I woke up early this morning choking on nasal drip that won’t seem to end. I’ve been sick for almost 2 weeks and the mornings are the worst. I lay there trying to fall back asleep, but the coughing wouldn’t stop so I moved out onto the couch to save from waking Michael. I set myself up like I was camping on the couch….hot rice bag, cup of tea, cross stitch supplies, and TED talks on my phone with ear buds in. I hadn’t listened in awhile. 62 new stories had amassed.
The feature story was from Amanda Palmer who is a singer and performer formerly of The Dresden Dolls but now in Grand Theft Orchestra. Her TED talk was about making human connection and art of asking for what you need. I won’t spoil the whole talk and here is the link to watch it:
I will remark how this talk effected me. In her early career she was one of those living statues. This was how she made money to live. She talked about the validity of that job based on the intense human connection she share with people. She noticed them when they felt invisible; they gave her money. Each got what they needed. This intense connection stayed with her through her career and helped her in most everything she did as an artist and person.
I have seen these living statues. They have always freaked me out. Many of them have attempted to scare me or pretend to be statues and then look at me. I have always secretly been afraid of them. They looked too much like dolls which happens to be one of my irrational fears, especially if they make noise or have eyes that move.
I sat there on the couch wondering something profound at the end of Amanda’s talk. Was I afraid of living statues or was I afraid of that intense connection that left both us vulnerable?
When I think back at the time in my life when I would have encountered these living statues I had the lowest self-esteem a woman could have. I didn’t feel worthy of being visible; I felt perpetually invisible. I still feel that way sometimes, but I do my best not to dwell on it. Since Michael has moved here over a year ago, I have learned to become visible. I have taken back my life. I work harder than I ever have at asking for what I need. I’m no pro at it. I’m nearing 40 and just learning it is ok to speak my mind and when I do that the people around me won’t vaporize or abandon me.
This is a life lesson of the highest order. Watch the video. It is a good 13 minutes of your life.