Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Lemonade Stand

Salt Spring Island is bulging with artists and open studios.  Every crook & nanny here does art and every nook and cranny is crammed with art.  The Saturday market in Ganges is like Manhattan at rush hour (Okay so I've never been to Manhattan at rush hour or any other time)  but you're getting the picture.  I brought some art with me to the island from my bigger island that I live on and  poked and snooped around, thinking I might find a venue.  My work lay in walking the middle road of checking out possibilities but trying not to be attached to outcomes.  The market, because the traffic is so high, has as many rules as customers.  You have to live here for at least 6 mos and jump through hoops of fire to get a spot.  You can tell the old timers by their singed butts (no this is not really true, well maybe, but I never checked that closely).

But we did spend the morning at the market as customers, after parking far enough away that we had to pack a lunch to get there.  But there are fabulous local treasures and we wouldn't miss it .  We bought some locally made curry spices, some pea shoots and sunflower sprouts and a salad roll stuffed with sprouts from the sprout guy.  We had a shot of wheat grass juice from our friend Jim, at Rawsome Living Foods and tasted his awesome raw homous.  We bought some of his raw granola but snoozed too late to get any raw flax crackers.  We sampled some amazing pasta and pesto from a little shop with a serious Italian chef.  We bought handmade soap in little bargain mystery packs.  It was a quintessential summer market day.  Sun blazing, people everywhere, music and tasty smells wafting over everything.

After that we retired back to our lovely home exchange and I decided to put a sign out by the road and hang my art in the garden.  It was fun and in fact I love doing this.  I arranged my journals on a rustic old saw horse and put out a couple of lovely baskets, one with cards and the other with matted prints.  I put out some original collage work on a little black cafe table and we found some hooks that would hold a number of original canvases on the trellis deck railing.   I put out a lovely little bamboo dish of scrabble tile pendants, poured a cool drink and sat down in the shade.

I watered some plants, did a few on-line chores and then started to wonder where everyone was.  The mind always looking for action began it's chattering.   Len commented on how nice the colours of the paintings looked in the bright sunshine and took some pictures.  My mind on the other hand started to rumble, "not one person has driven down from the road".  I looked at the paintings and decided that was because they really weren't very nice.  And on and on. blah, blah, blah ....  We did our qi gong on the lawn in a the shade of a hawthorn tree.  And as my mind quieted  I caught it by it's tail and yanked away the banana it had been chewing on.  "Okay, that logic, well it defies logic ... How could people decide my art was crappy if they hadn't even seen it?"  I inquired.   Such is the nature of the mind.  It tells us stories that appear to be based on logic but are so fuzzy you can hardly recognize them for their furry coating.

And so we chuckled and said it's kind of like the lemonade stand you had when you were a kid.  You spent a lot of time setting it up in front of your house, making the lemonade and signs, finding chairs and change.  The process and preparation were exciting.  And then there was the sitting and the waiting ... and the minutes ... and the hours went by.  And after a while you got tired of it.  So you drank all the lemonade or gave it away to your friends.  But at the end of the day you were happy and at some point you did it all over again. 

Maybe my lemonade stand was quieter than the sound of  one hand clapping but we passed a lovely summer afternoon in a beautiful garden.  And I was reminded once again not to be too attached to outcomes  and to have faith.  It was an opportunity to think about what might work in the future.  And I was reminded that I had fun getting it set up and it wasn't really a problem unless I made it into one.  Always, we have the choice.  So there was the Dharma as usual waiting to show it's wise little face and offer some teaching, even on a sunny, summer afternoon, proving once again that the Dharma is always waiting patiently to offer us just what we need.  And if you're on Salt Spring Island tomorrow, you just might see my little sign by the red bicycle when you're driving down the road.


  1. How beautiful! I for one am in awe of your art, not being an artist myself... Your art speaks to me, as do your blogs - and today they both made my heart smile :) And I thought, we're all just like little flowers, blossoming in the sunlight, unfolding ourselves out to the world - petal by petal (picture by picture, word by word) and we never know who's going to come along and pick us... See, you inpsire me! :) Christine

  2. "it wasn't really a problem unless I made it into one. Always, we have the choice." Oh, man, what good timing to read this. Thank you, and have a great day!