Alternate post title: “Why I couldn’t finish my salad this evening”
I’m home alone tonight because first, someone had the audacity to high-tail it to a Caribbean island and bask in the tropical sun without me. Second, the ensemble that our son is a part of is performing tonight with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Everyone’s got big and important things to do. Including me. This afternoon, I had the equally-notable privilege of making sure the family car was properly inspected at the absolute last day possible without the risk of a ticket. That, and I had to buy cucumbers.
Muy importante. That’s my role around here.
After almost two hours at the inspection facility (procrastinators, all of them!), I returned home and vowed never again to wait until the last minute to get the car inspected. And to never ever leave this house again when it’s this cold. It was brutal, man.
After putting everything away and tidying up a bit, I fixed myself a nice salad for dinner and started sifting through the messages and tweets that came in while I was gone. One caught my eye, and this is the story of how I ended up spending my evening crying into my salad bowl.
- I see a tweet from Michael Zhang of @PetaPixel, leading to a blog post that asked, “Do People Recognize Great Photography?” Intrigued, I read the post.
- The post leads me to a Washington Post article by Gene Weingarten that won him the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. It was a social experiment involving “one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made.” The setting was the L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C., during morning rush hour. The musician would simply stand against a wall, like any other street musician, and play. Weingarten further explains, “His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?” (It’s an excellent read.)
- Now I want to hear more violin music, and realize that I haven’t listened to any of my favorite classical pieces in a while. I hook up my external drive that holds all my music, and while waiting, search online for clips of Joshua Bell’s recent performances and recordings.
- I find the clip below, hit ‘play,’ and just like that, everything stops. And, from head to toe, I am all at once tingling and shivering and frozen and melting and I am conscious of little else other than the sound of those strings.
I couldn’t stop listening to it. Over and over and over again. And again.
When I finally remembered that the drive with all my music was loaded, I decided I could use a little more torture. I played
and … and … my cup and eyes and soul and pinky toe and ears and heart, they overfloweth.
I also discovered that this house needs more tissues.
And that is the story of how I went from innocently sitting at my desk with a bowl of Caesar salad and a small glass of milk, and half an hour later, morphed into a pool of emotional goo that fortunately still had the sense not to spill anything on her laptop.
P.S. Does music move you the same way? If so, what songs or pieces do it for you? Please share, so I can go listen to it during breakfast tomorrow. Because I think I may have discovered the perfect diet plan for me.
Update: Breakfast music
(I’ve always loved this piece—thanks for reminding me of Saint-Saëns, Kristi!)