{Finds} Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking

Based on the summary for Amanda Palmer’s TED talk, it seems I have taken away something very different that the person who summarized this favorite 20-minute inspiration. Not really a surprise, I suppose, but certainly worth watching despite the straight economics-based description.

Rather than seeing a new model for music distribution, I see a challenge to embrace our humanity.

I am terrible at asking, though very often need it. And between job and home, I have embraced the role of rushing in to give requested assistance in lieu of being vulnerable myself. Amanda’s call to connect- to be vulnerable and need- to wing it and trust your art and your tribe- is a vibrant and captivating reminder that no one can truly thrive as an island. And that I am still missing out on something raw and beautiful.

I believe that my hesitation is an extension of the feeling that “asking feels too much like begging.” For me, the act of asking surfaces dank and desperate feelings that I am not worthy of my needs, and that I presume too much of myself in giving them voice. It opens me to the criticism I most fear and so frequently abuse myself with. “Stubborn,” “resourceful,” and “independent” are sheaths of armor that glisten in the sun, attempting to blind those I most fear judgement from.

I am humbled by, inspired by, (even jealous of) the experiences Amanda describes- finding serendipitous and vulnerable connection with those who share her moments and passions, even over the din of other’s ignorance and judgement.

With modern media, it’s easier than ever to edit yourself and create asynchronous, crafted relationships, to put on a formal suit of heavy (but shiny) armor. I have dated by text- worked by email- and expressed myself in 140-character sound bites. But this is not the marrow of life. The marrow is in the messy moments, the human contact, and shared dreams.

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