Fili and Merlin

 Posted by on August 25, 2016  Add comments
Aug 252016
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Fili and Merlin are buskers. I caught them having a break in their respective acts, opposite each other in the town of Witney. Merlin is English and very chatty. Fili spoke broken English, and seemed happy to sit while Merlin ensured there was no break in the conversation. It was a hot day by UK standards – high 20s – and Merlin delighted in showing me a photo [on his phone] of him performing and told me that when he’d picked up the coins in his guitar case they were too hot to handle. They thought it was hilarious when I gave them each a 50p coin and pointed out that my money wasn’t hot! I’m not certain that Fili caught on, but he was quick to follow Merlin’s lead.
In winter Merlin heads to Spain where he has friends and family who accommodate and feed him for the winter, for free. He assured me that drugs were cheap there too. With a smile, I assured him the information was wasted on me! He wasn’t in the least bit offended so I asked if I could photograph them and Merlin immediately dropped to a crouch and threw his arm around Fili’s shoulders. Fili didn’t seem to mind. 🙂

For my future reference, as much as anything, I must add that this is the first image I’ve shared on aGathering that I shot after I ‘got over’ my abnormal fear of asking people if I could photograph them. I’m looking forward to sharing with you some of the portraits I have captured since. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement, but still nothing compared to how I feel about what lies ahead. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

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  12 Responses to “Fili and Merlin”

  1. Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice …………………. until it comes naturally.
    It pays. You have proved it Vicki.

    • Thank you, John, but it only came ‘naturally’ after I got help to get over my unnatural fear of asking for what I wanted. That’s the bit I find so exciting!

      • Yes I hear you. That was my point. Practice time and time again against resistance and it finally comes. It is like muscle memory. We exercise certain muscles and they scream pain but, the more we do it, they develop and hurt less.As we all know, the temptation is to ease off then rather than to continue exercising (practicing). So keep practicing and enjoy the rewards you deserve.

        • In many cases yes. In this case no. I could have kept practicing my whole life and still experienced my fear, which was stopping me from approaching some of the people I wanted to approach, and was making me wonder why I was putting myself through it. It was only the results and the wonderful support I’ve had from the aGathering team and our contributing visitors that kept me doing it! I saw a woman who practices something akin to NLP to help me get rid of my fear, and I can assure you that no amount of practice could have brought about the overnight shift in how I felt about approaching people.

          • Sorry Vicki, I should have listened more carefully to what you had said. What happened was fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

          • Vicki, I am going through something similar at the moment and I am VERY interested in knowing about your experience with the woman that helped you deal with your fear. I need to jump a hurdle that practice is just not helping me with. I hear you and want help too! Awesome image. I see such different characters and feelings from these gentlemen. Wonderful work and what self development the se photos have been a vehicle for.

  2. What makes you think the fear was unnatural?

    Unjustified and irrational perhaps, but I think that fear is completely normal. Certainly is for me anyway

    • It was something Barbara said on my post ‘Rongomai II’ that made me think a lot more about what was going on, and to realise that what I was experiencing wasn’t normal or natural. Some nervousness about approaching someone is normal – that’s what I now experience, though maybe excitement is a better description for me now. My fear felt physical, a ‘flight or fight’ response, which is completely inappropriate, and it would vanish as soon as I started talking (having made eye contact I guess my sub-conscious realised my target was human and not about to scream at me or tear me limb from limb!), but it left me with adrenaline rushing through my system for the next few minutes. Except for immediate family members, that’s how I ALWAYS felt before asking someone if I could photograph them – that’s for every one of those portrait images I’ve posted on aGathering, until this one.

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