on wednesday, i road the metro in montreal for a couple stops. sometimes i would get off and just walk around that stop and other times i would ride right through stations. something clicked wednesday that i hadn't felt in a long time. i have tried to describe the feeling to several people and some know it and others are unsure what i am talking about. also, if you know me u know that its especially hard for me to communicate without talking in person. either way, im going to try my best to explain. when i get this feeling it happens for no particular reason at all but all of the sudden im overwhelmingly happy. everything around me describes whats good in life. people interacting, art, nature, i dunno just everything feels interconnected and its amazing. to me its the ultimate feeling of true happiness. to continue my story, i was walking around this one metro station and i heard this incredible music. to be honest, i like music a lot but im not one for just instrumental music. however this cello player blew my mind. the acoustics at this station (place des artes) were amazing. it was soft and sensual, almost like one of the songs that plays continuously for hours without you noticing how much time has passed or how many songs have been played. beautiful, beautiful, music. as i walked closer to the sounds to find the source of this happiness, i found a young man between the ages of 25-30 and i started to photograph him. usually i feel obligated to tip someone thats playing an instrument especially if im photographing them but something was different this time. he took my feeling of happiness and took it to a whole other level. we glanced at each other for minutes at a time as i circled him and photographed him from many angles. i was behind my camera and he was behind his cello. something was so incredibly calming about him. as we looked on at each other, there was a silence and acceptance that i felt. almost as if we both knew exactly what the other was about. he never looked at me begging for money. he was simply playing to play. or playing to be heard. in the time that we spent together probably 100 people passed him and he collected a couple tips but something in me felt as though it wasnt for the money. i know as a photographer the best thing to hear from an admirer is that they love your work and specifics about it. knowing that, i walked up to him and tipped him and told him his music was amazing and inspiring. he looked up and thanked me. that meant more to him than the two dollar tip i gave him. he was heard. understood. and everything in between.
after i left the station and went walking around i noticed i was on this happiness "high". i looked around and saw everyone here commutes with headphones on listening to their metal, classical, or pop music (depending on their interest). i dug through my handbag and found my headphones and iphone and figured "when in rome, do as the romans". i clicked on the recent playlist i created of all the music i liked and the first song to play was "hey, soul sister" by train. the song has no particular meaning to me but its upbeat lyrics melt me. "im always gonna wanna blow your mind" "hey soul sister i dont wanna miss a single thing you do, tonight" "watching you is the only drug i need" and especially "you're the only one im dreaming of you see. i can be myself now finally, in fact there's nothing i can't be, i want the world to see you be, with me." having this song playing and im walking just looking for the first time in hours i realized how much we miss when we arent just taking life in. just sitting back to people watch and observe the simple things in life. so i parked myself on a bench in a mall and just looked. looking with people is different then looking alone. looking with people requires talking or gesturing but looking alone is something i feel everybody should do. it allows you to sit back and take life in, whether it be the simple things such as a young family just enjoying the day and walking around or an old couple who sit side by side in absolute silence. its almost as if they have said all there is to say and all they want do now is listen. for the first time in a long time i watched people watch other people and i watched people watch me. ive always been able to sense when im being watched. i dunno what it is but i feel almost a weight on me. as i was on the bench im glancing around with "hey, soul sister" blasting and i notice these two asian ladies in their 60s just watching me watch people. again, we exchange glances and im thinking to myself the whole time how incredible it is to be interconnected with so many things. so many people. so many ages, so many races, so many opinions, so many cultures, so many beliefs and yet just one world. how incredible it feels to be apart of such a big community thats ever changing and ever growing. i hope i never run out of the ability to feel these emotions.