The Art of Asking: Amanda F* Palmer

The first time I heard of Amanda Palmer was when she was playing the concert venue in which TNL holds its weekly worship gathering. Wanting to see what kind of music she performs (she calls it “punk cabaret”), I googled her and her band.  Not necessarily my cup of tea, but I do enjoy “The Bed Song.”

So you could have guessed when I heard that Amanda Fucking Palmer (as she is known) had given a TED Talk, I was intrigued to say the least. If you listen to the talk you could simply hear a musician, artist and creative working around the fact that the music industry is changing.  If you listen closer you will hear a person reasserting her desire for community and connection. Busking and music are simply the tools she is using to reclaim her humanity. The real art comes in the asking.

People don’t like to ask for things they need. I know I don’t.  Anything beyond, “Pass the salt” and I feel vulnerable.  Some times the risk is worth the ask, some times it is too much.

But what if asking was not associated with risk. Risk of rejection. Risk of not being seen or heard. The risk of self exposure and weakness.

What if asking was the art of trusting.  Trusting that people would see and listen to you. Trusting that people will meet your needs when you speak about them. Trusting that you are not alone in this world having to figure it all out by yourself.

What is asking was a form of trust?

If asking is trust, what implications does this have on asking others for help, directions, support or forgiveness?

If asking is trust, what implications does this have for asking God for mercy, grace and love?

(For what it’s worth, I rated Amanda’s TED Talk as inspiring, beautiful and encouraging.)


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