Live Recording of October 8, 2018 Choosing Gentleness Reading - Ojai, CA
The reading/signing evening was totally amazing and magical! I had SUCH a good time and it seemed like everyone else did, too! We had more people come than we'd imagined likely: 63 beside the 5 of us "working" the event. Apparently, book reading/signings at the Art Center usually draw between 30 and 50, though mostly closer to 30. Clearly my having, in the past, hosted ongoing monthly talk/sharings for local women meant I had more of a following than authors who weren't so known.
A small tribe of dear friends took care of bringing in, arranging and later re-stowing chairs in their storage cupboards, managing the refreshment bar, taking charge of book-selling, recording the audio/taking photos and, in the case of Teri (who manages the Ojai Art Center venue), repeatedly allaying my obsessive worries about the practical logistics during the many weeks leading up to the event!
I never worried or thought much about what I might say. I knew that I wanted to introduce my self: to acknowledge that my pertinent "credentials" were not my degrees/training. But, rather, that I had been raised by a woman from a very damaged cohort of bitter, frustrated women who'd (during WW II) had a taste of life beyond "children, church and kitchen" before being brain-washed back into that old box again. That dedicating my life to healing the wounds of her conflicted, emotionally abusive, mean mothering had sourced much of what I had to share. And, to acknowledge, as well, the rich contributions of the zany tribe of Grandmother Spirits who'd made themselves a part of this healing journey.
The Grandmothers had had me bookmark a sequence of the book's essays to consider reading. And, through Barbara, had had me bring a stack of the note cards that were in the book so I might randomly pull one or another as the evening unfolded.
I had not a clue what I might say until I heard what came out of my mouth! I felt infused by Grandmother energy as I read some and talked some more about my feelings and about my concerns about the current scary, crazy-making realities we're all trying to handle. As always, one of us sharing openly/authentically opens the space for others to do the same. AND, they did! Intimately and vulnerably. It was utterly delicious!
I loved Catherine's note the next day: "I was so taken with the response to your reading / book signing. Who knew that 50 or so people can form an intimate discussion group? And, I can see how needy we all are for this kind of coming-together."
After having spent much of Sunday ministering to the frightened-of-retribution-for-being-so-full-of-our-self Little One, I'd awakened Monday (still snuggling "Little Bit," my Teddy Bear/stand-in for my Little One) feeling lighthearted, both excited and calm about everything. And, It was good to be able to share about that process as I started the evening.
I had SUCH fun at my "coming out" party!