What gems of your life are you missing out on? What beautiful moments are right under your nose?
I can’t help but read this WashPo article and think, “Nah, that would never happen to me: *I’d* totally know Josh Bell by sight.” (It helps that we were both at the same chocolate tasting a few months back. And that he’s a seriously brilliant Jewish cutie.)
The article sets up an experiment that's deeply rooted in ancient Greek mythology IMHO. Remember your Greek myths? I lived by Edith Hamilton’s tome when I was a child; stories of gods and demi-gods descending from Mount Olympus, disguised as bulls or goats or old witches or warty old men. The virtuous young Greek, who didn’t judge the old person but fed them and gave them safe harbor was thusly rewarded: the old witch was a god in disguise! Rewards showered from above; a lesson was learned.
By placing a classical music god disguised as a common street performer in a Metro station in DC during rush hour, the question became would anyone recognize great art taken out of its natural habitat? Or in more quantifiable terms, out of 1000 commuters, how many would stop to listen to the beauty playing a beauty [Joshua owns/plays a three million dollar Strad ]. The article, and very unscientific experiement, shows not many. Only one woman recognized Joshua Bell, performer. One man thought he was a great performer but didn't know him by name. And for the hour, he made $34 and change.
If I were rushing, or worse late for a very important date would I stop to listen to a street performer if he were playing my favorite Beethoven? Would I be so tuned out of my environment, so closed down to the possibilities, that I would miss what was literally right under my nose? Would you?
As an Allergic Girl, being attuned my environment, my meal, especially to what my body is telling me, is crucial. I’m genetically programmed, if you will, by my allergies to be hyper-aware to my surroundings because they can adversely effect me.
That hyper-awareness is a gift. And a burden. It’s both. It would be nice to go out one evening and be a little oblivious. By the same token, often I get to experience smaller moments that pass others by.
For you parents of allergic kids who’ve written me wondering how your children will navigate the world as an allergic adult, one distinct positive is being aware of the world around you, open to the possibilities of danger and doom as well as beauty and grace. We are the Greeks who come to the aid of the gods in disguise. We are the ones who don’t miss a trick.