Saturday, January 8, 2011

Something Around The Corner: An Essay On The Radiance Of Busking

There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner

(G.K. Chesterton).

G.K. was right. Every time I am busking, radiance is always right around the corner. I know that my very next customer might toss a ten into my busk pot. I know that my very next customer just might invite me to play at some party for a couple hundred bucks. Busking, at best, is an austere adventure, and having an imaginary right-around-the-corner attitude makes it that more tolerable. Busking can be banausic, whereas positive imagery is always radiant.

Everyone knows that radiance is right around the corner because, generally, most of us are committed to a macedoine of everyday activities. Some of us are driving the kids to violin or drama lessons, or to swimming pools or hockey rinks. Some of us running errands, going to meetings, cleaning our cars and apartments. And some of us are getting ready for our next busk. All of this would be but more moil to be reckoned with, if not for the radiance we know awaits right around the corner. Our kids are going to become musicians or movie stars, or lifeguards or NHL'ers. These something-around-the-corner notions keep us moving (not exactly, of course, because most parents do recognize the value of recreation and are compelled to instill a sense of group and citizenship in their offspring). Whatever the motivation, this parental thirst for something-around-the-corner adventure is much more potable when we believe our children's prospects are at stake. Whether or not any of these future vistas are actually realized and whether they eventually quench this thirst is certainly always up for a debate of sorts.

Back to busking. The aureate of my (amateur) musical career asunder, of course, is busking. And to cosmeticize my love of busking with the belief that waiting for that radiance around the corner is somehow going to redeem me of this spartan lifestyle, is certainly not to appreciate the zen, the existential nature of busking. To actually demarcate between the now of busking somewhere on a street corner singing for whomever happens by and perhaps tossing a coin or two into guitar case, and that imagined radiance of something-right-around-the-corner seems somehow not being able to grasp the day, enjoy the moment, appreciate the animation and sprightliness of being alive at that right-now busk spot.

Admittedly, if I am in the doldrums, the imagination of something-right-around-the-corner radiance, will psychologically embigger my current situation. And I think this may be one of my many make-up-on-demand heuristics: Anything that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other in any walk of my life is, indeed, something-around-the-corner radiance.

What is your kismet? To be stuck in a particular spot for the rest of your time?

Of course not – because you know there is, indeed, something around the corner.

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