Monday, April 26, 2010

IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS


I know it's not nice to brag, but there's an experience I really want to share with my fellow Avalon readers and writers.

I had the privilege of teaching a workshop at the Pearl S. Buck House. I was thrilled when they invited me to participate. It wasn't until about a week before the conference that it hit me - this was not just another book talk and signing. This was something special and I wanted to rise to the occasion. I'm not a natural public speaker, but if I prepare, prepare, prepare, I can usually do a credible job. So I prepared and, when the day came, I felt ready.

Ms. Buck's home has recently undergone renovations and her many awards have been moved from one of the bedrooms to a different building. They are now displayed in an Awards Room. As luck would have it, that's where my workshop was and I was on first thing in the morning. The person who introduced me said this was the first official function in that room. I was the inaugural speaker. Wow! I was impressed (actually honored is a better word), but my nervousness kept me from focusing on that fact until I was well into the presentation. It was going well when, all of the sudden, it occurred to me that, in the display case right behind me, were Pearl Buck's Pulitzer Prize and her Nobel Prize for Literature. I had one of those weak-in-the-knees moments every speaker dreads. It only lasted a few seconds, but for those few seconds, I was afraid I was actually going to cry. I didn't. I told myself, "You're a grown woman. You can't just start blubbering in front of a roomful of strangers. You'll scare them to death. Somebody might call an ambulance and cart you off somewhere." So I took a deep breath and no one seemed to notice.


The moral of this story? I'm not sure there is one, but, as I said, I wanted to share it with my Avalon friends. Well, except maybe "prepare, prepare, prepare". That's what got me through the day.

By the way, the book I just finished reading is Pearl S. Buck's Pavilion of Women. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. In this book, she explores every imaginable face of love, both human and Godly and she does so in beautiful, graceful language.

Sandy Cody

5 comments:

Heidi Ashworth said...

Love Pearl Buck. What an wonderful experience for you and for those who had a prepared (prepared prepared) speaker. : )

Marielena said...

How heartfelt and human, Sandy, that you allowed your "awe" to overtake you in that moment! I know those attending your workshop had the privilege of hearing and learning from a wonderful author.

off kilter said...

Sandy, lucky for me I didn't see the awards until my workshop was over. Then I went OMG...
Wish I could have heard your presentation just before mine, tho!

Sandy Cody said...

Thanks to both of you for stopping by. That experience will probably show up in a book someday. Isn't that what we do? We think we are "creating" when actually we're just rearranging and interpreting. And-isn't it fun!

Carol Hutchens said...

Congratulations, Sandy...both for the invite for presenting and your acomplishment if 'holding on'. I know your presentation was great.