One of the Stanford satellite clinics has a grand piano in the lobby–actually, two clinics do that I know of, but anyway, most of the times I’ve been to the one, there’s been someone playing.
And the guy’s good. Really good. No sheet music, any style you want, any age any tune, he’s got it. I have no idea if he’s a young doctor on break (dresses in a suit, no white coat) or how he came to be there, but he’s a master musician.
And here’s the thing: it’s like Joshua Bell in the subway station.
Okay, wait–I just went looking for the video of that to give you the link, and on impulse decided to click on the snopes article verifying it. Not only did it happen, but it tells that the same experiment had been tried 77 years earlier–by a man playing the exact same Stradivarius. Who played two of the exact same pieces during the same amount of time. While also having been put up to it as a social experiment by a metro newspaper, in a subway station, at rush hour.
Who knew.Â Bell didn’t. Wow.
The Stanford pianist chatted a bit with me between songs once about music, but other than that I haven’t interrupted him. He always has a smile, always nods in acknowledgement of those going by whether they notice it or not, always lights up when someone stops a moment rather than just passing through to one of the hallways spoking off.
And yet. I’ve seen people sitting on the couches curving in the inner and outer sides of a circle there, some clearly listening to him but almost as if they were hiding it, some reading, all but one that I’ve ever seen turned away so as not to be facing him. Trying not to invade his space, perhaps.
And nobody. Not one. Ever clapped.
Until I did.
The guy looked surprised, abashed, and very very gratified. And then another patient joined in.
I have no idea if I’ll ever see him again. I do know I’ve seen him playing there three times now: clearly he enjoys being able to give of himself like that, always choosing music that lifts the heart, music to do good by every person coming in in need of healing–including, each in their own way, the medical staff.
I went stash diving today. Part of me is second-guessing myself, wondering if the Zarzamora colorway in Malabrigo Rios really is just the one, but it’s very soft and it’s the one I’ve got out of all the stash I looked at that seemed the most right. I will finish this hat, then, and if it doesn’t feel perfect, I’ll make another.
But I just didn’t want to wait. Some projects need to be pounced on the moment they come up; I really like how this is coming out and I really like the thought of being able to give a little art back.
Hoping he’s there next time… I have an errand to run past there before then. I can pop in and try.