Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Give it away

image from here on flickr

I walked up from underground last Friday, emerging onto the city street. I'd arrived on a train the minute before and joined the crowd of tunnel-visioned commuters, through the Central ticket gates and up the stairs to sunlight. We marched sharing purpose and pace.

I have my morning habits so while I filed away my weekly ticket, I got out some change for a coffee.

Near the coffee stand, by the fence, three men were playing funk music and the crowd stopped rushing. We hesitated. The music changed the context and I stood to listen.

Strangely, I'd noticed another busker only two days before. I suspect I've passed many more without registering. It had sparked a thought about the generosity of playing music in public. Playing without a guaranteed return.

Perhaps it needs to be music you appreciate. Most of us only give attention to buskers who are good, ... or under the age of eight. It's like karaoke - we ignore it or block it out if it's average. But occasionally someone who can really sing gets up and I focus because I don't want to miss it.

So I stood at the kerb, turned back to the band and let the music enter my morning. My coffee money ended up in a stranger's guitar case and the exchange was complete. I walked up the hill, stopped to buy my coffee, the music carried with me for the day.

I love that they were there playing. That their abandon and fun touched a crowd of morning commuters. That the keyboard player's hair bounced with the music. That strangers can share connections, and that creativity is generously given.

What if we could all seek moments to give what we make or who we are to people? What if we could find opportunities to step into people's everyday rhythms and give them some fun? Be a blessing just because we can.

That moment of music has got me thinking. Got me looking for ways to deliver unexpected blessings.

image from here
Sharing with Emily at Imperfect Prose.


Beth said...

Thanks for this unexpected challenge to give without hesitation to those I meet, Kath. I hope that my words encourage you as a start to my journey to give today!

Kati Woronka said...

I've often walked by the buskers and enjoyed their music and then felt guilty for not paying them. But how much are they worth? And do I pay this guy or the one at the next bridge? I always default to ignoring them while also enjoying the guilty pleasure. But I'd never thought of it as their generosity before, their desire to share with us. That's a really lovely perspective and may help me make wiser decisions...

Carrie Van Horn said...

Your experience and thoughts on this are inspiring Kath! Thanks for making us think a little deeper from the heart! :-)

Brandee Shafer said...

You know, I really love this post and am going to share on fb. I've heard some performances on Cary Street that have made my eyes well up. And I love the fight of a busker: the way (s)he doesn't give up, even if a curb is the venue. I want to write w/ the same heart: to write for writing's sake...or maybe for God's glory...even if no one appreciates, some days.

Kath said...

I love your passion Brandee!