Monday, August 18, 2014

Are you there . . . ?

Hello . . . are you there?

It's good to make contact . . .   I can picture you reaching for your smartphone, Ipad or laptop as my words travel through the ether to greet you.

How curious to think that, from now on, these words will be forever circling our planet . . . an integral part of that invisible cloak of communication we know of as the internet.

Like so much that we've created, the internet takes on the qualities of the user.  With equal ease it can facilitate transformative assistance or damaging abuse.  But its power to unite, for whatever purpose, is undeniable.

Above all else, it provides us with an unique ability to share  . . .  to reach out to others,  to communicate what we love,  to ponder on what we value.
And surely that's a priceless gift?

True, the internet has its limits.  You can't enjoy the scent of coffee, wafting up from the mug beside me as I write, nor reach out and feel the soft texture of Chloe's fur.  But what I do have is the exhilarating ability to share words and music . . . I can also take out my camera and send pictures from London winging their way to your computer.

A pleasure shared is not merely doubled, it's multiplied.
What's more, as I'm sure you've noticed,  it continues to multiply.

You're wondering what it is that I want to share on this occasion?

Well, it's something rather special.  The other evening I, and the rest of an enthralled audience, had the delight of hearing Joshua Bell play Bruch's Violin Concerto at The Albert Hall.

No, I can't take you back in time to join us, but all is not lost.  I can share a recording of the memorable encore.
I can also share a confession.

In my ignorance, I'd thought that the value placed on a three-hundred-year-old Stradivarius was more myth than substance.
Antonio Stradivari, I apologise!

However, a violin can't produce music on its own, it needs a skilled and sensitive collaborator to release its magic.  Let me invite you to listen to such a collaboration.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you need do no more than click here.
Uniting in the music of Nigel Hess,  listen to what the partnership achieves . . . and marvel.

But, wouldn't you agree that the picture is far more complex than the simple issue of you and me coming together in cyberspace . . . coming together to share our pleasures and to listen to the music of Joshua Bell?

Wouldn't you agree that, throughout our troubled world, there's a real need for the revitalising energy that's triggered by friendship and shared enjoyment?
In a very positive sense, every time we relax and absorb something profoundly beautiful, we emanate a sense of gratitude.  Gratitude which permeates humanity's emotional sea and helps to counter the prevailing flood of fear and negativity.

You could, perhaps, call it a very small drop in a turbulent ocean . . . but surely every drop of happiness counts?