I've managed to attract many more folks than poor Joshua via my efforts at busking here at the Pike Place Market. Admittedly though, I don't try to play during hours when folks are not likely to be able to stop and listen. And this is probably a much more conducive setting than the subway entrance that he was performing in.
I've seen the same reaction in the audiences that I've tried to entertain here on the streets. It's interesting to see how intently these little ones try to view what I'm doing even as they're being taken away with mom or dad.
A while back I was commenting about this particular phenomena to some of the folks in the Market. I was speaking to some craft folks about it who responded by saying that they see parents doing the same thing with their children when they pass by their booths. That made me feel a little less like an untouchable.
I think the sweetest scenes, that only occasionally happen as I play, are when some of these tots are allowed to enjoy what I'm doing. Then, without being prompted, they decide to dance along to my saw or guitar playing. One such scene took place recently where one tiny child began to dance all by herself. It was sweeter than anything I've ever seen in my life. It was so incredibly magical and beautiful that I began to realize that anything I was doing, via my attempts to entertain, paled by comparison. This reaction was so attractive to so many of the adults passing by that within moments many had gathered to view her.
Another young girl, just a little older than the first, happened by with her mom. Without hesitation she walked over and took the first girl by the hands and they both began to dance together. I could hardly keep my mind focused on what I was doing. I just wanted to stop and take in the wonderous spectacle that was playing out just a couple of feet away in front of me. They both danced so exquisitely that for those few brief moments it was as if the gates of heaven had opened up right there before me as I sat playing my saw and two angels had descended to offer me a small taste of what lay beyond those pearly gates.
Everyone there was, as I, totally enraptured as we watched. It was as if we had caught a glimpse of what true joy was. At that moment nothing else in the world mattered except the utterly amazing vision of innocence and bliss being expressed by these two ambassadors of our forgotten youth.
I didn't want it to end. I wasn't certain how long it could continue. If I could have, I would have had it last forever. I began to wish that someone had captured the moment on film. But it all happened so spontaneously that I think everyone who witnessed it were, as I, unable to to do anything but stand transfixed by it.
Afterwards, I thought that, if I ever felt the least bit down about anything in my life, all I would need to do is to replay a video of those few moments and I would instantly be transformed by having had the chance to view it again. Beauty is such a precious treasure. I feel privileged to have been able to witness it unfold as it did for me on that day. Moments like that are far more valuable a gift than anything that I've ever received as a monetary donation and for me make busking a very worthwhile endeavor.