Friday, January 30, 2009

Everyday beauty

The Washington Post published an article about an experiment they did: they got Joshua Bell, one of the best violinists in the world, to play incognito in a subway station. They wanted to see if, without the PR he usually gets for his stage performances, anybody would stop to listen. The result was--hardly anybody stopped to listen.

Oooo, I do love a social experiment.

Sorry, this made me laugh. Is it just me, or does it look like he's on the set of Sesame Street?

I recommend reading the article. Two thoughts came to my mind:

1. Am *I* too busy, too insensitive, to unculutured, too unfeeling that I don't notice beauty around me? Would I have walked right by? DO I walk right by, figuratively, every day?

2. Beauty is recognized as such when it is framed. On a stage in a symphony hall, billed as a world-class violinist, people expect to hear beauty. In a dingy subway station, people expect inconvenience as a busker tries to eke out a few bucks with his classical schtick.

The frame gives the medium significance.

It's the same with art, with nature, with people.

My daughter writes the best books . . . but none are published.

Our citrus tree doesn't look like much . . . but its fruit is juicy and sweet.

My friend Allison is the most gorgeous person I've ever met . . . but she's a wife, mother, and down-to-earth gal.

Put a different frame around any of those and I might say:

My daughter wrote the #1 selling childrens book this year.

Organically-grown, peak of the season oranges and lemons: $10/lb.

My friend Allison, the movie star, the model, the Broadway singer, the former Miss America is on the cover of Vogue.

(She really is gorgeous. I know she doesn't read my blog so I'm pretty sure I won't embarrass her.)

So my resolve this weekend is to find beauty in the ordinary and put my own frame around it.

And get tickets to see that Joshua Bell.


KG said...

Good idea! I need to go back on the kindergarten field trip...with a different frame around it. I'm sure museums ARE wonderful if you go with the right attitude AND the right company! Thanks for giving me a different perspective.:-)

KG said...

Oh, and I agree...your friend Allison is a gorgeous gal!

d/b/c/m said...

fabulous post! loved it!

Betsy Fowler said...

I really like this post Rebecca. So true - will you send me the link to the the Joshua Bell experiment article? I'd like to read that.

Rebecca and Co. said...

Betsy, if you click on the words "Washington Post" at the beginning you'll get to the article. (It's pretty much the same color as everything else...I guess I should change the color.)

The Hardy's said...

Simply amazing! I know that I don't take time to 'smell the roses' often enough either. Thanks for the reminder.