Ballad for a Boy

Why do we even do things?

Like playing music.

Or writing newsletters. Or reading them…

I was on my way to the Conservatory.

I headed to the bus stop and when I arrived, I spotted a young boy sitting on the pavement next to it. Sweat dripped from his forehead, the sun roasting his damaged skin.

He didn´t care. Or maybe he didn´t even notice.

His shoes were different from each other and badly worn out. His shirt must´ve been white some years ago, and his pants were torn in a few places.

I´d seen boys like this every day on my way to the Conservatory.

However, one thing caught my attention.

He held a pen in his right hand with which he was writing on a piece of paper, held against his lap.

Some sort of other-worldly force seemed to have possessed him. He appeared to ignore the world around him, abstracted from it.

His hand (or the otherworldly force) seemed to be trying to make sense of something by putting it into what looked like words. I was about two meters away but his apparent inspiration was so big that I could sense it heating up my skin.

Well ok, maybe it was the sun. After all, summers in Peru can get quite hot. And humid. I noticed my forehead was also sweating…

It was already a surprise that he could write. Boys in that condition are usually working in the streets rather than going to school.

So, what was he writing about?

My bus arrived and I automatically stepped in.

As I rapidly headed away, I kept staring at him from the window until he disappeared from sight.

For the next few days, I thought about him.

He probably lived in the streets and was not schooled.

Yet, he not only knew how to write, but he also had a need to put his thoughts and feelings on paper.

Well, yes, it´s possible that he didn´t actually know how to write and he was just penning some unintelligible scribbles.

But the need to express was there.

Some 25 years later, I still remember this boy every time I see that expression on someone´s face.

A face of total abstraction from the outside world, a way of living deeply within oneself with all his or her angels and demons.

We all want to communicate because we all want to be heard. Or read.

Even that boy, who probably had nobody to show it to, had a need to pen his fantasies on that stained piece of paper.

For the moment, my own conclusion on the initial question; why do we do anything at all, is that we do things to communicate and to express ourselves.

With others, and with ourselves.

There are parts of us that we don´t know about, and putting our thoughts into words helps us understand the world a tiny bit better.

Do you know what also helps? MUSIC.

Yes, MUSIC. With capital letters.

Music is my most reliable source of self-understanding and self-expression. I don´t know any better tool (read through till the very bottom of this message to see how, with music, I expressed my feelings about this boy).

But, I love written words. I love reading. And I love sending out these random thoughts and stories to you, in hopes of inspiring a brief but meaningful moment every day.

Because being alive is extra special.

Even if at times we don´t understand why we even do anything at all. But the need to communicate with each other is there, and this keeps us alive.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts and I wish you a lovely day.



P.D. - I promise my e-mails will usually be shorter than this one 😉 However, if they annoy you, by all means, please hit the unsubscribe button.

P.D. 2 - In the link below you can read about and listen to a fragment of a piano piece I wrote for this boy, and even buy the sheet music.

Ballad for a Boy ← Clik here

The piece is yet unreleased, and I have only a few manuscripts available.