Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I See Deaf People – Violinist Joshua Bell as a Busker in the D.C. Metro

It is ironic that I became aware of this remarkable article on last Sunday’s Washington Post through the kindness of my friend, Jason Turgeon, who toils for a Federal agency – the Environmental Protection Agency. The article recounts a recent experiment that placed world-renowned concert violinist, Joshua Bell, playing incognito, at the exit to the L’Enfant Plaza Metro stop in the heart of D.C. – at the nexus of where many federal agencies and departments have their headquarters.

The article, written with superb insight and artistry by Washington Post staff writer, Gene Weingarten, is enlightening and disturbing on many levels. The reactions of the busy commuters on that busy morning serve as a microcosm and metaphor for the insidious effects of the busyness of our quotidian existence.

I implore and advise you to take a few moments to read Weigarten’s brilliant piece. There are several reasons why I offer this advice. It is rare to find this level of literary sophistication and well-considered analysis in today’s metropolitan newspapers – even those that perennially take home Pulitzer Prizes. This article should serve for each of us as a cautionary tale, warning us to slow down and “smell the coffee,” – or, more aptly – listen to the delicious syncopated sound of the coffee percolating. Finally, it may embolden you to seek out a live or recorded performance by Joshua Bell and his ilk – artists of talent and inspiration who offer us a respite from the rat race, and who, through their artistry, open for us a window into transcendence.

We just have to be wise enough to put no the brakes, slow down and accept the pearls that are being offered.


Thanks, Jason



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