Otherwise, I had put a hold on busking. Crowdfunding is itself a form of virtual busking, after all, and once you get started it completely consumes you. With the Sing Upward campaign going and an ambitious goal looming, I had enough work to do. Thus I was happy to eschew the stresses of busking on the subway or pretty much any location other than the Inwood Greenmarket; but I hoped that my yuppie neighbors could appreciate the efforts of a local artist and pick up a flier or two; perhaps check out the campaign at a later time and make a contribution.
July 27th was an average day for me at the market. I made as much as I've come to expect there on a Saturday morning. But I was discouraged that nobody had really picked up fliers or asked about the campaign. Besides, I needed much more than an average day's earnings. I still had half of my campaign goal to raise!
I began playing Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs, the very song that I'm making the music video for, and prayed for a windfall. When I realized halfway through the song that nobody had yet made a contribution, I decided to take the outcome of these three minutes as a sign.
If someone - anyone - gave me a dollar, I would take that as a positive sign. I'd continue working my butt off and I'd surely reach my goal by midnight July 31st.
If on the other hand I received nothing from my neighbors, then I should prepare myself - emotionally and financially - for the likely event that my goal not be met by the deadline. Even if such were the outcome of those three minutes, I would still work my butt off to reach my goal; I just might come to terms better if I had a few days to process the disappointment in advance.
"It's cabbage," the farmer told me as she reached a napkin over to me. "I wanted to bring you some before you started your next song." The last chord of Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs was yet fading into the din of the market.
I thanked her, somewhat bewildered, as she walked away. For one thing, she didn't bring me a utensil. "How am I to eat this?" I called after her. "Just...?" I motioned the colorful strips of cabbage toward my mouth, simulating an animal lapping up water. After a couple hours busking in the midday sun, water was what I really needed. Or else a generous contribution to the campaign.
She nodded and smiled, spinning back on her heels toward her booth, just across the street from where I'd serenaded her all morning. Reaching with my tongue, I shoveled something purple into my mouth. I winced with each crunchy chew, as bitter cabbage juice gushed onto my palate.
- It is extremely high in vitamins C, B, and K; the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage. It is also low in calories and high in calcium and magnesium, and it is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.
- The fiber and supply of probiotics improve digestion and promote the growth of healthy bowel flora, protecting against many diseases of the digestive tract.
- The isothiocyanates produced in sauerkraut fermentation inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tube and animal studies.
- Sauerkraut is high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both associated with preserving ocular health.
Should any of this have come as surprise? Have I not become accustomed to God's peculiar provision for my life? No, this turn of events wasn't particularly surprising and I merely took it as a sign - the very sign for which I'd been waiting. It was the answer to my prayers, though it wasn't the answer that I wanted. I knew in that moment that I would not reach my goal, that I would not raise all the funds that I needed to finish the video. But I also knew that God would provide for me and this project in some other way. In some peculiar way, as God tends to do.
What the sauerkraut in my life will ultimately look, smell, and taste like - and how it might ultimately affect my bodily and financial health - is yet to be seen. But all I really need in the meantime is the assurance that God is looking after and providing for me and all my needs. On that Saturday, it was promised with an outstretched hand full of bitter cabbage.
So I'll continue singing upward, louder and louder still - moving forward with the project (scheduled for release on September 15, when I also unveil Heliotropism & The Pulvinar Movements) and doing whatever it takes to survive in the city - by the grace, provision, and will of God.