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The Violinist

A man, holding a violin, sat a few feet from the grocery store entrance. Hoping to hear a little of his tunes, I slowed a bit before entering. At that moment, however, the man was simply moving the violin bow up and down, angling it a bit as if testing out the sounds before committing. I thought it would be awkward to simply drop money into his violin case, without first hearing him play. I didn’t want to offend the musician with upfront charity. So, I decided to contribute money on my way out. By then, he would surely be playing a song. Perhaps.

After my shopping, I pulled a dollar from my wallet and readied to drop it into the empty violin case (hmm, I could swear there was money in it earlier). But again, no song. The man appeared to be testing out his violin, with no consistent rhythm emanating. Slightly begrudged, I nevertheless dropped my committed dollar into the case. He thanked me...with exaggerated integrity.

Moments later, the violinist placed the dollar into his pocket and began loading up his belongings. As I loaded my car trunk with groceries, I noticed the man, with violin case in hand, make his way to a car. First, I thought he was simply poking around the car. Perhaps he was being nosy or plotting a steal. I did a double take, as I watched him place his violin in the trunk. The car was not new, but also it was not a shabby BMW.

Did the man lie to me, or did I lie to myself?

That question brewed in me for a few days. Then, I stumbled on a quote that spun my thinking a little. Perhaps I was framing the man, his story, the violin, and myself prematurely.

"The longer you silence a violin, the harder it is for it to find its true voice again." - Alexandra Bracken

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Rosa Valle-Lopez
Rosa Valle-Lopez

You are a smart one Mr. Amar 😌


What a quote by Alexandra Bracken – in one line you completely changed the way I think about that man. Whatever his story may be, I wish him well. And I hope that one day he plays his violin for you😊 As for me, I need to stop jumping to conclusions!

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