Tag Archives: sharing

Weird Kid

For a season in high school, I wore a cape. I didn’t imagine myself a superhero or any such … I donned a floor length black cape with crimson red lining. I had purchased said cape from Morris Costumes, to use at Rocky Horror. It had residence in the trunk of my B610, and one morning I just decided to slip it on and … pretend it was the most normal thing in the world.

The oddest thing: most everyone accepted it without question. “Just seemed like something you would do.” was  the thing I heard later. Lots of my friends wanted hugs, wanted to be wrapped up inside my cape for a moment. Escape the pressure … be silly and whimsical, for a moment, for a season.

For a season in high school, I wore a scarlet letter. I read the book and had a heated debate with a teacher about gender roles and acceptable behavior. I didn’t know the term ‘slut shaming’ in 1982, but the concept was really clear. So I sewed a big red ‘A’ on my jacket and refused to take it off, even when threatened by administration. It caused a stir, but the point got through.  Almost earned me a small vacation. Almost.

I do card tricks now, and sometimes i push an envelope that constantly dares me to push it. This Labor Day I’ll be doing such a thing.

I want to be a safe place. I want to be a shield when a shield is needed and a pillow when a head is weary. I’m walking toward peace, and I’m plucking little bits of joy along the way.

I wasn’t sure where this was going to go, and I’m not sure how to end it.

Be weird. Get a cape.

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The Road of the Fool

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)

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Failure is Not an Option

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

My Friend, I have some news to share: You are going to fail.

That sounds kind of harsh, but I know you want the truth from me.
It’s a part of the journey we are on. Gird yourself and prepare: it will come along.

Failure will happen to you.

In following  your road, you will make some mistakes along the way, in fact you need too. Some really big ones.

This is how you grow. There can be no creation or growth without some pain. It will shape you, mold you. Like refining silver, you have to purge the impurities. It’s going to be hard, but it’s the only way.

To paraphrase the movie ‘Apollo 13’, ”Failure is not an option.” That’s very true, failure is not optional … in fact, it’s a necessity. Don’t fear failure. Since I’m quoting art, how about this one: “Fear is the little death.” (Dune) To fear failure is to lose the battle before beginning it. Fear tells us to keep ourselves bottled up and protected. It tells us to play it safe. It warns of impending failure. Fear lies to us, deceives us into thinking that if we fail, our dreams are over.

Sorry. It’s just not true.

Failure Brings You Closer to Your Goal

Here’s the truth: Failure helps you succeed. It shows you what not to do or when something doesn’t work. It is the fertilizer for experience. In my career I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded, if you want to keep a record. I’ve been fired, mocked and even booed off stage more than once. I’ve had my phone, my lights and my water cut off. I’ve had my car repossessed and evicted from my home. If i hadn’t been to the bottom, I sincerely couldn’t be as grateful as I am. I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this to you.

I’ve been robbed, protested, preached against, assaulted. I’ve been cheated, swindled and lied to. I could fill a book with promises that have not been kept. Show biz. Because of my faith, I can say that I’ve forgiven all of these. I believe in the greatness of the human spirit. I’ve failed, and I’ve kept on down the road.

Failure is the potential of success, not yet fully realized.

So Now What?

You need to keep dreaming. Keep moving down your road. What we have is this moment; so treasure what it holds. Keep breathing.

When you stop dreaming, you become afraid. You get paralyzed, and that is where you really fail.

You will mess up. You will fall down. On your face. Hard. It will hurt.

“The righteous man falls seven times but rises again.”

Not once, not twice — but seven times. Getting back up produces character and character produces hope.

With failure comes perseverance. With perseverance comes success.

Keep failing, keep learning. Failing means you’re doing. And if you are doing … you’re growing.

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Sensitive Material

“How do you overcome the judgement that comes with performing/being in the public eye? I often find it crippling. To the point I don’t audition for shows without friends there. As a performer you see the problem there.” ~ B.B., from “Ask Hannibal Anything Monday” on Facebook. 12/7/15

“Art is the act of taking your heart out and shining lights on it.” ~ Cannelle Ciel

I was reminded yesterday of a phrase I hadn’t heard in years: “The Call”. Most often used lately to refer to being ‘called’ into ministry. I believe it goes deeper than that. As humans, I believe we have something in our very makeup – both physically and passionately – that we are meant to do. I have a passion for music, and I can play one or two instruments with an excess of mediocrity. That is to say: I can play the notes, but I cannot make them into music. That’s okay, I am not ‘built’ to be a musician. My road goes in a different direction. Depending on your environment and personal drive, it may be easy or extremely difficult to recognize and then act on your own road.

As an artist, you are compelled (whether you believe it to be internal or divine) to share your heart. You train and you practice and you rehearse for thousands of hours in order to present your soul and vision … even if the presentation is but a few minutes. In that few minutes you will unleash the power that you decide to let go of. That’s right: you don’t have to give it all away: sometimes that’s just far to much to ask. You and you alone decide just how much of your heart to show.

Understand that the throngs you put out into the world may not only painful to share, but painful to hear. You are wielding one of the most powerful weapons ever. You can choose to use it as a sword or a plowshare. In a very real way it is quite like ‘coming out’ to people you love: some will have no problem, some will need some time to accept, some will (sadly) react negatively. You may even lose them. But understand this very clearly: That is not your problem, it is theirs. Your art is as real and vital to you as your lungs, your brain … your heart.

This is not a lark. This is life. You have this gift, this vital drive for a reason. There is something or someone that needs to see your heart in order to survive. (This is my faith.)

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking me how to overcome your own fear of showing who you are to strangers, critics and family who are going to judge your talent and your sincerity. You have friends and family that see your art as something you do in your free time, instead of the very blood in your spirit.
My answer is this: First, do what you do to the best of your ability. You owe it to the gift and to the audience to give your very utmost.
Second: work as much as you possibly can. The more serious you are about your craft, the more you show the world how vital it actually is. The more you show your heart, the easier it will be and you’ll begin to be able to share even more. Be prepared to stretch your comfort level a little more each time. Be true.

In summary: it’s in  your heart and hands to do because it is important. Not only to you, but to art itself and to the souls you will touch. You have been called into your craft. Believe in its importance, have faith that you are the temporary caretaker of the art and you have responsibility for it. Grasp this for yourself and you will find it easier to communicate to others. As a bonus, when you firmly believe in the foundation of your art, the words of the critics won’t damage you nearly as much.

I await your feedback …

h

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