Carys Weldon Blog

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Poetry in the Park

I don't know if you know this, but I'm a poet and a motivational speaker. Today, I will be performing at an open mic forum in Springfield, Missouri at an annual event called Poetry in the Park.

It's open to the public, held at Lake Springfield from noon to five--weather permitting. There's a pavilion, and potluck barbecue. I'm taking Kielbasa to bbq, with buns, of course, and charcoal, etc--hoping to rope someone else into cooking it. Any volunteers? And I'm thinking about taking some chicken breasts, too. Still undecided on that.

Now, if I can only find the place.

My husband usually drives me there--and I just enjoy the ride. (Which is really a description of our life together--he takes me places and, well...I could easily degenerate from here.)

But, it's Sunday. I'm trying to behave myself. (We'll see how well that goes!)

Normally, I go to church on Sundays...but my kids and I are struggling with our present congregation, feeling awkward--maybe judged? I know part of my problem, I'm not perfect and I've had a few well laid comments sent my way, and that's made me gun-shy. I mean, geez, if a sinner can't go to church to try and be better, where can she go?

I just hate self-righteous people. Don't you?

Just recently, I got a newsletter--one of those writer's organization's quarterly reports. An old writer, that has about 9 books to her name, wrote an article about things the rest of us shouldn't do, chastising us for, oh, everything. I felt like I was right back in church!

She caught me at our last writer's conference (in the ladies room) and chewed me out for showing up late. It was three hours from my home--in timbuktu Ozarks. I got lost. She didn't bother to ask WHY I was late. Just looked down her nose at me. And I thought...who was she to chew me out like I was a kid? I hauled three people there to see her speak--which was boring as hell. People literally were sleeping in the aisles, and those that weren't, were talking.

So, of course, that was addressed in her article--how rude people were. But that brings me to a point--a speaker should command the room. They should entertain, educate, and motivate. Not bore the people into slumber or private conversations. Although, I do think it is rude to talk when there is a speaker going up front of the room.

This is of the gals I took there kept falling asleep. I nudged her repeatedly, because I know she didn't WANT to fall asleep. And she would have been embarrassed if she'd started to snore or something (which happens all too often at those sort of things)--and she would have definitely held it against me if I'd let her get to that stage--in public--when I could have saved her by a nudge.

Anyhow, right after that, say two weeks later, there was another opportunity to hear this same speaker. I refused to go. Why waste my time and money? She doesn't make me laugh, and her speech doesn't alter much. So, I've already heard it more times than I can count. What would be the point?

My friend went ahead and drove to the event. When she got home, the first thing she did was send me an email. It said...(paraphrased)...Hm. It appears that no matter how many times you hear her, she's still boring. I thought maybe that other time was a fluke. But no. And, it appears that you can't rely on just anyone to nudge you when you fall asleep, because most everyone else is nodding off, too.

Anyhow, she went on to applaud my wisdom in not going, and my amazing ability to stay awake. She swore she couldn't go to hear that speaker again without me at her side.

Ha! What she doesn't know (but may read here) is that I take about forty of those energy supplements, vitamins and minerals, etc. to keep me awake through the worst things. And when I know the speaker is gonna be bad, sometimes I AM purposely late. I DO take more trips to the bathroom. Anything to stay awake. More drinks from my water bottle. And I plot new stories while I daydream. So, if you see me outside of an organized writer thing--feel free to chat with me. I'm probably out there avoiding the hard side of a chair or something.

But, I keep enough notes to have a clue if the speaker quizzes me later. I think that's the mark of a bad speaker--if they feel like they have to test their audience to see if you were listening. Duh. If you can't tell they were awake or paying attention, maybe ya ought to step up your presentation. No kidding, this gal sat the whole time. In a room of 50 people, we couldn't see her. She thought she was loud enough to use the mic--which she wasn't.

I hate it when I go some place, and put out the money to get there--gas is so high these days--and then find that it was a waste of my time. It seems that more and more things fall into that category.

I want people to enjoy my company, and vice versa. I want to surround myself with people who will love me for who I am, and not judge me for the way I dress, or how much I weigh, or what I write.

Which brings me to unconditional love and acceptance. I find that there are many things in my life that don't stack up to perfection. My house, the way I keep it--inside and out--(not a show home)--me, the way I dress--casual and comfy most of the time--(not putting on airs)--and I say to you...let's be okay with who we are, and what we have. Let's accept others at face value.

That is not to say that we shouldn't expect better out of ourselves, our kids, our significant others. I mean, geez, if you don't expect a kid to brush his teeth and hair, he won't. (Just had to send my 14 year old son in to do that, that's why I thought of it.)

I expect my kids to behave in public. And, man, I hope I will, too! And I hope my husband won't censor me when I'm speaking. Don't you hate when you're talking and someone gives you the sign to shut up? Or worse, cuts you off by some curt reprimand?

But then, sometimes we need someone to give us the cutthroat sign. Just not embarrass us in the process. As you can see, I tend to ramble. So, I recognize the fact that someone should cut me off.

Today, that will have to be me. I'm working on self-control, as you can see.
What are you working on?

Posted by CarysWeldonblog :: 7:20 AM :: 0 Comments:

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