Play Your Tune

It was the day we went to the Chicago Art Institute.  And there, in the middle of the sidewalk, he stood.


Gerhard Taschner plays Bach: Sonata No. 1 – Fuga (rec. 1943)

There he stood, in the midst of honking taxi  horns, bustling crowds, a homeless man attempting to sell magazines by telling bad jokes…and us.  Completely unflapped by his surroundings, his open violin case held some spare change and a few bills.  On he played the Bach, persistant counterpoint turning one brilliant phrase after another.  It didn’t matter if we all existed or not.  It was his spot, and the sound kept coming.  Cascading arpeggios, rapid scales, feverishly sawed out of the instrument by a man who was on a mission.  When the last chord rang, my hands couldn’t hold still, and a few others in the crowd joined me, perhaps out of a sense of duty, or thinking that they didn’t want me to look foolish, being the only person there who was applauding.  Several people afterwards came up to him, thanked him, and dropped some money in the case.

Where are you right now?
What is it that you are focused on?
What matters?  What doesn’t?
Are you paying attention to the tune?

“Attention is living; inattention is dying.
The attentive never stop; the inattentive are dead already.”

– Dhammapada 21, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Be well, and at peace,


Explore posts in the same categories: Buddhism, Life, Meditation, music, Photography, spirituality

One Comment on “Play Your Tune”

  1. The Juicer Says:

    Lovely write up Phil, I think I was there with you, well almost, through your words:)
    Did you get a chance to speak to him?

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