I had a hat and a waistcoat.
I put them on, picked up my instrument, and went to work.
It was raw craft, at first. I had a little skill with words and so I used them to hide the flubs.
Raw craft … and then
I missed my mother. I was unhappy that she never saw me perform one effect, never saw what my hands were destined to do. I said so while shuffling cards. I made up a trick that i thought would make her laugh, could she but see.
… and they laughed. And they gasped. And they wriggled a bit in delight.
The laugh exploded and crystallized into art. Laughter through tears.
A marine. (hard and sober)
A goth chick.
A homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
A superstar athlete.
And several anonymous souls
… have told me that I saved their lives with my words and my art.
Tonight I made a woman weep with my stories.
I reminded her of her son
Who died …
Laughter through tears.
“He would have loved this … thank you for being who you are.”
tonight I drove home.
And I put my instrument down (for now, not for keeps)
I took off my hat and i hung up my waistcoat
and I wrote this to you.
This … is who I am.
The Fool is untested potential, neither positive nor negative yet containing the possibility of both. The Fool is the unconditioned soul about to come into manifestation for the first time to start learning the lessons of the world. Though mocked and derided, attention is not paid, and the Fool simply walks on. Perhaps what they say can be justified, since this ignorance of the world can lead the fool to do things that more experienced people would never imagine. But in these things can be found knowledge and enlightenment. The fool does not care what others think or say, because of a galvanized faith that the path followed is absolutely the correct one.
This approach to life is a strange, unconventional one, because the Fool does not always do what is comfortable. This is a viewpoint not often supported in our modern world, in which “do as I say” is the commandment most followed, and the easy path is the road most traveled. To those who have lived their life under this philosophy, the approach of the Fool may be extravagant, shocking, even frightening. But this approach is all that the Fool knows, and because the only approval they require is their own, they will continue to live this way, despite what all others think. There is simply faith in Self.
The Fool does not hide from the light, because the Fool is the light – the wonderful light that shines out of every child before they see the world and are forced to build so many walls and barriers to protect themselves. The innocence of a child, sadly, is something rarely found outside of children, even though a lot of people could use it these days. With this innocence comes perfect trust, fearlessness, and total self-reliance. It allows one to see the world with new eyes and learn new things every day of one’s life. It’s a shame that only children, and the Fool, see this light.
New beginnings, new experiences and new choices; the first steps along a new road and the first words written onto a blank page. Where the road and the story lead are not your concern, because when a journey begins no one can know (or should know) what will happen on the way to the destination. Never let another person control your life. Live in the present and trust in your own abilities – this is the road of the Fool.
(Featured image by Rhienna Renée Guedry)
I am often asked how I got started. Here it is, in brief.
It was the summer of 1992, and I was working full time, writing scripts and performing for a themed resort in South Carolina. I shared a tiny office with Ted Loring. Ted is an incredible friend to me, still.
One of the characters we created was a street magician … someone to play to the resort guests and entice them to come see the formal shows. I visited a local magic shop and learned a few very rudimentary routines.
The job vanished quite suddenly and I took that character to the actual streets of Charlotte … and, 24 years later, here I am.
Cleaning out some drawers, I found my old employee pass. This kid had no clue to the future: two beautiful daughters to feed, both parents and Grandma Hilda still living, and a road just beginning.
If I could tell him anything right now, I wouldn’t. The road unfolds just as it should and I wouldn’t change even the painful parts. It crafted me, and it is still saving hearts.
Your road is taking you somewhere, if you keep your feet faithfully to it. Strengthen your ability, craft it to your passion and keep the faith.
You’re really going somewhere, and the view along the way is breathtaking.