for the love of it
i heard him before i saw him. i was walking by this convenience store when i heard music coming from its open door. it sounded homemade the way cookies taste when they come out of your own oven or how a birthday card feels when your friend uses a glue stick to hold the pieces together. a little bit bumpy and frayed around the edges, but genuine, a call for a second glance. i took a few steps back and peered in and i saw the man behind the counter playing the violin. something about this image struck me and i pulled out my camera and sneakily snapped a blurry photo before running away, hoping that he didn’t see me. i didn’t want to interrupt whatever magic i had seen, but as soon as it was too late to go back, i wished i had been brave enough to walk into the store and ask to take his picture because he inspired me.
for a long time, i thought that he inspired me because of his discipline. he’s practicing even while he’s working! talk about commitment. lately though, i wonder if it was something else. his discipline is admirable, but maybe what struck me more was his devotion. i only saw him for ten seconds, but in that short time i imagined that he loved the violin so much that his fingers itched to touch its strings when he was away for too long, that he heard its music even when he tapped the buttons of the cash register, that the violin was a friend that helped him remember who he is and what the world is all about. maybe he was playing just to practice. but maybe he was playing because he loved it.