Teach Us to Count the Days…

3 05 2007

I just finished reading this article about violinist Joshua Bell’s experience with busking (aka, street-performing)…it’s a long article, but take your time and really read through – it will break your heart.

I’m a fan of Joshua Bell. I think his playing is way up there in the heavens where us mere mortals only dream of reaching. I also think he’s one of the more accessible musicians nowadays – a good blend of smoking talent and right-headed upbringing (he wrote an article in Reader’s Digest some months ago paying tribute to his teacher, Joseph Gingold, whom he says was “secretly pleased” when he spent more time playing video games than practicing; I wish I had that kind of teacher) – he doesn’t seem to have the ostracizing aura the likes of Jascha Heifetz possessed…the sort of, “I am good, you are a peasant.” (I’m not saying that was his exact attitude, but that’s the impression I get of him from watching videos of him).

You read the article for yourself and ruminate over it – if you can, watch the included video. As an incentive to really read that article, let me quote part of a comment left by one of it’s readers (you should read them, too):

“…people in general rarely do whats really important, instead we waste our days doing things we don’t like, just to make ends meet. We give up our dreams just….well I don’t know why. Maybe because we are scared. I work on the Hill and I think every day what it would be like to pack it all up and move to California and make wine. I want my life to have meaning and even though I get great meaning from my relationships, my work and my busy pace really sometimes makes me sick. I think the tears are from not knowing whats important and not using our important time on this earth wisely.”

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