2014 Convention Stories

    Changing Currents in Savannah B

    Kathryn BaumgartnerKathryn Baumgartner
    Alpha Kappa Omicron Chapter
    St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY

    Though rivers are known for moving in just one direction, they still need to be open to the ebb and flow of the tide, and the changing currents brought to them by the wakes of ships going past. It is appropriate that the theme of this year’s convention was “River Current” because people also need to be able to change according to the ebb and flow of life, and the wakes created by the complicated experiences life tends to throw our way. Sometimes it can hurt us to continue to stream in one set course, rather than allowing the people around us to alter the flow of our life and change us in unexpected ways.

    Sunrise from the dockI came to the convention for the first time this year to read a creative non-fiction piece. Once that reading was over, I thought, ‘Phew, I’m glad I don’t have to speak in front of anyone again.’ I stayed in Savannah B to listen to the poetry of other Deltans, and cowered when Micah Hicks asked me if I was interested in reading anything.

    But then the night wore on, and I saw how open, attentive, supportive, and enthusiastic the crowd was for each reader’s piece. About halfway through the presentations, I whipped out my phone, found a poem I had stored on it, and marched (perhaps ‘shyly walked’ would be a better description) up to Micah and asked that my name be put on the list of readers. Not many people were left in the crowd when I took the stage, since the event ran so late, but one man made it a point to come up to me afterwards and tell me how much he enjoyed hearing my poem.

    For me, relating what happened on Wednesday night can sum up my overall experience at the convention. It was such a relief to be able to meet people who share common interests and to not have to be frightened at the idea of sharing something that came from my heart. Strong friendships were forged, and I was able to experience the joy that comes when you open yourself up to things outside the normal current of your life, and allow yourself to flow differently in reaction to the people surrounding you.