Shima (short for Yumi Miyagishima) already knows what life is all about: She was born to play the violin. She knows this. That discovery, that conviction, that vision. When she plays _ sometimes in a deafening cavernous live-house, filled with throat-scratching smoke mixing with the laughter of other young people like her, dancing, talking, being themselves; sometimes in an organic-food restaurant, wafting faraway sounds like the harmonium and the Chilean flute and the smell of curry and memories of hippie dreams from the 60s_ her violin wails with the determined cries of a thousand women, all choosing to live for what they believe in, taking a stand. Bring out the violins _ people don’t say that for no reason. The weeping violin makes me feel all the love I have for her, and for Women Artists, that I have to fight to hold back my tears. When I tell her this, she laughs and suggests humbly her playing may be so sad? Watching you brings me only joy and pride. So many people take the easy way out _ get a job, get married, look for money, seek status. But you stand. And play the violin. Because that’s what you were born on earth to do. She told me once: “Today was a good day. I got up, I had a nice brunch, and I played the violin.” She is also very wise. I ask her, worried: “What’s going to happen when we just grow older and older?” “Don’t worry about it. You just enter a different stage in life,” is her reply, delivered as a fact, in her trademark carefree, free-spirit, oh, so spiritual shrug. And I believe her.