Yes, I have been a devotee of Joseph Campbell’s for many years. If I could have attended just one of his classes, I would have cleaned anyone’s house for a year for free, including the windows.
The other day, a friend sent me a YouTube video of Bill Moyer’s interview with the man. It was her first introduction to him, and she was hooked. We chatted about him and his views on life, the ego, the bliss, story telling, myths and slaying the dragon. I just love him…Campbell, not my friend….but I digress.
So after this brief, but totally enjoyable discussion, I prepared to go to the Market where I peddle my art. Packed everything with care – tent, eight hand painted trays, several hand painted boxes, samples of my work, and a sign up sheet for my newsletter. Threw in the table coverings, and my sign. Got to the Farmers Market in record time. Feeling energize, and full of my bliss. You must know, dear reader, there was a time when I was a nurse that upon arrival to the hospital to work my shift, I would sit on the parking lot and cry for at least twenty minutes. I mean cry…not just a whiny whimpering simpering “Oh lawdy, lawdy, whoa is me” cry, but a gut wrenching sob. When finished, I would pull myself together and enter the hospital to serve my fellow man. I made it through nurses training, praying each day to get thrown out, but instead graduated with flying colors. How on earth does something like that happen? Thirty-nine years of nursing. Fearful every day of those thirty-nine years that I would hurt someone due to my own negligence, yet knowing full well, I was a good nurse, and a caring one. How on earth does something like that happen?
Well, today, as I was following my bliss, I was happy. My little blue tent was up, my tables were full of beautiful colorful art. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. I sipped my coffee waiting for the market patrons to show up. Slowly, they began to trickle in, two by two, sometimes an mother with several children, some young folks – all wandered by my tent to look at my wares. Many complimented me on the art. A few chose to have me do commission work with their vision of how they wanted their personal piece of art to turn out.
It was a pretty good morning until…
…at about 11:30am, a group of well dress young women dropped by the tent. They didn’t appear to be really there for the vegetables and fruits, since they didn’t have market bags, or baskets, and they were a bit dressed up for the morning at the market. I was speaking to another customer about a commission piece, when I heard the young women discussing my work very loudly. “BeBe, look at this box. What is this suppose to be anyway? Just look!” The tight snicker of nasal laughter accentuated the comment. Three of the women, turned to look at what the other woman had in her hand. Again with a snarky sarcastic voice, “How cute is this. They had little children decorate the box tops!” Again the sarcastic laughter and “I hope they didn’t pay those first graders for these paintings!”
I tried to maintain my composure as I continued to negotiate my commission with my customer, but my customer was also hearing what this incredibly rude female was saying. I looked at my customer, who put her hand on mine, and slightly shook her head. When I started to turn to the well dressed blabber mouth (WDBM), my customer’s hand grasped my hand firmer, which gave me pause and I did not engage with the the WDBM.
My ego wanted me to engage in a fierce conversation with the WDBM in the worse way. The little girl from the south-side of St. Louis was starting to awaken, and the hairs on the back of my neck were tingling. However, my Bliss put my customer in my way, saving me from a gut level reaction I would have regretted, to a more genteel and professional approach of just ignoring the bitch. They were only at my tent, I am sure, less than a minute, before moving on to smell goat soap..
So Saturday morning, I slayed my dragons, silenced my ego, and lived to sell my art another day.
I wonder if there is a word that means the opposite of namaste? I must research this for my next engagement!