Thanks a bunch, everybody! Nice job so far with the response to yesterday's post. Several of you wrote something in the "comments" section; a few of you left me a note on facebook (both private and public) and even more have sent a helpful email my way.
So, you guys are absolutely intelligent, insightful, thoughtful, deep, sage, spiritual, reflective, faithful - and a bunch of other superlatives. But I'm going to wait at least through the weekend and let some more of you respond before posting any of your wisdom here.
So today I'm en-route to the conference, and I have successfully reduced the essence of my presentation from six and a half hours to about two and a half. That still leaves another 50% purging up in the air, but I'll probably go into my first workshop with the material "as-is" and cut and paste as I go, in response to the unique combination of people at the time.
I've found that speaking is always interactive. Even if the format is lecture, there is always a dynamic connection between "audience" and "presenter" that must be taken into account. That's one reason so many of the "insert local name here" talks I've heard miss the mark so badly. Not so much that the content was boring, or poorly prepared - more that the the person standing at the front of the room was unwilling or unable to "hear" or "read" the collective human spirit present. They might as well be speaking into a TV monitor from a studio.
This is what gives me joy in these trips. The opportunity to meet fellow travelers, people I have never met before, and to learn some of their story... to be an encouragement along the path... to even - sometimes - help to point the way.
Life is a great adventure; this particular section of the journey is especially full...
.. May yours, always, give you peace and others hope - DEREK