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Ten Thousand Flowers and the Courageous Offer

Naked City is something of a cross between an open mic and a game show.  People sign up to perform, they are called up at random and they are given five minutes to do whatever.  If they go over five minutes, they must spin The Wheel of Consequences, which can result in anything from free drinks (either for you on the hosts’ tab or for the hosts on your tab) to bags of booze and dollar store trinkets to being recruited for a short piece of performance art.

The Wheel of Consequences

The view from my seat

Each show has a theme.  The theme for this month was Courage.  I could have told a tale or two about the times I’ve shown courage in my life but instead I decided to do something courageous as a demonstration.  Instead of a written piece, I would do a performance of sorts–I would hand out my flowers to anyone who wanted them.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, I’ve been reasonably good at producing flowers but not so good as distributing them.  Approaching people to offer them free art feels a little too much like salesmanship and I am not a salesman.  But I worked up my nerve to sign up and when my number was called I went up and explained what I was about to do.  I invited people to come up to the podium and receive a flower.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Or, rather, I had expectations, but they were contradictory ones.  My pessimistic self claimed that no one would come up at all.  My cautious self suggested a few would.  My optimistic self predicted that lots of people would come and that they would be happy to receive the flowers.

My optimistic self won the bet.  People were on their feet, lining up in what one person called a more fun version of communion.  They were delighted and I was too.  It happened so swiftly that I didn’t even have to spin the Wheel of Consequences either.

As per usual when I face down a fear, I felt a surge of bliss as a result.  People thanked me for the flowers and congratulated me for my display of courage.

I still have hundreds to give away.  I’ll just have to keep being courageous.


Click here to learn more about The Ten Thousand Flowers Project.

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