Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A grigio Lamborghini.  $280,000.  A black Suzuki tremolo.  $37.  A red Didgeridoo.  $34.

Yes, I am sitting in a grigio Lamborghini.  No, a grigrio Lamborghini is not on my wish list. By happenchance I had parked next to this silver Lamborghini at a car dealership in Regina, Saskatchewan.  Chatting with the owner of the Lamborghini were two sales consultants, Del and Sunny, the very people I had come to see.  And voila … this picture came to be!

That said, the black Suzuki tremolo harp and the red didgeridoo are high on my wish list.  I am thinking (even as I write) that these two items alone will help complete my life’s purpose.  And how do I know my life’s purpose?  It’ll be easy if I follow these five steps as presented by Douglas La Bier (2012).

{1} Back off to tune in.  Perhaps our purpose in life has been there all along.  I love performing live.  I love being mobile and traveling light.  I hate dragging around lots of equipment and having to do heavy duty sound checks.  However, if it weren’t for the latter, I’d never have had the confidence to do the former, and that is … busk!  In Autumn, Winter, and Spring I am a dutiful band member, performing to the best of my ability, attempting to enhance every band member’s choice of song.  This takes resignation, forbearance, and three-season-suffering; and I daresay, but a dram of technical skills. Being in a band requires adhering to a hundred itsy-bitsy rules for itsy-bitsy people (myself included, of course).  Busking, on the other hand, takes grit, pluck, and enterprise; and I flippantly suggest a bucketful of tactic to gain pleasure for a season. I have three seasons in which to back off and tune in to what I really, really love to do.

{2} Learn from your choices.  Everyone is always making choices.  Some turn out good, some turn out bad. Fortunately, most of the choices that are forced upon us are not life threatening, but they are momentarily life enhancing.  To help realize our life’s purpose, it is important to reflect upon the success and failures of some significant choices we’ve made (so far).  Whether we go to post-secondary or go to work; whether we marry or not; whether or not we have children; whether we live north, south, east or west; these are all normative choices to be made over a few decades of one’s life.  Having to choose particular therapies and medicines to save one’s skin is, fortunately, a choice that is atypical; but nonetheless, helpful in deciding one’s life purpose.  I am a busker simply because I love the experience of singular adventure.  I can go wherever I want; I can play whatever I want, banjitar or guitar, I can choose the songs, the strums, and the thrums I want.

{3} Get on the path.  Imagine the person you want to be -- then become that person. I remember wanting to be a high school English teacher.  Typical high school English teachers at that time wore sports jackets, and I had none, for up until that time I was a t-shirt, blue jeans, hiking boots, kind of a guy.   I sold my half-ton truck for $600 and bought four blazers to don at work.  Being without wheels meant that I had to hitchhike and bus ride; that is, until I had saved enough money to purchase another vehicle for transportation.  Reflecting on that, it was an excellent choice!

{4} Stretch. You can only achieve the unimaginable when you step outside of what you can imagine.  The magic only happens outside your comfort zone.  I can recall stretching myself into stressful situations at least three times in this last decade:  defending my thesis in front of an academic panel, playing a glockenspiel televised and in front of a live audience, going busking for the very first time.  These sweaty moments of second guessing and social terror evolved into sweet moments that I survived to tell about.                

{5} Pursue with love.   If you’ve imagined having fun being the person you want to become, then go have fun and love it, love it, love it. Psychology fact:  The wider the gap between who you want to be and who you really are, the more dissonance you’ll have in your life; and conversely,  the more narrow the gap between who you’d like to be and who you really are, the more consonance you’ll have.  The more harmony you have in your life the more you’ll love yourself and to comment altruistically, the more you love yourself the more love you have to offer others.
In summary, life is an adventure, not an ambuscade.

Back to my black Suzuki and red didgeridoo. This summer I’ve been blowing my harmonica while strumming my twelve-string.  A tremolo harmonica is like the twelve-string compared to a six string guitar in the world of tin sandwiches. My current ten-hole Hohner Blues Harp sounds great but … I’d like a sound just a tinny bit (pun intended) more folksy.  With my imaginary new harmonica, I shall have been raised from novice to apprentice and will perform accordingly.  And so what if I’m really a brummagem harpy!

And come this Winter if I want to keep busking I need an instrument that I need not turn blue whilst playing.  I’ve played guitar in winter and it sounds okay for only the few seconds my hands are still able to strum, and my fingers still able to frail.  Playing my banjitar is the same type of cold torture test.  I’ve attempted the penny whistle, but with little success.  I find it difficult to play and still, my fingers get freezing fast.

I need a red didgeridoo.  I need a Meinl synthetic, the one which is a modern twist on the traditional bamboo construction, one that is purported to be extremely durable and unaffected by weather!  As an outdoor long-distance runner, I know there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. The test for playing the didgeridoo will not be the cold, it will be the musicianship.  I plan on spending most of the Autumn months as a novice delivering a cacophony of noise, in the hope of achieving my apprenticeship status before Wintertime sets in -- my private foppery blossoming into a busking virtuoso bouquet.  

Indeed, I can just imagine my winter-cold consumers virtually agog, lining up to have their photos taken alongside the didgeridoo guy. All is said and done, come this time next summer; I shall be an all-weather foeman, literally armed to the teeth with my new red didgeridoo.

My Chaucerian Parade this week begins with some street people:

The Singing Cowboy. This busker can frequently be spotted singing in front of a liquor store in south Regina.  He’s a warbler with his arm out and his palm up. This is all I have, two bits, he says apologetically.

Snow White on a bike.  This lady looked to be in a Snow White costume, pedaling her bicycle up and down the cobblestones in the Fred Hill Mall, Regina.  It’s not much but … (she shrugs and smiles and tosses a quarter into my case).

Sponge Bob.  From beneath his white and castaway beard he states his usual line of solicitation, I just need two more dollars to get a bit to eat.

We’ve all had moments of that sort when we’re doing something we really want to do.  It’s just that somehow we’ve gotten that into an unfortunate separation of those moments from work (Robert Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).

Yes, I long to have my busking moments last forever, or at the very least, I long to be an all-weather busker … a consumer’s four season destination, so to speak.

[*** Please check out my Youtube busking videos, the links being on the very top left scroll of this blog. These busking videos shall be the topic of my next blog entry:

No comments:

Post a Comment