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Diane Fornbacher (above) Seattle Hempfest 2012 backstage before speaking
PHOTO Credit: Sharon Ravert
I’ve done hundreds of speeches, vigils, interviews, protests and presentations. Though I am told I am fairly decent at public speaking, I never cease getting nervous before engaging an audience. It’s all a mixture of being around many people in public, wanting very much to connect and inspire and perhaps even a bit of worry that I might not make myself clear enough, that I might miss reaching someone who could join our movement.
To quell the nerve-wracking shakiness, I tend to move away from people before I need to present to get myself in check. I queue up these songs to help me get centered and feel the moment, the energy of those around me who have congregated to unite for a righteous cause. I turn inward, breathe, put on headphones and imagine the ideal world full of peace, love and respect. I remember heroes who came before me who gave so much of themselves to teach and share knowledge, some of whom who are no longer with us and I touch their light with my memories of them. It’s eery how doing this settles my nerves and fills me with strength and calm. I hope these lyrics and arrangements can do the same for you, dear freedom fighting friends.