The Great News is that I have been asked to speak more than a few words at the Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon on March 28th – 2015. I know most of you knew that already but I thought I would make it all official and also tell you a little of what I am going to speak about.
When I first saw the email from Andrea Middleton and Jen Mylo asking me to consider talking to them about coming to a conference with Press Publish – I almost deleted it thinking it was junk mail. ( I am so sorry Andrea! You almost ended up on the cutting room floor!) Have you ever had a delay in your head when you read something and it is so NOT what you expected to read – then there is a blank moment, then a few seconds later you cock your head and look back and think about what you just read and have to dive for the rubbish bin to retrieve it and read it properly this time, thank you very much? Or is that just me?
I was visiting Wellington, in New Zealand my home country – cooking homemade tomato sauces for the great lasagna feast. My mind had eased right down into that gentle kitchen cruise. I had just put two baking dishes, loaded with whole well oiled and salted garlic, into the oven to roast, I was heady with the scent of fresh, local garlic and crushed basil. Or was that the wine? Anyway – Random ideas swirling in pictures about my head with words floating behind them like bubbles, my inner score on full glorious sound. I had talked to nobody but tomatoes for hours. Then there was this email asking me to speak Out Loud.
Now – I thought. Then I read it again. This. This is one of those offers one must grab with both hands. I thought. But being at a loss for words, I said – Hmm.
(If I have this correct – Andrea and Jen, who are organising and managing these conferences, work for Automattic. Automattic hosts WordPress. Wheels within Wheels.) Brilliant isn’t it!
And what will I be talking about?
Spinning the Yarn: I will be telling you, in person, the journey I took that brought me to blogging about my farm. I will tell a little of my history. Our histories build the path we walk upon. I don’t mean our fathers or grandmother’s history (though that is important too) – I mean us – Our Lives are our strength. We are living in an instant pudding world. We do not have time to be victims of our lives, we need to live in our lives and lean on all the relationships we have built, all the knowledge we have collected, then turn the corner and stride along swinging our arms using that knowledge as fuel. Fuel for the Benevolent Monster. (You have heard me talk of him before – that is for sure). Yes, I will tell a little of that.
We are never still, life is always in motion. Like our hearts and our imaginations. So I will try to stick to the plan.
The concept I want to explore in Portland is that of Relationships. When I say relationships I mean the relationships with our Histories and with our Bodies and with our Food and with our Cars and with our Health and with our Mothers or our Readers or our Work and with our Keyboard and with our Journals and with our Lovers or our Dogs or some of those or all of the above and much, much more. I think that these relationships and the communication lines we develop BETWEEN these relationships become our vehicle. Our benevolent monster. Then we place our two legged monster, full of relationships chattering away, on a road built with our histories and stories and we gambol along gathering. Relationships are critical to Balance. Balance! Balance in our lives is a Talk in itself.. maybe another day. Imagine being wide awake and seeing these relationships.
So My Talk will begin with those stories, the stories of my youth, where my little self came from. My gamboling. How I grew up surrounded in people and noise. Stories of my growing Up self. How so many of the relationships I developed, or strangled as the case may be, how they all met at a certain crossroads and I turned left and suddenly came to the prairies and its empty fields. And it was all suddenly very quiet. How the farm and my cow and that deep quiet brought me to blogging and to you. And how you brought all your histories and knowledge to my blog, and the relationships we developed taught me and supported me in the farming and keep me honest.
The Fellowship is why I am going to this conference. You build my strength.
The line up of speakers for the Press Publish conference in Oregon is extraordinary. I have to admit to being a little in awe of my fellow speakers. They know the stuff I don’t even know I don’t know. I am more of a Whisperer than a Speaker. Hopefully they will give me amplification. And for those of you who are closer to Phoenix than Portland, there is another conference there. Not me, but some pretty clever and interesting speakers to further develop the relationships we have within the blogging community.
Love your friend – almost back at the farmy
PS Tomorrow we zoom across to the UK for a look at an old farm there. The last farm in this series. We should have called this series Old Farms in a Modern World because I for one, and you too I think, have gained quite an insight from each contributor into how small farms are managing in a big farm climate.
This coming Sunday (the US Sunday) I travel back to the prairies. The tundra. It takes all day so I will leave here at 5.15 am and I should be home back out on the prairies by about 8pm. But I will check all the animals before I go to bed. And check in with you on Monday morning.
Then I am home until the weekend of the 28th of March when you can find me in Portland, Oregon.