Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Ordinary Music

I recently read a story which has stuck with me all week.   As far as I know it is a true story.

It was a cold January morning and a young man sat busking in a Metro Station in Washington, DC playing his violin.   The music went on for 45 minutes.   He played six Bach pieces, which took him approximately an hour, during which time it is estimated that roughly 1000 people walked past him, most being on their way to work.  During that time it was noted that only six people actually stopped to listen for a while, most just rushed by him.  In that hour he collected $32, mostly from people who threw their coins into his violin case as they quickly walked past him.

The one paying the most attention to him was a three year old boy, whose mother tugged him along, hurrying along and dragging her child away from what was obviously really fascinating him, for he continued to look back as they went.   There were several other children who did the same . . . and whose parents, without exception, forced them to move along. 

 Nobody was aware that this was World Class Violinist, Joshua Bell, who . . .  only two nights previously . . .  had sold out a theatre in Boston where seats for concerts averaged a cost of $100.    One of the most talented musicians in the world,  he had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written . . . on a violin worth several million dollars . . . and yet nobody, with very few exceptions, even noticed.  There was no applause or recognition, and when he was finished it was as if he had never even been there . . . and yet there had been at least a thousand people who had had the opportunity to enjoy this impromptu free concert.

I am quite sure that whilst I may have stopped for a few minutes to listen . . . I often do . . . I would probably have made my way along to work or whatever other errand were calling me at the time.    I often watch and listen to the Buskers in Chester when we are in town, but I seldom stand and watch them for any more than a few minutes.  When I read this story about Joshua Bell . . . I was brought up short, and I wondered how many blessings  we actually miss in our lives because we are too busy to notice them, or to stop to appreciate them. 

 How much beauty do we look past in our striving to achieve or to discover something better?   How many blessings do we fail to experience . . . because we can't slow ourselves down long enough to experience them?   We say we enjoy the simple things in life . . . and yet we often spend more time chasing after greater things, brushing aside the simple as being humdrum and inconsequential.

"There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.   The other is as though everything is a miracle."
~Albert Einstein

Over these past few years,  I have made it my mission to embrace simplicity . . . and to be grateful no matter the circumstance.  Through that journey I have discovered that less  truly IS more and that life IS only as beautiful as we choose to make it.   That our lives are richly embroidered with the threads and stitches of simple joys and pleasures, which could so very easily be missed did we not slow down to take note and enjoy them.  That amidst pain and despair . . . there can be great beauty, and . . . yes . . . much hope. 

 That beauty and joy is truly to be found in the small ordinary details of life . . . a table smartly set with love and care, a wrinkled face which glows with experience, the way the light falls through the window and across the table on a late Winter's afternoon . . . the sight of a wag-tail hopping along the shed roof on a cold, cold day, looking for sustenance  . . . simple labors often taken for granted, but which can noticeably lift the soul if one but lets them . . . duty observed with loving ministration, a smile, a touch, a voice . . . a sigh . . . there is unexpected music to be found in the simple ordinary moments of  life

We must never be so busy or in so much of a hurry that we fail to acknowledge the gift that each day brings us . . . moment by moment, small joy by small joy . . . simple thing by simple thing. 

"If the stars would appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore."
~Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Yesterdays Silver Lining . . . an afternoon with nowhere to go and nothing to do but watch my pencil scratch across the pad of my art paper, creating, dreaming . . . discovering.

A thought to carry with you through today . . . 
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

""Don't let the good things of life rob you of the best things."
~Maltbie D Babcock     •。★★ 。* 。 

BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Todays Reading -   Jarom 1:1-15 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? Why is it so important for us to learn about and understand the Plan of Salvation? 
My thoughts - verses 7-9. Satan comes many times to battle against us. Prophets and apostles are 'mighty men in the faith of the Lord' and they teach us the ways of the Lord. Ways that will help us withstand the adversary and sweep away all his wickedness from our lives and homes. By following their counsel we become 'rich' spiritually, we build weapons needed to fortify & protect ourselves with, we are prepared for any battle with Satan and he will not win!!
The words of prophets also prick my heart and continually stir me up to repentance (verse12). I am grateful for this. I love our prophet and apostles and I know they are men of God, called to be special witnesses of Christ and lead us in righteousness. I need and I want their guidance and the truth and hope that their words fill me with. I can't wait to feast on the next General Conference. 
In the meantime I make it a point to listen to one or two talks from past Conferences every day.  Yesterday I listened to this one. "Safety for The Soul" by Elder Jeffrey R Holland which was given at the April 2009 conference.  I had actually listened to it on Monday evening with Todd and I listened to it again in bed last night.  I was very struck by and moved by it. The realisation came to me that the first time I would have heard it, we were living in our cottage down in Kent, totally unaware of the calamity that lay ahead of us in less than a year's time. A time when we were faced with a very difficult and dark journey.  This was a time when it would have been very easy for us to fall away from the safety net of the Gospel, to finger point or to blame.  But we did not, and what was maybe one of the worst things to happen to us in our almost 18 years together actually became a blessing to us, an a great faith strengthener. 
 "Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair." 
Just another one of the Lord's tender mercies that have come to me via the Words of the Prophets and my understanding of the Plan of Salvation. 
Tomorrow's reading - Day 90 - Omni 1:1-11 
Question - Why is it important to keep a family record? What are the benefits of keeping a journal? 
In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Very, very good!  Quick, easy and delicious.  That should be my byline!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!  


  1. I was just thinking that my nephew was fortunate to have another Happy Birthday yesterday.
    He has been fighting incurable cancer for over 2 years and recently found out it's now in his lungs!
    He was the one that put his arm around my shoulder and guided me out of my Aunt Emily's room after she had a stroke. Everyone was standing there and I just lost it seeing her just laying there! He stayed right with me and talk to me til I was calm. So why him is what I ask myself? He worked in a hospital every day, I can't believe the dr's didn't catch it in time!

    Today is my sister and brother-in-law's Anniversary but right now all they can think about is how long their son is going to be alive.

    What I'm very thankful for is being able to see and talk to my parents alot! ♥♥

    People now a days, tend to go about their business bc there are alot of wackos out there. Or if people are too friendly,then they put their guard up real fast, afraid to be robbed or worse!

    There's even people in my town, if I say something, they will just stare at you if they don't know you.

    A couple weeks ago their were 3 children by my driveway on a sled. I told them they needed to move on the sidewalk, when I backed out bc it was icy and I was afraid of sliding into them and I didn't want anything to happen to them! Plus if a car went flying by, they wouldn't be able to stop quick enough! They blocked their ears and said we can't hear you! We don't talk to strangers! They didn't want to go on the sidewalk! I repeated myself loudly several times and asked where their parents were. The oldest was prob 8. By then, the mother heard me and hollered to her kids. They lived on the side st which I figured it was them. They got the message bc I haven't seen them since and she watches other children during the day! Those kids talk to me when their dog runs loose though.
    So it's sad but true that it's so different now!

    Those oatmeal choc chip muffins look so yummy Marie! The muffins I miss were cherry muffins in a box and I would load them up with walnuts. They were fast and easy esp working after 12 hours every day when there was overtime. Some day I need to look for a recipe. I haven't seen many maraschino recipes or haven't looked in the right places. Wow I'm long winded tonight, which is exactly early morn!

    It's getting so cold again!
    I hope you have a great day!
    Love and big hugs!xo

    1. How very sad to read about your nephew Jan. life just doesn’t seem fair sometimes. I will be keeping your family in my prayers. I am grateful for being able to speak with my parents also. It is hard to see them getting old and being so far away. Those children sound very cheeky and rude. I have a recipe on my blog for a lovely maraschino cake! It’s supposed to snap really cold for the weekend here! Xoxo

  2. How sad about your nephew:(

    And those Littles..I am reminded f a story.I once drove a pres-school teacher to work one morning..100 yrs I drove up the street.. 3 little girls were sliding down the snowbank ONTO the street..I said:what kind of mother lets her kids do that?"..Foot in mouth because they were her kids..and What kind of..are words I stopped saying right about at least 35 yrs ago;)
    You point 1 finger..3 point back at you:)

    Marie..that story is great!
    In the country..I don't see buskers.. in Mtl there must be some..but we never go..except for appts..and we park and get public transport etc..

    but in Provence..many....and many empty hats.
    Is it also from being shy to stop also?
    In Aix..a wonderful troupe performed..dancers/ flexible lol..and I was exciting to me..and I was able to get J to stop for a bit too.
    I love appreciation and I often think that gene in me is too accentuated.
    If there is such a thing.
    Have a great day!

    1. We are only human Monique and sometimes we do slip up! Be kind to yourself and know that you are kind more often than not! We have lovely Buskers in Chester. If you go onto You Tube and search for Buskers in Chester Uk you will see some lovely ones. There is a magnificent violinist called Ed who plays beautifully. I think there is one video of him showing scenes of Chester while he plays. You are an empathest as am I and I wouldn’t be any other way. Xoxo

  3. I had heard that story before and agree it is a good reminder to appreciate that come out way each day. Every day may not be a good one but there is something good in every day when we take the time to look.

    1. You are very right Pam! There is certainly good in every day! Xoxo

  4. Meant to say...Appreciate what comes our way...

  5. Hello Marie - I have heard that story before about Joshua Bell, and it is an incredible experience to listen to him play. The first time, however, that I learned of him as a violinist, was from the movie "Ladies in Lavender", starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Joshua is not "in" the movie, but he plays the violin music.

    I enjoy reading your blog and recipes. Have a great day!

    - Cheryl, Utah, USA

    1. Hi Cheryl! So nice to see a comment from you! I did not know that he played the violin in that lovely film! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! Xoxo

  6. Beautiful Marie, as I'm getting older I don't take anything for granted or anyone! I count my blessings everyday now and I have so many. I was driving Nick crazy over the Blue Moon last night...I knew I wouldn't see another one in my lifetime!
    They have Buskers in Ottawa Marie during the summer....
    Did you get my e mail yesterday? Di

    1. Too overcast here to see it Di! Unfortunately. That is often the case! I did and I responded! Xoxo


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