Something extremely beautiful happened at the installation today — something that really made me take a step back and appreciate the beauty of music and art, and how it can affect people in the most unexpected and impactful ways.
I was manning the percussion room at the end of the walk-through where there are a number of percussion instruments available for visitors to have a go at, and it had been pretty quiet for a long time. Then, after a long stint without any human interaction, a woman who appeared to be in her late 20s, early 30s, with a blunt chin length bob and very magnified glasses, briskly walked into the room. I began to ask her if she wanted to try any of the instruments she saw in front of her, as I am meant to do for everyone who enters the area, and she cut me off, saying “no, I don’t. It’s okay”. I almost asked why; I almost asked her if she was sure, and that I could help her if she was uncomfortable touching the instruments, but what came out of her mouth next shut me up quite quickly. She said: “I have autism, and I have always been very intimated and uncomfortable going to theatre and orchestra performances. But this here, this experience today, has made me feel so much more comfortable engaging with the performing arts. It’s absolutely amazing. Thank you.” And out she walked just as quickly as she came in and I almost felt myself tearing up at the brief interaction.
It was a beautiful, much needed reminder of why it is important to present art to society, and support music and theatre and dance and visual art and anything of the like. It inspired me to continue doing what I am doing, and pursue it with love in my heart. The interaction caught me off guard, and she probably has no idea that I am still thinking about it, but I have a feeling that will be stuck in my head for a long time.