The banjo busker and the living dead

Today at the cross roads of Fore Street a busker was playing and singing blue grass. He was alive, taking his passion, the thing that lights him up into the open and showing who he was. It didn’t matter if he fluffed a few notes or his voice was a bit rough. That music was floating out of him like some sort of magic potion that brought dead people back to life.

Here was his vulnerability and here was his song, he was just being who he was and sharing his soul, his gift. It was priceless.

But the people walking past in their expensive shoes couldn’t hear the music, they were blocking it out because of fear. If they heard it, they might feel it and the heart they had been keeping locked up, the heart that had endured the job that they hated would start to feel again. That job that they mindlessly turned up to because for this precious week of the year they could enjoy a holiday. This was the golden week. It was here and it was too late because they couldn’t see the sunlight and they couldn’t hear the music, they couldn’t see the texture of the clouds or the way their children desperately wanted to spend time with them, to be seen, to play.

They were shuffling past like zombies on the way to buy something to numb the pain of living while dead and to make them feel worthwhile.

Nearly 1,000 people past by that busker. If they had each given him a £1 they would have all been so much richer today. What do people value, is being brought back from the dead worth a coin ?, pay the busker or the ferryman, choose life or death. Living while dead was never part of the plan.

As I stood there on the corner watching I wanted to give up on humanity. I could feel the tears well up and I wanted to walk away.

Then one old woman looked up and smiled, she looked me in the eye as if we were in on a secret. We could hear the music. There was hope.

A passing Welsh family who still had blood moving through their body picked up on the tune of ‘Land of my Fathers’ and stirred awake.

Welsh dad started to sing in harmony with the banjo busker, he had thrown out a line into the crowd and made a connection. There was hope.

It takes just one lifeline to make the change and awaken the people in the crowd. Voices connect, eyes connect.

Hearts start beating, feeling. They look up and notice the blue of the sky.


Don’t give up

Don’t give up

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