The Any-Time Truffle

Bells chime in Houston. Lightning matches but not on beat. All three windows are open in room 403. Open because the breeze blows through, carrying with it songs of over a million black birds finding refuge in sky scrapping habitats.

No mo poems or parables, just straight up what is Steve (a) and where is he (b).

a) a disciple set a part for the advancement of the Gospel

b) Houston. Well I was in Philly, not eating any cheese steaks. Doing a doc on a violinist. It could be impossible to fast any type of food while staying at a Chinese man’s home whose landlord is a French Mongolian. Both Xiao Fu (one of the world’s best violinists from China, age 46, and Istell, violin teacher, most respected, age 68. Both love cooking and hospitality. Istell specializes in French desserts and pastries, ie. handmade truffles that “melt at the temp. of the human body, the way chocolate should”, vanilla mouse puree stuff. Lets just say cake and cookies are not in her league. Xiao Fu specializes in everything. One meal, which was average, was everything scratch made, baby back ribs (cooked for 9 hours) in home made sweet and sour sauce with 13 spices, with black steamed hand picked mushrooms from China with red bell peppers, but not your typical peppers. Don’t ask, they were just better, and made by a chinese man who really cares about details.

Let me go back, breakfast was suggested with a push in my direction. Istell, smiling, states, “we have three cheeses, not from America”. Surrounded by relecs from the dynasties of past mixed with museum like everything, my shoulders seem to shrug by themselves when ever she offered any type of food. To her chocolate truffles could be eaten, at anytime. Breakfast truffles, lunch and before bed. Mixed in-between all of that was world class live violin serenading by Xiao Fu. Mixed in between that was always some type of tea from China served in strange bowls with dragons on them. Always served not a minute to soon or too late. Always served with intent to educate me on something. Xiao Fu always used metaphors. “Changing notes on a violin should be like sweeping a sleeping mosquito off the pond, not to harm but to transport”.

Huh? Yeah your absolutely right. It makes sense. Which is strange. In my three days there I was trained in a quick piano course by a Julie Art and Curtis graduate so I could play my favorite song by Chopin.

So the flow of humble luxury began to become normal. Everything worked as it should. Nothing was late or early in this house. The oven dinged as the tea kettle began to sing, almost as the two were set on the stage of a grand concert hall. Some might play the melody off as coincidence but I say that in this house any coincidence is impossible. For the surroundings that establish the residences of a Chinese violinist and a french Mongolian music teacher/culinary extraordinaire are that everything is placed to purpose. After dinner was always tea and stories.

Nestled on stark living room chairs, I listened. And not to my surprise My Baby walked around the corner, with her tongue out, wide eyed and ready for immediate attention. I was already sitting in her favorite spot; a sun chair facing directly towards the practice piano, across from the harpsichord. She strutted past the tall leaning photography book pile holding everything from Selgado to McCurry, over the large Persian rug sitting in the middle of the room. There destination was my lap, decided by territorial instinct. This flat faced cat, whose domain was now invaded with the new guest, had too flat of a face to breathe out her nose, so her tongue was always out as a snorkel. My Baby loved me from the beginning, as I did love My Baby. Istell and My Baby talk to each other, that is all I will say.

Now I sit with the cold in Philadelphia’s urban home front. The metal chairs on the front porch of this old column stunted setting face north south east and I am in the west. Istell, on the piano, leads her student, on the violin, with each note hit once, then twice if the student can not find it. Many who master the violin say that they can speak any human emotion through the concertos of the greats. The violin played by a student is one long whimper, broken up by Istell’s forte. I watch The mother of the student sit as she reads her book facing the pianist and the violinist. As the child continues to miss keys the rocking of her foot hastens.
I am tired of writing so the rest will wait. Told people here in Houston a little about my faith. It is crazy to see my past as God’s preparation for His next step and blessing. All praise be to God!! I am searching in Him for strength and boldness to stand out from the crowd of “known Christians” and step into each life I am around with intention to kill. If you know what I mean. To all Hamtramrs (not mispelled) I will be back for 6 days starting on the 20th which will include 1 night light and 1 awakening. And then off till April 17. God be praised. Stand Strong, victory is close.

  1. Andrea Gideon said:

    Sounds like an amazing time! I am praying for you bro 🙂 See you soon.

  2. jihunpark said:

    steve mcGEE

  3. That’s awesome!!! Xiao Fu’s metaphor about changing notes is a great visual. I wish I could play my viola that smoothly.

    Keep up the good work! Your art MATTERS.

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