miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2011

Bethany Cagnol, hair pulling angel.

@bethcagnol collapsing of exhaustion in front,
the rest of us having fun behind her ; )

We all know somebody who inspires us, who shines a light on our talents so that we see them, who encourages us to see past the things that aren’t yet there and focus on growing, and passing that growth on to others.

Imagine 10 people like that in your life.

Now imagine 20. Or hundreds.

Now imagine that you have constant access to them. It is called a PLN, a personal learning network. Twitter might be the glue that keeps it together, but it goes much further. It is a place where you can find and be one of these people.

These people are positive, passionate about what they do, and are out there doing quality work that touches many, many, people. Their passion gives sort of a “holiness” to their work, in the sense that Grotowski would use the word. Saints, or mad prophets in the wilderness, whittling distant possibilities into realities.

Ever heard of Habukkuk? His name comes from a Hebrew word meaning “strong hug.”

In the judeo-christian story of “Daniel in the lion’s den”, Habukkuk was “fifth business”, the figure not important of himself but through him, important things happened.

Habakkuk was in Judea; he had made a

stew and crumbled bread into the bowl, and he was on the

way to his field, carrying it to the reapers, when an angel

of the Lord said, 'Habakkuk, carry the meal you have with

you to Babylon, for Daniel, who is in the lion-pit.' Habakkuk

said, 'My Lord, I have never been to Babylon. I do not know

where the lion-pit is.' Then the angel took the prophet by the

crown of his head, and carrying him by his hair, he swept

him to Babylon with the blast of his breath...

I mention this story not for the spiritual enrichment of the readers, but because exactly the same thing happened to me.

Despite being a performer, I can be a bit self isolated, busy working on "shtuff", and with the economic crisis in Spain, I can end up focusing on taking care of basic needs, instead of higher and nobler priorities.

Bethany Cagnol was my hair pulling angel, who made sure that I had every excuse to stay home eliminated... she encouraged me every step of the way, and she was even prepared to look for a place for my wife and daughter to stay!

I imagine she pulled the hair of a lot of other people, because the Tesol France conference put skin on a lot of people I had been keeping tabs on, and admired, and both revealed some new amazing people and reconfirmed the amazingness of others. I was farmed out to one such person (whose name I won’t mention because this thank you note is for Bethany, but his twitter handle is @Brad5Patterson.) and had a great time in “the Panda den”.

And I got to share what I have been working on with people working on similar things... and they did the same with me. I am filled with energy, and ideas, and with gratefulness to be in a world with such amazing people, and to be connected with them.

Strong hugs, Bethany. You know how to throw a party.

4 comentarios:

  1. Strong hug your way, Matt. Glad you were farmed out to the Panda den.

    Bethany does pull us all together and she does it in such a humble, loving way, a lot like you. Amazing, as you say, to be surrounded by such people.

    Best from Paris ! -panda

  2. Strong hugs to all the PLN from me, too!

    Matt, you express it so well - coming from Greece the last two years has felt something like a survival course. It was really pleasant to enjoy the opportunity to spend time simply learning & laughing, two of my favourite activities.

    Well done, Bethany, for finding the energy & will to arrange such an unforgettable conference and for selecting a team who gave you the support you deserve.

    Suggestion: next PLN meeting in the Land of the Juggler!

  3. Matt, you say it so beautifully!
    We certainly all come back invigorated and to see all those electrons take shape really does change the perspective :-)
    Great meeting you ... what a performer ;-)

  4. Thanks all... looking forward to seeing you in Tesol Spain. (Bring the Panda suit, Brad, and it is a good thing to mention that Gillian and Debbie and Divvya and you... et al are all part of the team that made everything so smooth.)