Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Basically, Homo Sapiens Rule!

Every so often, we’re treated to one of those experiences that seems to define who you are a person by virtue of the way you see the world. For example, have you ever looked at a piece of scenery – a sunset or mountain range, for example – and suddenly realized how extraordinary this world actually is?

These moments don’t come very often, unfortunately. Well, at least for me they don’t. I’ve discovered more about myself with how bitter and annoyed I can get with my fellow human beings rather than how amazing some of them can be. However, this morning, all of that changed for a few minutes as I walked out of the Metro station jamming to some piece of shallow music on my iPhone.

At the top of the escalator were two people playing instruments. Now, in a city like DC, that’s not necessarily noteworthy as there are hundreds of aspiring musicians who seem to flock to the entrances of our subways. However, this time the people seemed to be playing with a burning intensity that I’ve only seen in some of the best musicians on the planet. So, and not without some guilt thanks to this article, I took out my earbuds. Instantly, I was treated to some of the most unique and awe-inspiring music I’ve heard in a long time.

On the left was a beautiful woman playing the violin. She looked like she might be of eastern European descent. And on the right, was a interesting looking man (frizzy, burnt orange hair) playing the bass guitar. Now, you’re probably thinking… “Oh geez, I’ve seen similar combos and they sound like crap.” And, they probably did. However, in this case, nothing could be further from the truth. These two people (not to mention instruments) were excellent together! They were playing a familiar classical tune (I don’t know the name, so don’t ask) with unbridled passion that is 100% unusual in this type of setting. It was intense!

Naturally, I opened my wallet and dropped in a few bucks so that I would feel comfortable as I planted myself to watch them for a while. I actually got goosebumps listening to the sounds. They had sheet music in front of them, and a bucket of cash that my fellow commuters seemed eager to add upon. The bass guitar was hooked up to an amplifier, and the violinist just played her heart out (no amplification needed).

As I sat there for about six minutes, I lost myself in imagining what it must be like to have a talent like that. But even without such skills, I brimmed with pride at what wonderful things our fellow human beings are capable of. And it was then when it hit me: humans are not the monsters most people think them to be. Yes, we’re capable of some pretty crappy things… but the things that we achieve, the things that we are capable of warrant so much more respect. I’m glad that for at least a few minutes this morning, I was able to show some.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Multimedia message

Back in the OBX