Wednesday 15 April 2009
Randomness of life
I was on the underground a couple of days ago and out of the blue the most exquisite classical music floated past me.
I think there was some Rachmaninov too.
I looked across and there was a middle aged man in threadbare clothes playing an electric violin.
It was shiny and hard, glinting in the light and it looked cared for and bright - unlike its owner.
Everyone was silent, quiet, spellbound.
Even those with Ipods on took them off and listened. It was if a magician had cast his spell over all of us.
He carried on with piece after piece. I closed my eyes and imagined I was at a concert at the Wigmore Hall.
I then caught his eye and he smiled. I said thank you and smiled back.
When he stopped - he looked around the train and said in impeccable Queen's English with a general lilt:
"If you feel you'd like to support me and there is absolutely no obligation, feel free to donate - my job was....credit crunched..".
I felt the tears well up inside and fumbled around for some money. It felt insulting. I decided it was like paying for a concert - so I gave him ten pounds.
He looked startled. He stopped. He said - "Thank you, thank you so much - you have no idea how this will help me this week."
I felt embarrassed.
How quickly do we spend ten pounds?
I replied -"It's ok, really - we all go through hard times.."
The way he was spreading joy and inspiration through his gift without a trace of bitterness was even more special than his music.
Posted by Joanna Benn at 17:34