Friday, March 6, 2009

the Sidewalk


I stink at public relations. I am not a very good marketer or sales person. I prefer being BEHIND the scenes.

I just don't have the personality that makes me naturally skilled at being out front in a "promotions" kind of position or event. I flounder. I diminish.

And when it is all over, I feel like a speck of dirt clinging to the bottom of a shoe.


I need an already captive audience. Forget about trying to captivate the free, wandering individual on the sidewalk. That is not my talent.

Particularly with this.

Tonight felt as though I was throwing my heart out to people just for them to trample it under foot. It's okay, though. I'll be fine.

I have picked up my heart, dusted it off. It's recovering. And it's glad to be back behind a wall of skin and muscle and bone--purring within my chest like a cat that has found a dark and secret place beneath the couch, to hide away from all the disquietude and pandemonium.


Besides, I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew to what I was potentially and most likely subjecting myself.

I feel like a fool for even trying, but at least I tried. Definitely out of my comfort zone. With each minute that passed I felt an avalanche of tears and trembling trying to break out.

The curse of the introvert.


The funny thing is that I can do public speaking. I can get on a stage and act. Right. That's the whole captive audience situation.

But standing out there on a sidewalk behind a table, trying to get people to care is a whole other beast that I cannot wrangle. It was wringing and stomping the life out of me.

I think I'm glad that I at least tried. I think.
I think it was good for me. Maybe.
I think it was fun. Maybe not.
I think I might do it again. Er, most likely not.

And realistically, it was not a complete and utter failure (although pretty close). We raised 2 people's worth of donations (aka $20), and well, every bit does help.

And who knows how many of my cards (with my blog address) we passed out to those milling and walking about. So, even if a couple more donations eek out of the efforts made tonight, then hey, again, every bit helps--even when it involves my husband and myself subjecting ourselves to fabulous levels of humiliation and prostration before a merciless swarm of people.


Yes, I am definitely a naive moron at times.

But sometimes being that naive moron allows one to get to places that no one else can even imagine, because they're not willing to even entertain or ponder or dare to think those foolish, outlandish things at which everyone else scoffs?

Okay, now, I am shamelessly attempting to make myself feel better at this point. And I'm not even doing a good job of it! My rationalizations have always been so idle and transparent.


Ultimately, the truth is that I'm just not meant to be on the vanguard of things. I'm on the micro level rather than the macro level. You know, the cellular level. Tiny and microscopic. Nonetheless, still potent and integral. But unseen and quiet. And somewhat fragile.

I guess that's why I prefer poetry. It's somewhat behind the scenes, somewhat fragile. It works quietly yet powerfully. It takes time and thought. Being too loud can ruin the point. And in some ways, one can hide within it. Literary camouflage. Maybe a lot of folks would beg to differ. So, perhaps I should attach a disclaimer by saying, well, this is what poetry is for me.

It's not that I am cowardly. Or maybe I am.


Or maybe it's my way of trying to push through the cowardice, like I tried to do tonight. Maybe it's my way of trying to put my heart out there, not so that others will look at me, but rather so that we will all perhaps take the time to search out not only our own hearts but even more so the hearts of others.

Then, maybe when we're standing on the sidewalk trying to get people to care, we won't have to try so hard.

And then maybe, when we're trying to pour our hearts out before one another, we won't have to fear so much that we may get trampled under foot. But rather, that we will find consolation and a common bond of humanity that needed only to be ignited and reforged.

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