Jacob and the Guitar Man

Today there is a YouTube video getting a bit of buzz. That’s not unusual. There are several videos that “go viral” every day, like a kitten having a nightmare or a zoo lion trying to eat a baby. Today’s video doesn’t have the raw viral potential of the most popular ones. But there is something very human going on between strangers that is captured perfectly:

Here we see an eight-year-old boy – blind and autistic – enraptured by the blues of a busker. The connection is obvious for us to see in the video. It’s something that the musician himself – Tyler Gregory – says he could feel:

It was an ordinary day, walking to my regular spot to busk, and playing music on the corner. When Jacob came over I felt excited about having another kid listen to the music. (Makes my day when kids dance to the music on the street and I already had a couple come over that day). However, unlike most kids that come up to me with curiosity, I felt so much energy coming off of him and I was completely overwhelmed. His hand on my leg was very powerful and about brought me to tears while playing. Not because he is blind or autistic.. but because of a connection I have never felt and one that is impossible to explain. A feeling that came from my toes all the way up my body and surrounded me. I can’t begin to explain it.

There is something infectious about that feeling. Even us as mere viewers can catch a shiver. Tyler Gregory’s voice – his rhythm, his song – is compelling. It is convenient for us that the camera moves closer, since we feel drawn to the music in the same way Jacob does.

Near the end, Jacob’s hand reaches out for the guitar tentatively. When he contacts the strings, the result is not discord, but a palm mute, a perfect burst of quiet in accent of that connection.

It is a very human moment made possible through art.

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