Internal and external critics

My husband was in charge of setting up the computer/ projector connection for my photography talk the other night.  And as we were driving in he was giving me tips about engaging the audience, which I found rather amusing.

And then, after the show was over, he complimented me on my performance, clearly indicating that he was surprised it went so well.

All of which is odd, because I have been giving sermons and presentations to groups since I was in my 20's, did it extensively in my last job, and did it for almost every class session while I was enrolled in Antioch's graduate program in Organizational Dynamics last year.  Which means I've been doing increasingly more of this for almost 40 years -- and yet he was surprised to discover that I do it well.

How is it that you can be married to someone and not know what their gifts are?

Ah well -- we haven't actually worked together in the same organization since shortly after we married, so I suppose he just never gets to see that side of me... although he did watch me give that presentation at Seattle U last year... 

It's curious, that there is this longing in each of us to be seen, to be visible, to be heard, to be appreciated. And of course we artistic types seem to have that longing in spades.  And if I am somewhat invisible at home, perhaps that's what drives me to get involved in plays like the one that's opening tonight.  Some part of me is anxious -- two of my dearest humans, who are also very strong theater critics, will be coming tonight.  But another part of me trusts that if I do well they will see and appreciate that.  And any criticism will be constructive -- and helpful; they know and love me too much to let me get away with anything less than the best.

What does any of this have to do with this picture?  Perhaps it's just that the picture, like my talk the other night, feels... right.  It may not be perfect, but I like knowing I can look at it and say it was good: I did the best I could given what I know and what I had to work with.  And in the end, if my own internal critic is pleased, whatever the rest of the world has to say will not devastate me, but only offer me new ways to grow.  And that's a very nice place to be.


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