. It was an extremely genuine letter that I expressed from the deepest place of my heart. I didn’t know how it would be perceived. It was kind of a risk given how private of a person he is. But I took the chance, and left an envelope with the title “Mr. Foster” written, and taped in front of his building.

I never heard back.

Yesterday as I was riding my bike near Bowery, when I saw Ben like I always do. This time, something came over me and I yelled “Hey Ben!”. When he lifted his head, I gave him a friendly wave which he reciprocated. He tried to gauge who I was, but I turned away before I could see the resolve of familiarity in his face.  A friendly moment that passed by as quickly as it occurred.

About an hour later, while riding my bike back to the mürmur studio, I lift up my head and notice the familiar face. Once again, it’s Ben. As I rode past him, I felt the gentle tapping of his finger on my shoulder to beckon me to come back.

I recall how calm I was. Had this happened a year ago, how nervous I would have been. In that moment, I strangely felt an equal to Ben. It felt like the most normal thing that he was calling me over.

He said, are you the guy who does the radio show? I said Yes. He said, you left a very sweet note at my apartment a year ago. I looked you up. I think you’re very brave for what you’re doing. I’m a fan of your work.

At this point I just wanted someone to pinch me. Is this really happening right now? It felt so surreal and normal at the same time. 

But he says. I’m a highly private person. And you leaving a note in front of my building with my name on it is … He gave me a look that finished his sentence for him

I closed my eyes and took it all in and said “I should have been more considerate.”

We said a few other pleasantries, and after the air was cleared, shook hands and parted ways on a positive note.

I lifted up my head and felt that I was on the right track. 

(Originally Published May 9, 2018)