To the man who will never read this… Thank you

So I’ve been riding the Muni (the above and below ground light-rail train in SF and my new favorite form of public transit) J-Church train nearly every morning lately.  Most days I get off the train at about 8:45 at the Civic Center stop.  And nearly everyday there is a man who plays his guitar by the 7th street exit of the station. He looks to be in his early 40’s and looks a bit rough around the edges, like he’s had a rough life not like he’s been sleeping on the street in his own feces for the past 2 weeks.  I look forward to seeing him as I’m leaving because he is the most beautiful part of my day as ascend to dark and borderline vile streets above.  

The first time I saw him he was playing and singing “Across the Universe” and it was so calming in that moment.  In the middle of all the chaos of the morning, commuting, and general running around, it gave me a chance to stand back and realize that it’s okay to slow down for a minute and see beauty in the most unexpected places.  

Now, depending on the day I sometimes leave a couple bucks in his cup when I can, other times just I walk by but make sure to give a smile to show that I appreciate what he’s doing.  But it’s so nice on the days that have the extra time to linger and listen… 

Today, however, he was speaking with a woman as I was walking up and as I walked past he stopped talking, looked at me, and waved.  In that moment it was so nice to be recognized as someone worth acknowledging.  Me, a perfect stranger.  I only hope that I make him feel the same.  Because today I really needed that simple gesture, and I think everyday is an opportunity for each of us to do something that simple…

So to the man who plays guitar at the Muni station, Thank you. Thank you for being a bright light in a sometimes dark world.  You are beautiful to me – and you inspire me to seek out beauty in unexpected places. 

If you have time today you need to do two things… 

1. Stop. And just appreciate the beauty around you.

2. Read this article, it’s a long one but totally worth it. I know it’s not quite the same as my story, it’s on a much more grand scale… But the moral is the same.


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