Extraordinary Ordinary, Tanzania
I’ve seen a video of a world-class violinist playing in a subway station, one of the hardest musical pieces ever written, on a roughly million dollar violin. A kind of social experiment, about if we really notice beauty when it is all around us.
There is a rooster outside my window that crows the classic notes from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Did Beethoven get it from a rooster? Or the rooster from Beethoven? Or is it brilliant musical happenstance?
My mom and I stopped to watch some young guys doing gymnastics at Coco Beach yesterday. They used a sand bag for a springboard. To my knowledge, this is the closest thing Tanzania has to a Men’s Gymnastics Team. They could be a Men’s Gymnastics Team, if they had a gym and a coach. What they lacked in facilities they made up for in raw talent. Back handsprings, back fulls, double backs. On the sand. They didn’t intend to be performing, off to one side, away from passersby. My mom and I applauded anyway. They didn’t ask for money; they seemed to be doing it for fun. After a while they dispersed, back to the world of selling sunglasses and hangers on the side of the road.
It occurs to me that roosters and teens doing handsprings and everything in between are all opportunities for us, giving us a chance to recognize beauty and potential everywhere. I hope I would have noticed the quality of the music that day in the subway, but I probably wouldn’t have. And if this is true, then what about the miraculous things that already do surround us on a daily basis? How do we remember to have the right eyes?
When I consciously think of this today, I see that a man with polio, and no ability to use his legs, was in the median of Ali Hassan Mwniyi Road this morning. Scooting around on his hands, before 7am. He is nothing short of miraculous.