Sunday, January 16, 2011

Portraits of Glass

Ages ago, a friend of mine gave me a cartoon that showed a professional woman in a business suit sitting behind a large power desk and turning the pages in a booklet.  The caption said something like, “Faced with critical tasks and looming deadlines, Mary examines the Burpee Seed Catalog.”

I too have some critical tasks and looming deadlines ahead of me this week.  I have been asked to give two speeches, a long one on communication for a business women’s meeting  next Thursday and a short one at an induction ceremony for a campus honor society next Sunday.   I have known about these speeches for quite some time, but as usual, when I tried to get an early start on writing these presentations my brain froze.  To make matters worse, my twin internal critics, Agnes and Agatha,  seized the opportunity to remind me that  no one really cares what I think anyway.

A&A:   Communication?  What do you know about communication? You’re a chemist for God’s sake. Get real.

Yeah.  Ok.

True, I am a chemist.  In my own defense,  I did not pick the topic. But I do think that anyone who works with people on a daily basis has plenty of opportunities to learn about communication and mis-communication issues. As I have been thinking about it, I  realized that I have lots of ideas, even if I am a science geek.  The real problem has been trying to fashion those ideas into a speech that would be interesting and fun. 

Interesting, fun and  forty five minutes in length--a pretty tall order.   Agatha and Agnes are snorting as they pretend to stifle their laughter.  It is pretty hard to think with that racket going on. 

Faced with  formidable tasks and looming deadlines and the cackling of A&A, I got out my camera and started taking pictures.  What else could I do?  The spring flower catalogs have not yet arrived  and I got tired of reading Wikipedia. I decided to begin a series of photographs of glass and I began with a small clear bud vase that I have always liked. Here it is, up close and personal:

Fire #1

Fire #2

(Winter) Air
While I was setting up the lighting and shooting these photographs, my brain, freed from Agnes and Agatha's nagging ridicule, actually came up with a couple of possible threads that I can use to weave my loosely formed ideas into possibly coherent presentations And, since tomorrow is a holiday, I can spend the day working on those presentations, and if necessary, take even more portraits of glass.

Wish me luck on those speeches -- both the writing and presenting. Even after all this time, I still get nervous when I have to speak in public, although apparently less so than King George VI of England..  Al and I saw "The King's Speech" today and it was wonderful- well worth the drive to Midland.  I don't know why it isn't playing in Saginaw; it is an excellent movie and the theater was nearly full.  Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth are terrific and  the film is inspirational and very moving.  Check it out!

Today I am grateful for celebrations and I thank all of you for your kind birthday wishes yesterday..

1 comment:

  1. I love your photos, they are brilliant. Good luck with your speeches!