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.


  1. Oh, what a lovely story. It's so wonderful when we can connect with others via art and music. It sounds like he came along just when you needed a lift! :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a lovely post, I'm going to read it again ... Sometimes when something like this happens it almost makes you forget the pain you are in. I love the violin too, we have a yearly folk festival in the hamlet of Stainsby where I live, it's a proper treat for us with some very talented artists, I get all emotional as I sit and listen with my glass of vino!

    BTW Lots of young and not so young people camp in my garden including my own grown children, all musicians are welcome!

    Have a happy weekend.

  3. Wow, that isn't something you hear often about taxi cab rides. What a sweet and inspiring story. I'm leaving my little western town on Sunday to visit NYC for 12 days. I'm excited to soak up some of the creativity and passion of the city - the energy that is somehow draining and uplifting at the same time. Rural life just isn't like that, though it does have it's own charms. It's been a long time since I've been home. I can't wait - maybe I'll have a memorable cab ride or two! I hope your knee is healing and you feel better soon.

  4. That's a great story. It is funny you know, I have a few cab journeys that remained in my mind too - mostly in locations far from home. Best one was speaking just French with a taxi driver in Paris and holding a whole conversation!

  5. What a beautiful post! And lovely experience. Music really is a healer and connecting factor for so many. Happy Friday!

  6. What a wonderful story. I could visualize everything you said and it did make me miss home. What a special way for both you and the taxi driver to start the day. Have a great week.

  7. yes changing, i mean instead of a "me" a how are you? can change the whole thought or attitude. i hope you are feeling better today and by the way i enjoyed your dreamboard
    keep creating keep the happy ;-)

  8. * Ah, it's like life handing you a surprise gift to soothe a summer day. It's lovely when that happens. Your delight resonates around the world.

    I'm glad I clicked this way. Your experience has made me happy too!*