Saturday, April 16, 2011

So You Want To Be A Busker: An Essay On De Novo To Go Go

Busking is cool. Just google any video of Mic Christopher & Glen Hansard. Busking is really, really cool. Now google Darth Fiddler. Whether dressed as your character-self or costumed as another, you, too, can be as cool. So if you want to be a busker, be one now.

Perhaps your life has not gone the way you had desired, did not proceed exactly as you had imagined. Ha! I know that for most/all of you this is ironic and sarcastic and understated. Crafting the perfect and authentic life is challenging, but as long as you are breathing and determined, you can always begin again.

Are you the predictable type? Pedantic? Pedestrian? I am guessing that you are. To date your life has likely been cookie-cutter fashioned into a ponderous hodgepodge of hoops and hurdles. You are probably in an intimate relationship and you have/want children. Your roof has a 25 year mortgage and you have two sets of wheels. You've a couple credit cards, one at least to the max. You've unwittingly exited the fast lane for the zoom lane. You want your loved ones to flourish, yet you want to be free. Staring down the road you are praying to your god/s to see daylight, because the skinny of your existence is, as stated in textbook Psychology, automaticity.

To cobble a new lifestyle and to begin again takes imagination, patience, and work. To be a busker demands that you disturb your present life cadence. Before I was a faux busker I was an apprentice lineman (the title at the time), a chain man (again, sexist, but the title at the time), an aquatics instructor, a teacher, a counsellor. Busking has been my de novo. Busking is my soul search for self-authenticity.

Seeking an authentic lifestyle has challenging for a number of reasons. One fundamental reason is that our Western main stream consists of government, commercial, educational, and religious institutions, all of which are static and quite resistant to change. Adjustments of church policies are difficult, but revamping any public school system is even more difficult. These are just a couple of examples.

Another reason is that our appetites for authentic personal quests are just too adventurous. All the predictable patterns that we are accustomed to have predictable outcomes. Quests, on the other hand, provide mostly questions without answers, having to conquer the shining moments as they perpetually arrive. A busking life is not one of parlous adventure, but it seems so from a public perspective.

When deciding to be a busker just remember where you stand (metaphorically). How much income do you need (both realistically and psychologically)? What matters to you most (your happiness, others' happiness)? To live is to suffer, but just how much do you want to suffer? Busking need not be an ancillary lifestyle, but again, it seems to appear so from a public perspective.

To be a busker you must have within you some answers to these questions. You will need to rely on that inner voice, that sixth sense, your common sense.

A busker life is Promethean enough that you'll need supports. You need not abdicate completely your present lifestyle to be a busker, and you most certainly cannot be cavalier. You will need your mates; you will need your loved ones; you'll need to be corporately connected.

Too soon shall I be old. My life, like yours, as been traumatic and treacherous, laughable and wonderful. I've been through enough milestones to recognize my mortality. Though I'm not yet having death anxieties, as I age I am procrastinating less. My life has been filled with grace. As people get older they tend to get more selfish, and so grows their egoism. As I age, busking does just the opposite for me. Buskingdom provides, literally, hundreds of opportunities to return some of that grace. For in that alterity --

the parade of Chaucerian characters I meet vis-a-vis is endless.

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