There are days or situations that I feel that I get crap from life – like waiting for cab when I desperately need one and it’s taking forever to find one, or encountering a monstrous jam when I finally find a cab that I need and I’m left no option but to get out and find another way to get to where I’m going, or complaining and ranting about the hardship I’m willing to go through to do what I want (for example, playing with my bandmates in gigs in far-off locations). Yes, everyone has off-days, and they happen in different aspects of our lives. Sometimes, when luck is really not on our side, you get off-days in ALL aspects of our lives and we end up either down in the dumps or in tears or crumpled in frustration.
But life has a great equalizer, as I have said before in my other blog. It has a way of making us realize that we’re lucky that we only have a pittance of a problem, and kinda puts our own lives in perspective. Not to mention that it also reminds us that if we choose to see beyond our problems and difficulties, there is more in store for us, if we choose to see it and believe in it.
I was walking at the sidewalk along EDSA, just after alighting from the MRT’s Santolan station. There was a light drizzle falling on the dimly lit avenue, and the buses, cars and cabs whizzing by provided the urban noise familiar to my ears. Yet, above the din, I could hear the sound of an amplified electric guitar playing unfamiliar tunes. But there was no doubt about it that somewhere along this walk of mine, I would come across a blind man playing with his guitar who despite his disability, is able to belt out tunes and play amazingly without the benefit of seeing or reading through pieces. All he had was his memory, his heightened hearing and the heart full of hope and survival instinct, and a boy who helps him setup and pack up his stuff, and makes sure no one takes the coins from his donation box.
I found myself reaching into my pocket for a bill and folding it a number of times, ready to drop it in his box when I come by him. I guess it felt natural to give something to this man. Here he was, in the rain, with a punctured umbrella covering him, playing his guts out without seeing his audience, yet finds it necessary to do this day in and out. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have the benefit of taking a cab wherever his next gig is, or he doesn’t have the benefit of a sound check or the fallback of bandmates to lean on when he makes his mistakes or gets off-key. Yet, I don’t read any complaints in this man’s face. He does what he needs to do and just simply gets it done.
Then, I look back to all my whining and bickering and whimpering. If I’m a struggling musician just doing what I can to make this song in my heart heard, how much more struggles that this one of many blind men armed with guitars and a box for coins go through every day?
I slip the bill into the slot of his donation box. In there went my small amount of help, along with a short prayer, and along with it, a piece of my dreams for all of us who once dreamed of sharing that talent in way that is more than what we all do right now.