I’ve been thinking about audacity.
When I was rewriting the About section of my website I meandered down memory lane and found myself revisiting some fine old memories I hadn’t considered for a long time. Wow — did I really drag my bagpipes along with me when I travelled Europe and then again to the Middle East and Asia?! Did I really whip them out in all sorts of hugely public and foreign places to play with no or little consideration to how much attention I would draw? Was I oblivious to the attention or…? And what about the business of getting my nose pierced in India in 1985? Obviously getting your nose pierced and sashaying about the streets of Calgary with a diamond (or cheap piece of glass or whatever!) stud isn’t a big deal now. But in 1985? Even the lizard-styled punk rockers had hardly embraced the idea. So what about the attention — often really negative attention — that attracted? I can’t help but think, back then I had some audacity.
No doubt there are heaps of considerably more audacious actions underway in the world today, and were then. But these were MY actions and in the revisiting of these memories I have found that I’m almost surprised I did these things. So the question that keeps popping up is: given the same set of circumstances would I — the person that I am now — do these things today? Could I withstand the glare of the self-imposed spotlight? Could I turn a cold shoulder to “what people might say”? Lord, I picture setting myself up with bagpipes to pipe Rob into the luggage carousel section of the airport from some exhausting flight and I cringe! Really???
The thing is, I know and well remember that I didn’t do any of these things TO draw attention to myself. I did them despite the attention. I loved playing pipes, wanted to travel and knew that both my playing and my pipes would suffer if I left them behind. I thought the women in India with their diamond-studded noses were the most beautiful I had ever seen (still do) and loved the idea of experiencing and experimenting with their aesthetic. I absolutely adored my tall, joyful Cape Breton lad (still do) and knew that he’d be honoured by my gesture… All of these things I did for love and joy — without fear or concern for what people would think or the glare of the spotlight. I did them simply because I wanted to. Kind of nice, isn’t it?
But what about now? Well, I’d like to think I would be as fearless and joyful and unconsciously expressive. But I can’t help notice that I can’t think of one audacious thing I’ve done in the last God-knows-how-many years. Hmmmm. Sure, I can don the pink hat, a silly ball gown and swoop down the gravel road in a golf cart with like-dressed sisters on a Sylvan cocktail cruise. But that’s just play. What about audacity in life?
I was thinking of setting myself a goal of doing at least one really audacious thing in 2016. But I’m not sure it’s audacity if you set out to do something because it’s audacious. The dictionary says audacity is “boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought or other restrictions.” If the motivation, at least in part, comes from how the action appears then that’s giving consideration to conventional thought isn’t it?
So, I’m going to wander quietly into 2016 with the notion of audacity sprinkled liberally through my consciousness and I’m just going to see if I can’t genuinely and honestly invite it back into my life. Why not? A little bold disregard for conventional thought sounds… well, it sounds like a most awesome way to not take life too seriouslY!
Anyone want to join me?
I'm Christie Simmons -- the person the rest of this website is about. But if you don't feel like reading all of that, to cut to the chase I'm a singer songwriter from Calgary, Alberta. The picture above is of me and my sister Catherine Simmons (a most awesome author) at Sylvan Lake where we get to play and have fun. I'm hoping this is another place where I'll get to play and have fun!