January 23, 2017- The Man the Spirits Took


We were sitting at breakfast at the hotel yesterday morning before the show we were doing.  The television hummed in the background with the news and people sat eating, talking, I sipped my coffee.

“Police have identified the transient that was shot by the owner after breaking into an apartment…” I barely even comprehended the story or my own thoughts.  That was my friend. And then the thought vanished and into our day we went.  It wasn’t until later in the car driving home yesterday evening that I thought, Donnie!  I looked up the news article.  Donald Wayne Russell.

We did a farmers market for years at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs.  There the homeless are plentiful, proud, and most have no desire to get back on their feet.  It is a lifestyle to beg on corners, wait for the soup kitchen to open, steal money if they can, have babies, and spend their money on alcohol and meth, which they openly smoked behind our line of tents.

We would fix wounds and give free medicines to the homeless and got to know some of them.  Donnie was at a half way house nearby.  He was tall, graceful, with beautiful brown skin, and compassionate eyes.  He was a Kansas farm boy turned ballerina, then got hurt, and somehow slipped down this road.  I had just closed my dance company and we talked about dance and arts and farms and even though I knew he was a little off, he was very kind and we were kindred spirits.  He loved that my Brain medicine helped him find his words quicker and clearer.  I gave him topical and internal safe pain relievers for his old injury.

Each year he would find me and we would embrace in a flurry of long lost friendship and I was thankful he was well.  But the last year we did the market was different.  I saw him and gasped.  His ribs protruded up far from his chest and his eyes were wild.  “Donnie, aren’t you eating?” I asked.  He said that the soup kitchen was trying to brain wash him and he wouldn’t go.  He was no longer at the half way house.  I took him across the street to get some coffee.  When we walked in the owner and cooks turned and looked at me as if I was about to rob them.  That I had deceived them.  They looked terrified at Donnie.  Donnie began to yell and hoot and we had our coffee in record time and were out of there!

He spent the remainder of the time in front of my booth maniacally yelling how good my medicines were and scaring the customers all through the market.  I knew that the spirits had finally taken over what was left of Donnie.

That was three years ago.  The building turned apartments where the shooting occurred is near downtown.  I do not know for sure if is the same person, but in that instant of absolute intuitive knowing that it was him before I even comprehended the story, I have to believe it was.  I can see Donnie wandering in and yelling and carrying on…May he rest in peace now.

#1 Trust your intuition fiercely.  All of the answers are within you.

#2 Be careful with drugs and alcohol.  That is how spirits get in to take over.

#3 You can’t save the world but you can show love to each person put into your path.

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