Could the Room Be Any Bigger?
How strange is this? I’m sitting on the stage steps in an empty 400 seat auditorium, waiting to speak about God knows what for three hours, and I’m starting to wonder if this wasn’t the worst place to explore my theory of not needing notes. I make extensive, ridiculously detailed notes for this stuff, and then I never…NEVER…follow them. I typically never even touch them, not even a glance. So on this auspicious occasion I chose t not bother. I’m second guessing that decision.
This room is huge…HUGE…I can’t help but wonder if they have any clue who I am, where I’m from, what kind of an idiot I am. Somehow I feel as though I’m pulling the wool over a lot of people’s eyes. They can’t possibly be here to listen to my ramblings, but it strikes me awkwardly that they are, so now I’m required to deliver. It's a weird world.
The plan is to talk about what I do… the unique approach I take to do it (or so I’ve been told) and the experiences I’ve had that help to shed some valuable light on some of the more unique situations. I had hoped to talk about homeless kids, Hells Angels, Crips and Bloods…for real Crips and Bloods, addicts, and everyday people, actually all of them everyday people, with some very strange exceptions. That’s what I had intended to do. I might end up flubbing all of it and jabbering on about how nervous I am. I’ll surely forget everything I ever had any intention of saying, and walk away from the afternoon in shame. Or there exists the faint possibility that I whack a homerun and take my time trotting around the bases. I know I have the swing to do it, but what I tell myself is that it’s just not that simple. Maybe I’ll bunt? You know, lay one down the line...a creeper. Somehow manage to get on base.
This stuff always feels strange, never gets easy.
This is the lie that I tell myself. It’s just a conversation between people, one or one hundred, or six hundred. It’s just an intimate talk about some really incredible stuff, and that all I have to do is be myself. If I’m myself then that’s more than enough for everyone…and I can talk, boy, can I talk..for hours if someone lets me, and strangely, these people are letting me. That’s what I say to myself. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Today its not working, not at all. This isn’t intimate, this very likely won’t be just a simple conversation, and it feels as though I need some practice swings that I won’t get. I suppose that this is where muscle memory, figuratively, comes in.
What the #$%& do I have to say that’s all that unique and interesting? I mean it when I casually joke that all I do is show up. That’s a hard sell to a lot of people who believe otherwise, who demand that it takes much more than that. I’d say crap to that. It doesn’t take a whole lot more…experience maybe…perspective based on that experience…but the foundation of what I’m talking about today is nothing more than the boundless power of compassion. That’s it. There is no them, there is only us. That's it.
Wish me luck. You can even pity me, that'd be fine too.