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The Friday Morning Listen: Maya Beiser – Provenance

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So the World Cup has been going on and I have been ignoring it. In fact, I've been having some fun ignoring it by tweeting occasionally that I'm #NotWatching #WorldCup.

This has not been my attempt to be snotty, assert my supposed superiority, or anything like that. In truth, I don't follow any sports at all, so it's kind of fun to crack wise when something "big" is going on. There were plenty of opportunities last night during the NBA finals but I decided to ignore it. Seriously, I'm not trying to spoil anybody's fun. Hey, I used to be a fan, so I know what it's all about.

In fact, one of the coolest things about sports is how they can draw people together. For all of the crap going on in the world (And hey, hasn't there always been crap going on?!), I still find it inspiring so see people set aside their differences for a few hours. It makes me think that maybe politicians here in the U.S. should be required to set up and participate in some sort of team sport. If the teams were not split up by party, but were instead composed of a mix from both sides, maybe a semblance of humanity would return to their interactions (Yeah, I know. I'm such a dreamer).

For the past month or so, I've been listening to a recording by cellist Maya Beiser. Her inspiration for the music was Medieval Spain. The Golden Age. As hard as it is for me to imagine the two sides of Congress working together on anything, it's really hard to grok the idea of the harmonious and incredibly productive existence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

But then I walk through the cafeteria at work and somebody has attached their laptop to the projector and they're watching a World Cup game on the pull-down screen on the wall. There are only three guys in the room, one from Russia, one from England, the third from Pakistan. As much as I don't care about the actual sporting event, the temporary drawing together of strangers has a certain "rightness" to it. To me, the sport is secondary. Too bad we can't harness this kind positive energy and apply it to some of this world's big problems. Yeah, I know. I'm such a dreamer.

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