This morning I had an early session at the Uptown office, and on my way to Metairie afterwards I decided to stop at Audubon park for a walk. This is a rare treat these days--an impromptu, mid-morning walk, sans stroller--and I relished every second of it. It made me aware of how little I've relished lately, how acutely deprived my senses and sensations have become, how desperately I needed to see and hear the man I've come to think of as the 'violin guy.'
Do you know the one I'm talking about?
I first encountered the violin guy several years ago on an early evening jog, as I rounded a curve near the front of the park and, pausing for a moment to fiddle with my i-Pod, heard a few bars of 'Amazing Grace.' It didn't take me long to locate the source: a paunchy, bearded, middle-aged guy, in shorts and a t-shirt, standing at the edge of the pond with violin in hand, playing a technically imperfect but surprisingly beautiful rendition of a not-surprisingly beautiful hymn. Since that day I've come across the violin guy on several occasions. Sometimes the music is moving, startling in its simplicity; other times, like today, it's a more mundane, man-on-the-street-with-a-guitar sort of experience. But I always take notice, like I do so often in this city, whether it be an impromptu brass band on a corner of Frenchmen, or a wild-haired octagenarian riding sideways on a Vespa down the middle of Magazine. And it never fails to pull my observing Self out of that silent corner and out into the street where, rain or shine, she is called to action.