Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where We Are

Lots of my peers are wrestling with relocating their lives. There is frequent talk of "making a change," and often this manifests itself in a laundry list of other places they and their families could live.

Looking for better schools for children; more variety in dining; more diversity in neighborhood; a change in commute; a change in climate; a new house; a more challenging job. The list is familiar and endless.

Pawing the ground at middle age is hardly new territory. The stereotype of the midlife crisis is not positive to say the least; but there is a strange degree of beauty in the moment. I like to believe that change is always available, that what we lose little by little is the will to make it. Midlife wrestling with where we are and where we want to go has an air of Dylan Thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night."

Where it can get ugly is usually two fold for me. One, we repress our real feelings and needs for so long that when our conscience can't manage anymore the backlash is a destructive taking of all our unmet needs we've left untended for years. Two, there is a lack of clarity about what it is that is really unsatisfactory.

Is it REALLY that you don't have enough of this, that, or the other thing in the place where you are, physically? Or is it that you don't have enough in that other place where you are. You know, your life. Note to self: You take your life with you when you go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It Takes Two

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let you know that you trust him." Booker Taliaferro Washington

I have a stack of notepaper, each page of which has a snappy quote. Some are good, some are not good, and some stop me in my tracks. The one from Booker T. today was the latter.

We seem so anxious to apply one or the other, but rarely both. Some might say trust is earned, not bestowed, and I do agree with that. But I think there are also times when one has to be willing to give both responsibility and trust in order to really get results.

Our public assistance program is a great example of all responsibility, zero trust. I don't have the answer, but I do worry that heaping obligation on people while simultaneously indicating a complete lack of trust is a dynamic headed for failure.

I also see a lot of this in the personal lives of people around me. A tight demand for meeting expectations and needs, but extreme stinginess in the trust department. Like the public assistance program, it seems to thrive on resentment and anger. The more resentful a person is, the more responsibility is demanded and the more trust is witheld.

It's hard to watch, and even harder to change. All that any of us can do is to support putting responsiblity and trust together as often as we can, and try to show it working in our own lives.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I found some missing puzzle pieces today
Two to be precise
Been doing the thousand piece for so long without
They seem out of place, now
998 seems right
Can't bring myself to throw them away
But they no longer fit
Are in a drawer
Clawing to get out
I push the drawer until it clicks