From the under-side, I have riding on a cloud ever since. Maybe it's not Cloud 9, but a cumulus not the less, billowy enough for a comfortable trip around the ego. My nerves were pretty much shot going into this day. There has been the inherent fear that I just don't have it in me anymore because I've waited too long to get my own show on the road. I seemed to have forgotten who I was, almost as if I was running away from the real Scott Cherney. Maybe that's why I turned my talk into a near retrospective, a dip into Lake Me and hopefully not delivering my own eulogy. What's closer to the truth was what that day represented to me in general. I told the "crowd" that I was proud to be a part of the library not only that day but to have my works, my books on a library shelf. It's all about validation and for the first time in awhile, I felt comfortable being in my own skin. The road to find myself had led to the Hillsboro Library on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Nervous? You bet your ass I was nervous. I had no one other than my wife to express my trepidation and even that I kept to a minimum. When Grant-Lee Phillips visited Portland in January for a concert, I expressed my anxiety over lunch and felt rather embarrassed that I used my friend as a therapeutic backboard. I mentioned it on the dreaded Facebook and fortunately I know a lot of great people who gave me some much needed encouragement even though I felt so insipidly needy about mentioning my stage fright at all. But hey, I had a lot riding on it. The stakes were my very existence. Fine. I made a u-turn into overstatement again. So sue me. It's my life. I know what it all meant. Part of me actually wanted to fail so i could go back to my non-existence, but fortunately, the real me prevailed and won the day.
To paraphrase from my own book PLEASE HOLD THUMBS, since Saturday afternoon, I realized I wasn't dead to the world after all. I am alive.
Now it's time to move forward.
For you completists out there here are my obligatory Oscar picks for this year:
Best Picture: Avatar (Better pictures: The Hurt Locker, District 9 and Up, but Avatar is such an all-around cinematic achievement it could pull out the win, despite the fact that Hollywood really doesn't like James Cameron)