The seasons force our actions when we live within them, not in spite of them. This morning Len, George and Junior delivered four more cords of firewood. Junior, seated above on his tractor, has been riding the same machine around town since the early 1950’s (cool side note: the piece of metal sticking out just above his right knee on the inside of the fender is a bottle opener). Today Junior turned 78.
Junior’s had a tough couple of weeks. Last time I saw him he was badly cut over the left eye from falling on his porch. He simply passed out. He made it clear “I wasn’t drinking, neither.” He fell into an old coffee can full of nails. When he came to, blood was everywhere. You could hear the fear in his voice. George and Len hear the fear in his voice too. “Junior’s not been right,” George observed, “He’s holding back, not working as hard.”
Sometimes the inevitable weighs on us like a killing frost.
related post: Perspective
There are so many turning points spinning furiously everywhere I look. The election, the economy, Yankee and Shea Stadiums… It seems I might as well rotate a revolution or two myself.
Whenever I declare that I am undertaking a walkabout, it’s a signal that sea changes are underfoot. I emerge changed, perhaps not as dramatic as Ishmael when he crawled ashore in Lima after surviving the sinking of the Pequod, but maybe, just maybe as changed as that. In DC this past July, while attending a conference for non-profits, I initiated a walkabout. The sites of our nations power center only received cursory glances. What captured my attention I found right outside the back door of the Mandarin Oriental, a block from the US Treasury. The homeless encampment pictured above resides less than fifty yards from where Andy Goodman delivered his keynote on storytelling and Bill Toliver framed the fundamentals of movement making.
I returned from my excursion struck by the paradox I had stumbled upon, recognizing the fragility of all the systems I take for granted. I returned committed to working the field of my chosen passion with reckless abandon. Step by step since that turning point I have walked toward the launch of this platform. I have been quickly shown the best tools and strategies by the most capable folks making waves in this field. I wish to thank Chris Brogan for his example, insight and willingness to engage the newcomer. I have found my rhythm. As the dream I had last night revealed, the train is now pulling into the DC station and it’s time to get a move on…
My favorite game to play with our six-month old daughter allows her to teach me about beauty. It’s pretty simple. We go on a walk together, sometimes inside the house, sometimes outside, and we keep visiting different places until she lights up with the splendor of things. The first time we played was by chance. We were walking past the garden and something captured her gaze over my shoulder. When I looked back to see what it was, it seemed like it might be the coneflowers. So I retraced my steps and slowly approached the purple and orange flowers growing behind the stone wall. I held her so she would have her head level with the blossoms. Sure enough her delight beamed in a smile across her face, expressing silently “wow! look at that!”
About a week ago I took her to visit the small brook that runs along our property. A huge pipe runs the stream under the county road and the water spills down a three foot falls into a pool, before heading on its journey to the Delaware River. Again, huge smiles. The next time we visited Judith’s studio. I brought her eye to eye with a recent cloud painting, so that the image would fill her visual field. Again, “wow.”
This morning it happened while passing a stained glass window. The dappled effect of the outdoor scene filtered through pebbled glass held her interest for over ten minutes. I’ve walked past this window every day for three years. I never saw it till today.