W. H. Davies
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
In an article “Pearls Before Swine” written by Gene Weingarten he relays the story of virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell playing incognito in the the Washington, D.C. Metro station at L’Enfant Plaza on his three million dollar Stradivarius. On Friday, January 12, 2007, Joshua Bell played for 43 minutes. Of the 6 pieces he played he started with Bach’s “Chaconne” one of the most difficult violin pieces to master. In those 43 minutes 1097 people passed by on their way to work. At the end of his playing, he had collected $32.17. Of the 40+ people the Washington Post contacted there was only one who mentioned the violinist immediately.
The full article “Pearls Before Swine” is a good read. How often our busyness and business finds us in a state of mindlessness. How can we embrace our lives from the context of mindfulness?