March 14, 2011

Things are going well. Today was my first full day at work in a while. Last week I was fortunate to have a class scheduled on Saturday, which meant I could shorten my regular days a little and still make it through the week. This weekend I told Mike that I felt I’d hit the “every other day is a normal day” stage, and would soon go to every third day. What an upgrade over a few weeks ago. Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes, cards, and prayers the last month. Tomorrow marks exactly a month from my first visit to Dr. Smith and the downhill spiral of something. (anybody get the name of that truck that hit me?) I have figured out some triggers that set things off — certain ways of bending, lifting, etc., that cause my spine to be off center. At least now I know a lot of what to avoid. And the shoulder is much better. Sore, but not so bad. I quit sleeping in the sling after a week, and just have to remember not to grab and pull doors and drawers with that arm for a while. :0} And, hey, I can predict the weather with another little cracked bone. Goes with the cracked ankle from 30 years ago!

All of this has made me think of something from many years ago. A dear friend of my mother’s, Gladys Haynes, used to talk about her daughter and how she would get ready for a date. When we were growing up, round neck blouses and cardigans were the thing to wear. Well, Anne (yep, that’s her name, too) used to just iron the part of the blouse that showed. After all, no one was going to see the rest. It made our mothers laugh to think about it. One day recently i was pressing a blouse and thought of that story. It came to me that Anne was teaching us a pretty useful message. She was tending to the important things, and the not-so-important things (the part of the blouse you couldn’t see) could take care of themselves. It’s all about priorities, isn’t it? Sometimes you just have to let things go and take care of what’s important! And it fits with this story that another dear friend of mine from childhood sent me recently. Thanks to Peg Price Weeks for this insightful true story:


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.  After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing.  He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar.  A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.  The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.  This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.  About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over.  No one noticed and no one applauded.  There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.  Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.  Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

      *In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW ………… it has an expiration date!

Blesssings to all. Take care of yourselves, and send prayers to the people of Japan right now.

Anne & Mike