On January 12th 2007, the Washington Post set up a social experiment. The newspaper placed concert violinist Joshua Bell incognito on a Washington, D.C. subway platform and performed classical music for passersby for 45 minutes to gauge the response of passerby's.
Just to put this in perspective, Joshua Bell is one of the best musicians in the world and he was playing one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days prior to this experiment, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100. per person.
How did the populace respond? Mostly, not at all, the ones that really noticed were the children but they were pulled along there way by impatient parents who were too busy to notice what was happening.
Watch and Listen to this beautiful music.
I have found that this is actually an issue for many. When I lived in NYC I loved to stop and listen the tunnel musician's in the subway system. They were usually Julliard students trying to get extra cash playing during rush hour in the Lexington Station.
There is beauty that surrounds us all but the blinders of everyday life that people have harnessed themselves into have limit their field of view. The goal that I have set for myself is to try to see the beauty that is around me.
In my early and mid 20's, I was doing a great deal of traveling in between NYC, SF & Boston. When traveling, I would take the Red Eye from SF to get into Boston in time for a full day of classes. I would usually end up flying through O'Hare and taking off before sunrise. There is this moment, at 40 thousand feet, before the sun rises and a blood red band stretches across the horizon. It is so amazing and one of my most favorite colors.
|Sunrise at 40 thousand feet|
Then, in the early 90's, while I was living in the East Bay, I had to drive over the Bay Bridge every morning to work and I would always marvel at the sun rising over the Golden Gate or the fog over the city. I would find myself wondering if anyone else was watching the glorious colors unfolding before them.
|Sunrise over the Oakland Bay Bridge|
In 2006 I moved to Tucson AZ. Living in a ring of mountains and seeing the AZ colors during the seasonal changes was a time in my live that I would never give up. I loved and lived for the feel and the smell of the summer monsoons. I would search for the winter storms that would grow in the mountains and expand over the Tucson Valley and see them swallow up the day. I hiked the trails taking in the nature of the area, loving every cactus and taking in the wildlife of the high desert.
But more than anything else, during the last 15 years, I have cherished the time that I have spent driving the width and breadth of this country. My travels have given me some of the most amazing images that I always carry with me.
I have actually driven through a rainbow and seen one grace a field with it's touching down to earth. I have seen the fiercest of thunder storms grow on the horizon before me and driven through the windswept blizzards over mountain passes. The sunsets and sunrises have been my companions through there miles and I greet each one with the anticipation of the possible grander.
I have been blessed to see the country unfold before me and watch the changes in the terrain as I drove from the deserts of the southwest, to the mountain ranges of the Colorado Rockies. I have driven the straight long miles of the plains of Nebraska and Iowa east to the metropolis of Chicago. My drive from Tacoma, WA to the mountains of Montana and Glacier National Park last summer was like nothing I have ever experienced. I love the drive through the Appalachian Mountains south towards the Carolinas then on through towards the Everglades of Florida as it reminds me go my childhood travels with my family.
|Colorado River Gorge|
I find solace in the solitude of these quiet moments in my car as the miles tick away. It clears my mind and I solve the problems of the world. I will depart on my journeys hours before the sunrise and drive well into the sunset all the while trying to take in all of the majesty that unrolls before me. If I find a view that I must take in, then I stop to soak it all in and hope that I can retain the memory.
As I drive, I search the skies and the trees for the hawks and falcons on the hunt that soar on the thermals and watch patiently as we all pass by and this year I have been blessed with the sightings of two American Bald Eagles soaring in the early mornings.
|Red Tail hanging out on thermals|
All I can say to any who reads this post is to take the time to listen to the music of the world around you. See the wonders as you pass by and find time to pause to watch the sunrise, sunset and moonrise. These moments will enrich your soul in ways that you cannot fathom.
|Shoe Tree in Utah in my rear view mirror|
P.S. Don't forget to look in the rear view mirror occasionally.