Saturday, May 9, 2009
Sitting at my desk, I am attempting to do something that has been an increasingly difficult task of me of late. I am writing. I do this in spite of the fact that I have to go out today to a rather significant function in that small part of the cosmos that is my personal reality. It is the 25th Anniversary of the recovery group that brought me relief and direction in my life after a three decade search for enlightenment through the use of mind altering mood changing substances. I have been asked to speak this evening and I need to prepare myself while feeling, alternately, humbled and annoyed. It is a great honor to be asked in the first place to share the gift of my recovery. It is also irritating in that I will be forced to sit during the delivery of this speech. While I do think well sitting down, (I am, as you all should know by now, the next Great American, Award Winning, Oft Quoted, Best-selling, Classic Author) due to my decrepitude and advanced age. I do not express my self nearly as well while seated and speaking as when I can stand.
When first I entered the domain of public speaking I found it to be the most annoying of activities. I had to give a five minute lecture on the proper use of a water filled fire extinguisher. Thank the Great Spirit that the operation of said instrument is pretty much self explanatory. Had it been one of the newer, more complicated designs, I would probably have flunked and gone back to driving a truck while only wishing I was the Great American, Award Winning, Oft Quoted, Best-selling, Classic Author instead of actually doing something to achieve my dreams. Since that day I have actively strove to increase my abilities in the world of public speaking. I have taken courses in speech, workshops on effective verbal delivery, and chosen a profession where the key skill set is an ability to publicly address students and trainees.
I have discovered that I am at my best when I can wander and use the audience as a prop like some demented comedian or preacher. I have often carped on the ideal that speaking on recovery themes should not be, well, Performance Art. I have had experiences where I attempted to speak to friends who are about to get up and speak only to hear, “Leave me alone, I am trying to center myself.” My reaction was to think, to myself, that this is not some stage from which one inspires or entertains. It is an opportunity to help others by sharing your particular experience at becoming an acceptable, responsible, productive member of society. Yet, here I am, irritated at my reduced level of effectiveness at delivering a good how.”
I am writing this today because I read about it in my morning meditation book that there is poser in the pen (well, keyboard) as a path to the resolution of difficulties in ones life. I am, if anything, a fervent advocate for the Twelve Step program I belong to, and have found comfort and solace in doing those things told me by the program regardless of desire or thoughts contrary to the suggestion. I write and wish I were somewhere else. But first I write.
This piece is an exercise. The first part is to the reacquaint my fingers to the keyboard so that I am typing words that make sense and are easy to read. The second part is to reacquaint my self with the realities of this day. This day I have to go and do this thing while attempting to be genuine. I publish this today with the promise that I will be back tomorrow. Peace.