Cue from a cormorant

We had some rain last night and it is still grey outdoors.  I have a long drive East to the Wheatbelt today and I’ve been checking on the weather reports periodically.  I dislike driving through a storm cell there.  They can be intense.

I realised this morning I’m supposed to give a talk tomorrow and it slipped off my radar.  I’ll have to wing it.  I’m done with stats and will go with facts instead.  How am I this calm about it?!  I’ll have hours in the car to put it together in my mind, I keep telling myself.  The subject is something I’m passionate about, so the task ahead is restraint, not overkill.  DSCN6797.jpgPublic speaking is a fear experienced by most.  As a student, it made my knees go weak, my throat dry and my voice, even softer.  I recall the first presentation I made in my undergraduate years to a full class.  At the time I worked at the university too and asked Security if I could access the lecture room over the weekend.  I stood in an empty room and was in a state of panic over the thought of it being filled with people.  I thought of strategies to overcome this.  I was using a behavioural strategy to some degree (exposure) but the trigger was visual.  So I decided to give the talk without wearing my contacts and told the audience I could not see beyond the first three rows, so if they had a question, they would have to call out instead of raising their hand.  It worked a treat!  I gave my talk without a stumble and went on to present a paper at a conference in Washington DC before I graduated, not that I’m clever, I was passionate about my research.  I ended up walking away from it after I graduated.

Passion is good if it lights a fire that doesn’t consume.  That work was consuming me.  It was in every corner of my home.  One day I started collecting all my journals and paperwork and placed them in the middle of the lounge room.  I watched it for a few days and then decided, like one does, this relationship is not going to work.  It took courage to do this.  Doesn’t it always to end something?  I had invested nearly ten years of my life in this.  But, something had to give.

Since then I’ve learned how to exercise restraint.  I’ve learnt how to practice including all views and finding a common ground.  It is the art of win-win.  I’m still a novice at this and tomorrow I’ll need the practice.

Tomorrow I’ll take my cue from a cormorant.  I love how they spread their wings as soon as they get wet, a ‘come all ye faithful’ pose without a flock.  An inclusive gesture for a solitary bird.

I know what I have to say tomorrow may not fall on ears that are receptive.  My views may not align with theirs.  But, I do know I can make the offer, the gesture, even if it is an audience of one.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

DeJa Vu

I’m time poor this week with quick overnight turn abouts and project managing the house renovations so I thought I’d repost something from a while back.  I’m unsure about the etiquette of reblogging, so apologies for any unintended transgressions.

I’m gritting my teeth trying to meet deadlines before I fly out tomorrow.  I need some inspiration to keep going tonight, so I thought I’d share this moment of serendipity with you.  The lesson learnt that moment in Bunbury, was to try and try again.

The Kite Surfer

It was late dusk when I saw him.  He was young, tall, lean, and strong.  He epitomised seaside youth.  I had no option but turn my car around.  This I wanted to see.  His determination.

DSCN8266 The sun was fading fast.  The wind strong.  My eyesight weak.  But like him, I set up, waiting for success.DSCN8268He leaned right back, now almost lying down.  He had done this before.  The gouges in the sand, his history.DSCN8269The wind lifted him.  Airborne!DSCN8271But only for a nanosecond.  He came down with a thump.  His legs flailing before impact.DSCN8272The wind was not in his favour.  But, he did it all over again, and again, and again.

I had stopped to see his determination.  I left with more.  I experienced it.

The serendipity between strangers is something I cherish.  Lessons taught by strangers.  Unintentionally.  In quiet spaces between sun, sand and sea.

And, I hope, in this shared space.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird