Thursday, June 16, 2005

Public Speaking 101

When it rains, it pours, they say.

I may or may not have posted in the recent past that the students who I was teaching for the last two semesters asked me to be the speaker at their graduation/pinning ceremony next Thursday the 23rd. It is an honor that I have humbly accepted and have been composing something in my head for weeks now. When they first asked me to speak, I said, "After listening to me talk at you for nine months, how could you even think of listening to me for five more minutes?"

That said, another "speaking engagement" of sorts has arisen with only four days to prepare. You see, one of my son's best friends (whom we have known since he was 10) spent a year or so in Guatemala, fell in love, had a baby, and now lives here in Amherst with his Guatemalan wife, step-son, and beautiful baby. My son is the baby's god-father, and we are totally enamored of their lovely family. This young man's parents are two of our closest friends, having watched our children grow up side by side.

The bride's parents are now here from Guatemala, and they have decided to hold a small, intimate wedding at a local hotel, the legal wedding having been summarily accomplished some months ago. Once again I am deeply humbled and honored---they have asked me to "officiate" at the wedding ceremony, both in English and Spanish. Mary will be my co-facilitator, and for the next two days I must write, translate, and practice my presentation which will honor, celebrate, and exalt this newly-wed couple.

I will most likely post the text of the ceremony and the graduation speech in order to share with you, dear Readers, the fruits of my labor and joy. Life certainly offers new challenges on a regular basis, and these challenges seem to often stretch my self-confidence and ability to focus under pressure. If you would indulge me, please visualize my throat chakra bathed in the blue light of clear communication, and my heart in the glowing green of open-heartedness. Failing that, just pray that I can speak clearly without making a darn fool of myself and disappointing all and sundry.

As I clean my desk, I clear my mind and prepare the blank slate from which the words will emerge.....
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