On Jackson Square, the worst thing that can happen to an artist who has set up for the day is to “blank,” not sell a single piece. The entire effort being financially meaningless. Sure, the artist may have passed out some cards, met some nice folks, visited with some friends, took in the sights and so on but not for any sort of monetary reward. No pieces sold despite the carefully laid plans of the artist. Sometimes this is accompanied by long, strange hours as well.
Every artist has probably done it. It happens. Not frequently for me. I even had a bit of a streak going until this Saturday past when I was finally revisited by the blank. Worse days are when you are blanked and then rained on. This also was the case on Saturday.
But it wasn’t the blank or the soaking rain that hung with me as much as it was a particular customer who wanted a piece. She had all the ingredients of a match made in Heaven, the swooning, the special look in her eyes, the touching. She wanted the piece. Then, inexplicably she said, “I am going to go eat lunch and if it’s here when I get back, it was meant to be.”
I wanted to tell her, “Precious sister, in the vastness of the Universe almost everything that exists is dictated to us by chance. Your existence, mine, the circumstances that placed you in front of this fence, your death and the deaths of all those around you will be meted out by circumstances through which you really have no control over. Physics will decide. Chaos will decides. Government will decide. The cosmos will decide. But you? You probably won’t decide. So here you are in front of this piece of art that you admittedly want very badly, that has been made available to you. Here you are, with complete control in the matter. So why, sister, WHY would you simply toss your rare moment of control out there and see fit to attribute it to chance once again? Because it isn’t chance this time. It’s you and your unwillingness to stir.”