Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dangerous spontaneity

Hmmm. Well, nothing may come of this morning's unanticipated madness, but I seized the moment and submitted abstracts to two conferences - the first goes under the heading Antarctic Visions: Cultural Perspectives on the Southern Continent and takes place in Tasmania at the end of June. The second (this is the one that's really taken me by surprise) is Oslo's International Polar Year (IPY) Science Conference (from what I can see, the design of the host building is based on the anatomy of icebergs and is quite beautiful).  

The submission date for Oslo was 20 January (yesterday's date) and - as seems so often to happen with me - I only found out about it at 10.00 this morning. 

The fact the globe is round is incredibly helpful at times like these. In this instance, it meant that 10.00AM on 21st in NZ was still hours before midnight the day before in Norway. It's all quite weird, really. Anyway, I rolled up my sleeves and pulled out the stops and when I finally pushed the Send key on my lapdog*, it was 12.20AM in Oslo (twenty minutes post-deadline). I was pleasantly surprised when the forgiving conference computer responded within seconds with a very polite Thank You for your submission followed by an email with the reassurance, Your abstract is in our system. Whew. I might just have made it...  

Being 'in the system' doesn't necessarily mean anything in terms of whether or not you actually end up going, of course. I'm not attached to any particular outcome but will admit that my fingers and toes are loosely crossed. Programme headings for both conferences are enticing and there are many reasons why I'd really love to participate.  

Invest wholeheartedly. Detach fully. This seems to be the only way to approach things these days. 

As a poet friend once suggested 'it's not difficult but it's not easy either.'   

*Thanks for the pet name, Pen


  1. The best of luck with your applications! The internet can be miraculous.

  2. I love the line at the end of your post! So true.

    Hope you're accepted!

  3. Hi Mim & T.Clear - thanks for your encouragements!

    I had to laugh at this morning's email...

    "Dear Colleague

    Thank you for your submitted abstract to the IPY Oslo Science Conference. This will be reviewed by the programme committee and you will be informed shortly of their decision.

    The event already attracted in excess of 2250 abstracts and promises to be the major international event for the polar community in 2010.

    To enable inclusion of as much IPY and related polar data in the final programme, late submissions will continue to be accepted until Monday 25 January. We would be grateful if you could pass this information on to interested colleagues, students and polar networks... "

    'in excess of 2250 abstracts???' OMG. That's a little awesome.

  4. Wahoo! My toes and fingers also in crossed position. It's inspiring to see you fly through windows no matter what time is doing. px

  5. "Invest wholeheartedly. Detach fully."
    Yep. Great reminder of a daily practice. Thanks!

  6. Hello Melinda - Welcome to the conversation! Lovely to see you here and to discover your blog, too; I especially enjoyed your post on Fame & Fortune. Like you, I love my work, not so much as a definition of who I am as for the joy and connections it brings.

    I will comment further in your blog's box, where I see you are being helped along in your endeavours by your cat! I anticipate having a feline helper in my home and studio, too, (possibly by the end of this week) and am greatly looking forward to it.

    All good things to you, Claire