Pounding the Pavement

Another day, feet pounding pavement along on the banks of the Yarra, from the Exhibition Centre to I don’t know where hundreds of metres from where I started.

Food and Wine Festival!

I thought the Abbotsford Market was aloof but this concrete pathway hugging the riverbank is filled with all shapes, sizes and colours traveling from somewhere to somewhere else and most don’t have being distracted by a medium size woman, singing songs from a bygone era, in platform boots and gay apparel, as their priority. Where are they all going? What do they need to do? Thankfully some are wooed by my song and stop to smile and clap. Again the children are my saving grace as babies with expressions flirting with terror and mild amusement are thrust toward me for photo opportunities and to hear the lady sing. So I sing. And smile. And play with the people.

But what was once a welcoming place for someone being paid to bring performative pleasure to the punters has forgotten its relatively recent history of free outdoor performance. Now the pavement is lined with buskers of all persuasions, plying a different sort of trade. They bring life to this place and they have redefined it. The entertainment is a business transaction. People who don’t want to pay don’t look and so pass by with their gaze fixed firmly on the horizon. The world feels slightly colder in that moment.

But there are those who stop to dance to my apple shaker grooves, who look up delighted at the sound of a human voice singing in such close proximity, those who smile, say thank you or join in on the chorus, ask me where I am from and what I am doing, children who stare transfixed, dragged along as their adult keeps their pace up with eyes glued on the path ahead.

And I am left feeling depleted but hopeful….

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