A Clown shall show you the way!
Are you doing Fate’s work?
Did you ever feel that you were doing Fate’s work? Or that something much bigger was at hand? Well I think our two new Citizen Clowns Astrid and Chloé would agree to this! Have you ever seen such beautiful smiles?
As I met Astrid and Chloé, they had just landed in Montréal from Bretagne, France, and were out exploring the ins and out of this beautiful city. They explained that they were here just for one year, and that they were looking for some work in tourism or restaurants, with a ”let’s just see what happens” attitude. They were young, happy, alive, energetic and positive, and sharp dressers too. They are bound to succeed! And then Fate suddenly sends along Citizen Clown with a couple of red noses!
We met on St-Denis street. It was such an amazing beautiful sunny and warm day! Finally we saw blue skies after three days of grey and lots of downpours! My family couldn’t wait to go outside and play. It was Father’s day after all, so we started the day early with a game of badminton. Lovely! After lunch we sat down and revised our Roumanian songs; we had Choir rehearsal later that evening. You see, we have a recital coming Sunday June 22nd, so the pressure is on.
After the rehearsal, my little family and our friend Gina were walking downtown to make the best of the warm weather. And there they were! The two soon-to-be-crowned-Citizen-Clowns studying intently their street map. Their wandering fingers were going back and forth as the map was turning left and right, up and down, folding this and that way. This was the best invitation to offer my services as Citizen Clown or just old plain Guy. I’ve always loved helping people. I have great memories of being helped when I was travelling through Europe. I love paying it forward.
Studying in Amsterdam
So how can Fate shape your life? My own story is hard to believe! Twenty-five years ago I decided to do a Visual Arts’ Masters Degree in The Netherlands. After having done all the paperwork I set out to study Dutch even thought I wasn’t yet accepted at the academy. That’s how strong my desire was! As luck would have it my teacher turned out to be the father of one of my best friends at university. But this is hardly how Fate intervened. What happened a few months later was a build up of coincidences after coincidences, in a span of a just a few days, that literaly turned my life around. Fate at it’s best!
Fate #1 : On one particular morning I woke up at my girlfriend’s place. It was the weekend and we had no set plans. She read in the papers about an opening of a Dutch exhibition in a museum. It was that exact afternoon! I was uncomfortably shy but figured I should still go, so off I went. Fate #2 : The night before I had come directly from work (I worked at an art supply store) so I had along with me a plastic bag printed with the Talens paints logo, which is a Dutch company. Fate #3 : Being an extremely introverted person I didn’t talk or introduced myself to anyone and just walked around. That is, until one person saw my Talens bag and said something in Dutch, to which I answered: ”Ya, een Talens zaak”. He looked at me, wide eyed and surprised that I had just spoken Dutch! We started to talk. Fate #4 : The conversation led from one thing to another. Of course Emo (that’s his name) was curious why of all languages would I be learning Dutch? So I told him of my plans to study at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. And would you have guessed it? He said: ” What a coincidence! This is where I teach!”
Now that’s already a lot to take in, and there is still more. Fate #5 : As the opening was winding down the artists were planning to go for food and drinks. Emo kindly invited me to tag along by giving me the meeting point. By now you know that I wasn’t socially at ease with people, let alone having a beer with them, so I guess I answered something like, ”Well, I’ll see if I can….” Needless to say I just took my bicycle, rode as fast as possible, and went to have a hotdog alone by myself…. being frugal and always worried about money. I just felt very insecure about the whole thing, I don’t think I tasted anything of that hotdog. I was still debating all my contradictory feelings… ”should I? How dare I? How could I?’‘…. you get the point. Fate #6 : So there and then I decided ”Dang it!” I went to the bank machine, got some money and finally joined them!
Fate #7 : It was quite enjoyable as we talked. Emo introduced me to the other artists, many of which were also teachers at the academy. I was overwhelmed and getting drunk, which is how somehow we agreed that he would come see my artworks at the Bonsecour ceramic center. You see that one summer, as Fate #8 would have it, I had received a grant for a two month work period in that school, so I had access to a clean and professional workspace. I brought some of my drawings, taped them to the wall, and had a wonderful and lively discussion with my new friend Emo. A few months later I received my letter of acceptance, and from then on my life has never been the same. A page had turned, a very old, heavy chapter was finished, and a new one, full of hope and blank pages was opening to me.
Citizen Clown Astrid and Citizen Clown Chloé
You see, what Fate offered me actually came out of nowhere. It just happened, and luckily enough I was ready to embrace it. I still had to challenge myself to take action by daring to change! And as much as important was letting go of the past and move forward into the unknown. Astrid and Chloé didn’t plan to meet me, and they weren’t looking to meet anyone either. They were just minding their selves when our paths crossed! Fate loves to do that! We told them we had some great contacts in restaurants and tourism, and all they needed to do is to contact us. It is our greatest pleasure to help and share!
Life is not made up of what you decide or control; it is not mind over matter. Fate is listening to the strong, unexpected moments of life. It may enter your life as a whisper, or tear down walls in a blink of an eye, but It will bring you what you need. Just look at this amazing picture! How many years these people know each other? Well actually, barely five minutes! This is the power of Citizen clown! And the power of Fate! How blessed can we be!
”May the Farce be with all of us!”
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