I locked up my bike. I was pretty nervous about the reading. I used to perform a lot. But it’s been a while. I do presentations for work, but that’s not the same.
Reading my own story, I could be judged, not just on my performance but on my material. I had signed up to read at the New York Insight Meditation Center Art Share. http://www.nyimc.org/ Not exactly the stress of Amateur Night at the Apollo, but still, stressful.
Just breathe, I reminded myself.
Buddhism and its practitioners are known for non-judgment. What a great concept — not judging.
I was reading a story that I knew to be funny, poignant, true. It was a mash-up of a few blog posts, one of which was about a mindfulness walk on a retreat. As I walked, I took out my phone to snap a picture and then it happened — I got caught in the web of social media — answering emails, texts, updating my Facebook, all while trying to meditate. I had gone on the retreat to get away from it all, but unwittingly plunked myself right back into the thick of it all. https://mbcoudal.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/blue-cliff-monastery/
The reading went well. I got some laughs, some nods, some smiles.
After the reading, I felt that post-performance high — that arm-stretched-in-the-air pose of a gymnast who has just nailed her floor routine.
I bumped into an acquaintance who was about to teach a yoga class. She told me that my reading went well.
“Thanks,” I said, feeling grateful.
That’s when I realized the purpose of doing a reading or blogging or putting myself out there — is to turn acquaintances into friends. And to feel grateful.
I got on my bike. I rode home feeling proud and humble at the same time.
One thought on “Reading at the Art Share”
Ohhhh, yes. This is beautiful. So grateful you showed up and showed up AGAIN! and YES on the post-performance feeling and acquaintences becoming friends. Brava on many levels.