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The Zen of Farmers Markets

Kim Cadenhead

               Breath in....Breath out...observe...relax...be mindful..take it all in.
That's how I feel about my new challenge at the Camana Bay Farmers Market.  Crookedfinger @ Camana Bay

It was really kind of a Zen thing. Once I got there that is!  It takes a lot for an artist to get to the point where you can actually stroll by and see them at a local art fair or farmers market.  Its a process that may take many months to achieve.  I had been on a waiting list for this market for over a year before the call came....happy day!  I had to fill out an application and provide some pics of my work in order to see if I was a good fit.  Then it was a leap into the unknown.  I asked myself...What should I bring?  How much? Should I mix it up?  Bring my paintings? Bring my sewing?  Rugs? Bags? Place mats?

I had no idea how well I would be received, especially as I am a Canadian living in the Cayman Islands and facing an international audience of travellers strolling down the promenade in Camana Bay. People may have different tastes and ideas of what constitutes art to them.

The first week was a test.  I am sure of that.  I was tested by myself, the shoppers, the staff at the market and my fellow merchants.  I took the approach to bring it all!  Throw the whole lot at them and see what would happen.  I sat and waited...breath in....breath out.  I watched the people walk by...some looked my way...many did not. Tourists in t-shirts eating ice cream, travelling in groups.  Locals briskly passing by with shopping bags full of greens from the produce stalls at the other end of the market.  People on their way to or from somewhere.  Office workers on their lunch breaks.

I sat and I watched and I breathed.  

Nothing much happened.  The odd person stopped by to touch and look and to try to figure out who I was and how I got there.  I was trying to read the signs. Do they like my work? My prices? Me?

I did not sell a single thing that day.

It was a blur.  It was over before I knew it.  It was a test.

My three daughters all contacted me later that night by text and Skype and were anxious to know how I had made out.  I told them and was met with so much love and support.  I always get that from them.  I am so blessed!

I reflected on the day.  I took stock of myself, and my work and decided in the end that I had to keep pushing.  Move forward.  Do it again and again until I felt I had given it my all.  I went back for week two.  Sold 3 items!  Week three I sold 4 items!  Tomorrow is week four and I hope to sell 5 items or more!

All the while I am breathing..in and out..taking it all in.  Trying so very hard to be Zen.


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