A love of Baking (tract 4 Day 2)

by julie

So today I was back to the normal format of tract distribution, handing out the “literature” on the streets. As it was raining I stood outside Gap again as there is shelter here, sometimes location and practicality are the same thing. I find this location works well as it is never so busy during the week that people do not notice you and it feels a comfortable space to stand in for a decent amount of time. I had planned on heading back to Cornmarket but perhaps I will go there tomorrow. I am currently debating what is more effective – one space where I can become a regular presence or several spaces where I have access to more people.

I set myself up on the same spot where I have stood several times before. There is a small metal square screwed onto the ground and as I step onto it I tell myself that it is my stage. I do my best not be jostled out-of-the-way or to shrink back against the wall. This pretend stage reminds me I am not myself when I give out tracts that I do not have the same limitations as the real me does. All this sounds a little grand but really it is a strategy that I have adopted to allow myself to function outside of my comfort zone.

I handed out about 70 tracts today. I would say the majority of people who took them were Christian, this comes from comments like “God Bless you” and “God love you for standing out here on your own” It is strange to think street evangelism is possibly supported by Christians and again this parallels to the art world with artists supported by artists. Especially in education a lot of my work is supported by peers and tutors and I really need to think about how sustainable a practice would be outside of this scenario. I allowed myself the illusion that I was doing this by distributing the tracts in the public without the safety net of the university or an informed art audience however, in writing the blog and discussing the work with peers I receive a little of the encouragement I would get from an art audience albeit after the fact.

Today felt a lot about rejection and was areal contrast to yesterdays experience on the bus. One man in particular stands out in that he took the tract stood silently reading the whole thing, closed to my attempts at conversation and on finishing he handed the tract back with added grease from the pizza he was eating. It is so strange that the thousands of small rejections mostly polite keep you going but when someone gives their time and still thinks its nonsense that really feels like a failure.