When Gary Burghoff (a.k.a. MASH’s Radar O’Reilly) stopped into the donut shop I worked at during college, I smiled politely while the other waitress clawed her way past me to wait on him.

In Boston one night, I passed Paula Abdul and nodded hello as she passed. “PAULA!” squealed one of my friends and chased after her for two city blocks!

Nope, that’s not me. I’m not one to get star-struck very often. Haven’t been a big “fan” of anyone since I taped Shaun Cassidy posters all over my bedroom wall.

That’s not to say I don’t admire people, or have crushes on celebrities now and then. That’s not to say there are not people with whom I feel a certain connection, even though I have never met them.


Such was the case on Friday, when I was invited to a casual dinner with some friends…and Melissa Harris!

Melissa is an amazing artist who creates magical paintings, conducts creativity workshops, and offers intuitive (psychic) guidance. I first met her last year, briefly, at a women’s expo in Hartford, but I had known about her for years.

In 1996, I moved my business into its first real “office”—my new home that included a small apartment and commercial office space. To dedicate the office, I purchased a print of Melissa’s painting The Woman Who Wanted It All. It shows a woman in a forest against a night sky, reaching for a star.

It shows exactly how I felt at the time—30 years old with a new business, a new home, and a new chapter in my life.

That painting has sat above my desk for the past 14 years!

It felt rather serendipitous, then, to meet up with Melissa at the Hartford women’s expo. Even more so to discover that she knows two friends of mine here in Branford! And that is how we came to have dinner together on Friday.

Indeed, I felt star-struck and fascinated. Not just by the serendipity of meeting Melissa again, but by the magic that unfolded across the table. We were like four old friends—wise women sharing our journeys with conversation and laughter for hours. Kindred spirits—each reaching for the stars!

• • •

Caption from The Woman Who Wanted It All:

Early on she had been advised to
Each star led her to the next until
she had succeeded in weaving together
a life filled with all the good things
she could imagine.

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One thought on “Star-Struck

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  1. what a lovely way to tie so many lovely things together – a star, star struck, reaching for the stars – she’s just lovely, and i am honored to know three such wonderful wise women!!!!

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