Friday, August 6, 2010
A happy ride
I had the most wonderful cab ride yesterday morning. This is not something you hear much in New York City.
I left my apartment, struggling with an injured knee, using an umbrella as a makeshift cane. As I hobbled to the corner, I hoped I'd find a yellow cab with a credit card reader since I hadn't been able to visit a cash machine and was in no mood to limp to the nearest one. Happily, there was a cab already stopped near the corner, the cab driver finishing the last bites of a morning snack.
The cab was air-conditioned (what a blessing in the heat we've been enduring this summer!) and the cab driver's first question to me was "How are you this morning?" I lied, not wanting to burden a stranger with my physical struggles. "Good. Pretty good."
He asked what instrument I had with me, and that began a conversation that lifted my spirits. We talked about his daughter, studying to become a doctor, who used to play the violin. How he loved listening closely to her practicing. We talked about how the violin can just make you cry, as it so sensitively expresses emotion almost more purely than the human voice. We talked about the power of music to move the spirit. It was one of those moments where I felt honored to be a musician. I struggle periodically with the meaning and usefulness of making art. This morning I had no such burden. This beautiful conversation with a cab driver from Bangladesh started my day peacefully and happily.