Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning Italian

Well, not really.
More like a lesson learned from someone who is Italian, Vancouver's very own "singing Italian".
I have written about this fellow before.
I have no idea what his name is. And, the only thing I know about him other than he sings is that he sings in Italian. Over the years I have chanced to come across him and as usual, I normally hear him before I see him.  Today, as I walked down Granville Ave towards the bank I heard him again.
Upon hearing him I looked down the street to see where he was coming from and this time he was walking straight towards me.
I do not speak Italian much less sing in Italian or any other language for that matter.
But, I could easily distinguish the deep throated tones that emanated from his vocal chords.
We met at two opposite corners of 11th Ave. just as the light changed and it was at this point in his journey that the music stopped.
The light turned red and as the pattern of traffic changed, causing him to "stop" walking, he in turn "stopped" singing.
I mused at this for a moment.
The light changed back to green and with his first step, the music began once again.
As we passed one another I looked into his face hoping that we would make eye contact.
We didn't.
His gaze straight ahead reflected a concentration I rarely see.  He was so focused on singing that it was as if he was the only one walking down the street.  And walk on he did.
I continued to walk on as well and with each step the music became a soft echo.
Everytime I hear his singing I am reminded of how he sings with abandon, oblivious to his surroundings but after seeing him stop long enough to wait for a light, I saw him in a another light, so to speak.
He sang loud, hard and so should I.
He sang with passion and abandon.  So should we all.  And not worry about those around us who we think might be offended or heaven forbid, think us strange.
He stopped long enough, aware of his immediate surroundings but I bet you the melody carried on inside his heart, the song going on dispite his momentary distractions.
So I am taking a lesson from my Italian friend.
No, I didn't learn Italian but I did learn about music and keeping my heart centered, focused on the melody.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Thank you for linking Israeli Kitchen to your thoughtful blog, C.

I've often thought that people used to sing and whistle unselfconsciously wherever they happened to be, and that they don't anymore. I'd like to feel free to sing as I'm walking along - sometimes I look around to make sure no one's around and then I might hum.

It looks to me like your Italian singer might be doing a walking/singing meditation or sings professionally, using the time he's walking to work out. Or maybe he's just a singing sort of guy.