I woke at 1:30 a.m. I often wake during the middle of the night if I’ve not had enough physical activity during the day, but more if I have something pending, when Mind wants to work out that event, that idea, that problem. I try not to wake up to worry, tho that happens occasionally.
In this instance, I woke because I am giving a talk soon on public speaking. It was Time to design the workshop, scribe my thoughts on how to handle this exchange with others. I anticipate my audience will be friends, acquaintances & strangers – some will know my style of storytelling; others will be unfamiliar to my ways.
I first learned I love to speak in front of others in the fire circle at Girl Scout Camp. My co-leader & I brought the troop to summer camp – the culminating reason of our cookie-selling success. The highlight of a weekend campout was always the Fire Ring, during which we sang songs, acted out skits, practiced fire safety & prepared s’mores. The minute the Song Leader opened the circle & the silly songs began, I was entranced. I remember turning to my co-leader & breathing, “I want to be that person!” So I set about learning every ditty I could, all their complicated motions & how to laugh at myself & with others. It was wonderful for me!
And now I continue to teach the topic of speaking in front of groups, leaving behind most of the silliness, but none of the humor.
After designing the workshop’s talking points, which will become the handout for the class, I walked outside to enjoy the total stillness.
The sun rises over our beloved Caballo Mountains with a slow flourish, illuminating every growing plant, every sentient rock, awakening the songs of birds as it spreads life & warmth to the desert. Although I’d never really thought about the moon in this way, of course it rises in the same way & amazingly, in the same place where the sun will later replace it.
I leaned my back on my car to watch…my first thought, “Oh, this’ll take too long to stand out here for this.” But I’d no sooner finished thinking this than the horn of the half-moon glowed above the familiar mountain crest. The rest followed within a minute – what I thought would take too long was accomplished in three long breaths. I felt dizzy; the earth was turning I knew, but this fast? I felt it a good thing I had the car to support me. I felt the night air, cool but welcoming, through thin silk pajamas. I know sunlight on my skin (I still love to be recipient to its rays, to tan with oils as I sit, eyes closed, feeling Vitamin D coursing into me. I am a sun-worshipper to no small degree, almost welcoming the wrinkles & the dryness accompanying this habit.)
The moon knew its path, had obviously climbed this particular mountain many times before. I could feel the sleepy wakefulness shared among all the life out there as it made a way to that starring position overhead. Even knowing all I know about the moon from more esoteric fascinations, there is nothing like being “out in it” to appreciate how an entire planet can so lightly make itself known so swiftly, silently, thoroughly.
The workshop will be a success. I’ve no worries on that score. Later in the morning I will prepare a handout from my notes poured out, accompanied by honeyed coffee. I wrote these notes quickly & carefully – I’m famous for profound & totally unreadable midnight thoughts – so I erred on the side of penmanship.
When I give my talk, the moon will rise again, outside & behind my eyes. I will watch faces light in understanding, smile back at the learning, enjoy the idea that one day they will be in front of a group delivering their knowledge to waiting ears.
So do the macro & microcosms entwine & blend. So does a little dream of one day holding many minds in mine develop & manifest. I no longer fear holding the attention of many who may be looking for flaws in me – I surely have plenty to share among them. But tho grounded from silliness to strategic information, that thread of humor runs through it all, lightening & lighting both.
I am calling the talk “Making Yourself Comfortable.” The thoughts will continue to arise; may they be as smooth & homey & as mystical as the moon finding a place to shine the sky.
And, if the audience wants a follow-up to this introduction, I still know all the moves to “The Donut Song”
Well, I walked around the corner & I walked around the block, And I walked right into a donut shop, And I picked up a donut fresh from the grease, And I handed the lady a five-cent piece.Well, she looked at the nickel & she looked at me, And she said “This isn’t gonna work, you see, There’s a hole in the nickel & it goes right through. So I said, “there’s a hole in the donut, too!” Thanks for the donut, so long! (Sing to tune of “Turkey In the Straw)