zen and the art of the tourist
Glorious sunshine after a cold, grey dawn brought out the masses along the waterfront yesterday and we decided to join them in a decidedly un-local move. Having come to this summer destination for as long as we can remember, we have become inured to the throngs spilling off the cruiseships and the ever-changing spectacle of festivals and street shows designed to please. There were a few faces that had been around for a while who put on a great show for families with small children and posed good-naturedly for photos with random people they would never see again and so we waited until the crowd had moved on, threw some coins into the sturdy white bucket and asked if we could take a photo. Not only were we rewarded with a smile and a bit of conversation but a couple of hugs thrown in for good measure. Just what the doctor ordered to lift our spirits.
The life of the busker has been co-opted by local government to become an intrinsic part of the summer tourist trade. Licenses for prime harbour real-estate and the bustling shopping strip now require an initial outlay of hard-earned cash; paperwork and schedules replace once easy decisions to just get up, out to make visitors to the city smile and perhaps scrape together a few bucks in an afternoon. All inclusive vacations have made it hard for those who earn a living with their talent on the streets. Once-a-year travellers don’t always understand the art of outdoor entertainment, they see it and the artists who perform as just another part of the scenery, a living, breathing bit of pleasant backdrop and rarely as people with families, dreams and often, a mission in life. Just like us.
When faced with unbending rules and regulations and those events in our daily existence that give us pause, we must, like this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge and Plasterman, attempt to stay – Calm.
Last week we asked “What does calm look like to you?” – A placid lake or crystal snowflake, curled up cats, meditation mats, denim blues or an afternoon snooze…
We would love to see your vision.