People with People

8DA396C3-BF1B-4D94-9D81-88561A02109BStressed Systems get more…

Internally, there is this moment of …

Stressed systems get more rigid and hierarchical.


Or, the communication gaps start to show up…

Or, the dis-hinged, dis-connected parts… start to be seen.

A great stone into a lake. The lake splashes… exposing all of the deep connections… and, then the water slops back… once seen, it cannot be unseen. However, it can be forgotten. Obscured by the fog of warring words… Obscured by the splash of a great stone hurled… Obscured by the smoke from all of the fires burning…

People with People…

So, when people are serving and interacting with people… there is a mediation of this stressing. When people, with people see the links exposed and are able to remember…

Remembering to breathe.D684B1FA-96CD-4451-996F-56E30E320E34

Remembering to smile.

Remembering to laugh at the foibles of our shared people-ness.

Remembering to practice pace, form, and care…

People with People.

And, in that moment, people with people… helping people… helping self, soul, system and outcome.

It ain’t much… and it is what I’ve got.AA326162-0A1F-415A-8A86-DD0134F08855

People, laughing… and in the caring laugher, the caring care… the connecting… the rigid hierarchy can flex… with the many links and connections that are people with people.

The mitigation of rigid is flex… and the flexing is the connections of many voices… in song.

In a mansion with many wings…


“Waking to a sudden realization. Too many front doors. The regulatory layers… each screaming in importance. The ardent voice of each layer… me first, me first… And indeed. For each layer, created to keep something from every happening again. Protecting against death, the potential of death, or the fear of not getting paid. Ardent in protection. Ardent in the authority to serve and protect.144F1311-BFD9-42B0-87FB-16D8E639B4B4
Each layer… a certain capacity. A certain range. A loud voice. A big stick to enforce. Each with a single front door. Created in the clarity of moment… and put in the house of many rooms. For, each layer may be included in a separate wing… and, have its very own front door. Here on the sixth floor… a front door to the greater world… and the stick of enforcement… able to move up and down … even to the ground floor. Where each and every passer by… is enforced… for not seeing the sixth floor front door…
Searching valiantly for a rationalized front door… and, in this moment of morning… understanding the solving is backward. For, the solving creates another ardent layer… A macro vision to a micro community. The micro… so many front doors… behind the macro of door makers, room makers, ardent leadership… keeping safe… this large solving in a sea of micro … and micro in macro… the clarity of … and now the build in a different way. To see the friction between the micro and macro… the opportunity in both and… a gift of a foggy morning.” – Bill Bartels –

To move to … no account.

# 06-28-2020 The idea of a process or a collection as… no account.

When a process, a permit or license as a someone is called to account… To have that someone suddenly be called on the carpet or rationalized into some larger context is … the threat of death, the threat of the possibility of death and also the threat of no longer getting paid… so, the countervailing begins in …75887953-4800-4418-8842-CFE682006DA5_1_201_a


Someone Died.
Someone Might Die.
Someone did not get paid.

And, the countervailing will be with all the stridency of the rationalization.

0CE199FE-D15A-4893-B436-47276573D571_1_201_aWhen defense of a someone is the motivation and the someone is moved to defended frame… the battle royal that comes next is of a certainty on the tilting field.

Broken bodies and rationalized pronouncements of behavior.

Is there a better way? Of this I am sure. The quiet connection of … what is the desired outcome? For what was this process (someone) brought to living. And, in the shift is it a dying or a new integration of the best of the someone in partnership … or a snipping of a vestigial part… having no value.

When a someone is declared to have no personhood, no value, no connection… this invites the counter prevailing at full voice.5565DF26-2FB6-46C6-8593-F40FDA89B89A_1_201_a

Someone died.
Someone might die.
Someone did not get paid.

Someone(s) and Dancing

# 06-20-2020 The fourth …

Scope, Scale, Context, Capacity.

All grounded in mutual regard.0A488EB3-CA09-436F-BBE7-E465A2BEF082

The fourth force. The counter prevailing.


Counter prevailing.

When the argument is ‘against’ then the focus is not clear. In the fog of non-clarity… What-izing, Who-izing… the only clarifier is that of mutual regard. In the intensity of the fog… mutual regard is lost… as in a “White Squall”… all vision is blind.

When the argument is ‘for’ then the possibility of collaborative prevailing and counter prevailing may share places in the dialogue. For, the fourth wall is that of mutual regard. The dialogue, becomes grounded in mutual regard. A foundational part… that of mutual regard.

IMG_8132Someone died. Someone might die. Someone didn’t get paid, What is the Someone? Who is the Someone?

Someone Died
Someone Might Die
Someone Didn’t get paid
The Someone is?

The counter prevailing view… as Someone.
The prevailing view… as Someone.



An Institution or… Institutions… as Someone.
An Institutional response… as Someone.
A political party… as Someone.
A Reactive response… as Someone.
A family… as Someone.
An Invasive response… as Someone.
A Reaction to invasive activities… as Someone.
A Disaster response… as Someone.
A Dominant position… as Someone.
An artist… as Someone.
A Minority position… as Someone.
A person… as Someone.
A club… as Someone.
A religion… as Someone.
A social view… as Someone.
The Federal Government… as Someone.
An individual… as Someone.
A segregated group… as Someone.
The State Government… as Someone.
A declaration of separation… as Someone.
The homeowner… as Someone.
A musician… as Someone.
The Municipal Government… as Someone.
The lighting and landscape district… as Someone.
A general plan… as Someone.
A Park… as Someone.
A road system… as Someone.
A resolution of an agency… as Someone.
The economy… as Someone.
A declaration… as Someone.
A sacred space… as Someone.
A regulated body… as Someone.
A sacred place… as Someone.
A taxing scheme… as Someone.
The Court… as Someone.
A bank… as Someone.
The act of suppression… as Someone.
A regulatory scheme… as Someone.
A game… as Someone.
A win… as Someone.
A watershed… as Someone.
A loss… as Someone.
An elected body… as Someone.
A team… as Someone.
A river… as Someone.
An official… as Someone.
A belief… as Someone.
A band… as Someone.
A physical moment… as Someone.
The sewer… as Someone.
A subset of government… as Someone.
A neighborhood… as Someone.
A landfill… as Someone.
A cemetery… as Someone.
A land… as Someone.
An earth… as Someone.

Taken with NightCapThe perspective of … someone-hood. The many someones who… because one has died, one might die or one did not get paid… ardently establish rules to make sure that, this set of outcomes … never happens again. All in a frame of independent action. Layer upon layer… of uncoordinated, independent action… What-izing… What-ism… Who-itzing… Who-ism.

Each layer, rational in its perspective… without collective connection … for, it is reactive to the horror of death, potential death and non-payment. A cacophony of layers… rational in selective scope. … rational in selective scope. Someone-izing… Someone-ism.

The two certainties in life… legislated against… Death and Taxes… for if a tax is a fee for license to be allowed to … a demand for payment… not paid … then we have taken the regulatory scheme and made it the snake which eats itself. The layers of scheme… eating the whole… until, as with all structures of creation… we pass away to dust.

When systems are on the same plane as that of creation… the humor of the grand joke… begins to make my sides ache with laughing. For, if I do not laugh… I must weep.

A9995280-2D4B-4A93-A9C2-836729BB72B3First we, the makers of all of these schemes, must parse the proper levels of belonging and then … in the competition to belong, either up or down the hierarchy of someone… the personhood aspect is hidden in the great list of someones.

And, even the application is hidden for it is a parsing… the parsing is part of the someone-ing. The, in the parsed someone-ing, there is the possibility of an additional segmenting to be more clear about the various clauses and … that which creates an equitable application of the scheme to those who would engage the service for which the scheme is protecting the someone from death, the possibility of death and the possibility of not being paid. For a small fee… not a tax, for that would require a vote of the ‘someones’ and ‘they’ might not understand the incredible need… for protection from death, the possibility of death and the impropriety of non-payment.

This leads to another application… If I, as a certain someone, believe that my payment already covers the service (someone) who is now attempting to demand payment to avoid the three awful outcomes… then, I may take the position that I am being abused … and… the abuser… also takes the portion… death, the specter of death and the specter of non-payment…

Musing on the hard work of rationalization among all of our someones…

997C78A4-AB39-42AA-B1C7-C0D7EA38E546That rationalization of … that harmonization of… a grand invitation to meeting this moment. Driven by the unrest of so many someones … demanding voice and hearing… the veil of … demanding hearing. And, the counter… pay no attention to this voice or that voice… suppress this voice or that voice.

The yelling at a voice being suppressed. And… the challenge of beginning to be in conversation… a dialogue of voices… at a table… where food, sustenance, the sharing of and breaking of bread… sharing. The sharing of, the passing of water. The making of a table, a hearth, a welcoming moment… meeting the moment.

The quiet of a shared meal. The communion of a shared cup. The gathering in a shared song. The moment of a moment that … in diverse voice… gathers velocity, together, for…

For a different day.

Then, the mighty pen… that of declaration of ‘civil unrest’ … a ‘rioting’ of someones … against … someones.DF3C2979-310B-4071-9570-457D39553E89


CE776E69-1B6F-4C2D-9048-79E0B599FF0FTendrils. Sitting with tendrils. Simple… sitting with tendrils. A tendril of a button … a tendril of the ink from the tip of a tattoo needle. The tendril of a single hair… the link of that tendril as thread. That tendril all a loving thought. That tendril as a weaving of tapestry… each a tendril. The mossy tendrils that come off of and up from stone. Tendrils in scope and scale… a mighty cable… steel … holding up a bridge… still, in context a tendril… a mass of tendrils and also a tendril in context.

Push … or pull?

# 06-12-2020 The Button

Will we suddenly find, that a facility … once created for a critical frame … is now mostly an unused hulk?C5D9BA41-4D3A-475B-ADEA-63D22371DBC2_1_201_a

Will we, now with a very different set of resources, find that much of what was held as critical is actually … a renewable resource?

Will we???

Perhaps it is the wrong question. In this midst of so many questions that have put the emphasis on the wrong syllable… (if you say that while doing it… it is much more fun that reading it silently.)

Just as when we lead with the question How and follow with Who, What, Where and When… Leading the other way around … well it creates elements of engagement and enrollment… not just the straw build of How…276D6DAC-9192-465E-9719-86153D8D1FFA_1_201_a

Just as when I use scope, scale and context in a bowl called capacity… the framing makes the answers either limited or… complete disconnection from a project.

The whole of the frame… Who, What, Where, When, and How? Scope, Scale, Context and Capacity. Alignment with foundational values and principles… Alignment in …


When a context changes, a capacity changes, a scale changes… a scope changes… is the change engaged and enrolled … or is the old framing defended … made more rigid? Is the system flexible or… made more rigid? Until that rigid frame… can no longer hold… and the whole thing collapses… Then… what button can be pushed?

Just musing on a foggy morning.

The Four Points…

# 05-04-2020 North, South, East & West.

Yesterday was big; really, really big… Just saying. The culmination of four years. The gathered and collective conferring. The great and grand celebration. Friends gathered; those who have completed the tasks laid before… now to begin the new journey. Suddenly one is completed… Ah, that word… it is not a moment of completion. It is a moment of … How to even begin to integrate the sudden end and new beginning. The 947FA514-DE38-464C-997E-ABA2A3B5A648conferring, which now give a license to learn… The crossing of one finish line, only to see the long and wondrous trek that now calls… The trek that calls… On, come on… this path, this trail, this … high and winding pass… all calling. All calling and the echos of the call… splashing, as the rising sun… The rising sun, as it kisses the tides of the bay.

Looking at numbers. All in a sheet. The numbers telling a story of greater and greater activity… And then… it stopped. Not slowed down… in a matter of days, comes to a complete and total … stop. A full and complete stop. The complete landing… the complete … full stop. Silence. Only the beating heart of the beast… at complete stop. As when the boiler goes completely cold. The creaks and groans are just the stresses of the sun kissing the surface and then the dance between that portion in shade and that portion in sun. The flexing of the external… for 6D2A2192-7AB2-49D4-8A0F-EC2D1CA4CA85the internal is gone cold.

The organs of bureaucracy grind on. The budget cycle is in full swing. Planning and framing for the new budget year. Putting together spread sheets and a plan for all aspects of operations… making the numbers work… Planning for how to spend the dollars that now … wait … what dollars? The whole of the planning scheme is tossed on its head. The house of cards is show to be built on shifting sand. The programs, the solid foundations of the local… is shaken to core… that core, driven by a complicated organism that, for the moment… has shut down. The rushing of cars outside… rushing to harvest … fresh food to the table. The hyper local nature of … one day at a time… the links of the supply chains tighten… or go completely slack. A single description denies so many of the links and tangles of this organism moment… This and that proposal… this and that ‘critical’ decision… this and that… suddenly, the assessment of critical and blather are exposed in a new set of ways.

What is critical in one set of universe… may have not value in another. The idea of this universe or that universe… the great and grand joke that it is all one universe. There are E92F035E-A2E7-4E13-BB53-FC1C19921957links between each and every aspect of… the ardent regulatory scheme… The grasping regulatory scheme. The reactive regulatory scheme. The imposed regulatory scheme… the scheme which seeks equity… the scheme which imposes view or frames outcome… unconnected to a fact pattern that is underlying… From where do these come? Someone died… someone might die. Someone didn’t get paid. So, there is an urgency… a great and grand urgency… for someone, a very special someone…

Rushing to craft a budget. Rushing to make the time frame. Rushing… and in that rushing… the sun rises and lights a newly crafted path. One not seen in recent times. That of … the very foundations of… shown to be sitting on shifting sandC6529D6A-F898-4C8F-B946-62FF4336C90E.

The caging in of that shifting sand… or, as the storm blows that sand… exposing and covering… revealing and hiding… all in the same storm… Clarity in the storm. The day is breaking, without a cloud in the sky. The earth tide is solid in its moving… Yet, everything is changed. As with the graduation… it is an invitation to a new integration. It is not a completion… a closure… it is a new step in integration. On this moment the sun rises.

On this moment, in gratitude, the sun rises.



The heroic journey. Being the hero. As Hero. As Guide.

When the guide comes to the fore, the hero fades. The work of the hero is to be … the hero. The work of the guide is, to engage the journey as well as be in relationship.

Living in a small town. A generous house that allows … music, engagement, a sunny spot to be at the altar in the world.


When we, as an agency, begin to align with hero… we become that which we despise.
When I, in agency, begin to align with hero… I become that which I despise.

When shadow drives my behavior. Suddenly ‘winning’ becomes the goal. The wonder of winning… what is that? That place of being the ‘winner’ in this crazy trek.

I hear the speculative nature of living… It echos in my own and of all of the lives that are now in play. The teams that play at speculation are actually based upon being the house. So, when the house owns the line, the house wins. We are working with and … sometimes being… a huge group of folks who have bought into the game of ‘winning’ the big pot. Believing, in the wonder, that we, all of us, own that pot. Now the pot is turned to what is has been for a long time. A grand speculator scheme… a grand Ponzi. And, the iceberg that is the whole of creation… is slowly turning turtle. An acceleration of the swiftly tilting…

And, we, the investors in that grand scheme… we are in a funny place. The last time we rode this pony, it caused us to re-evaluate. And, since then, there has been something holding the moment. For, that re-evaluation, is now the continuing of … holding place on the turtle turning ice…IMG_8047

I woke … the clarity of mixing up the hero and heroic, the hero leader and guide… One leads a parade. One coaches up and over… This is not a parade of leading. It is a journey of comrades. When the comrades are calling for a hero or … seeking that hero who has show the universal feet of clay… there is the moment. My own clay feet, they are still wet from the morning meditation. Created in the past days… swiftly encasing feet, and even whole leg.

When I am vector, just as each of us is vector… Then there is something even more … Something even more. I don’t get to be both inside and outside. We are all amid. And, when the cacophony of amid, together becomes so loud… then the desire to be outside, away, different, … with and alone… in quietude and safety… and able to dance in the glorious…

To try to be both a fighter jet and a freighter at the same time. To deploy as “both/and” … is to risk something of tearing apart at the seams. The Hero/Guide is neither Hero nor Guide. The Guide is one who practices presence; the guiding in the guiding. A hero is one who stands arrayed in power and light… keeping all around safe. There is the hubris of the moment.

1CD2543C-6B94-490D-A751-D19CC95F8B11_1_201_aSeeing all of us… all vectors… all transmitters… all receptors… each in-fected; each and all. In this humbling moment. To understand that something even more is come. In that owning the all, comes the wonder of the journey. The trek. Such is the moment. Great and gracious in care. Great and gracious in care.

Funny too, to come slowly awake and be met with the reading of Easter 19. Acts 8:26-40. Funny to have risen this morning in the understanding of mis-step and mis-stake, only to be guided by a reading that created a grand joke… a humor. A wonderful tension that is both/and; just as this being human is both… and…

The wonder of the joke… both… and. Suddenly this day seems … ‘something about this day…’ A gift. In gratitude, a gift.img_3093

Acts 8:26-40
An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

That reflection, that learning time.

Equality held in the grand sea of equity.

Great sea… great sea of equity…


On the gift of morning

To understand that there is no noise to cut through. There is only a communion and community to engage. In that frame, to understand the wonder of connection. That connection of a moment of common. Sinner and saint… A tussle of … putting down the tussle and engaging that communion of human-ness.

So, in the face of the bully, what does that look like? In the face of fear, what is the connection? In the face of the violence of attack, what is that sea of equity? This thing I mull… The push that is just a bit too much of friend or stranger, sitting in judgement of a moment… In the face of that moment what response.

I can only speak from moments of experience. To speak caution to power. To suggest frustration to one who seems to desire to cow engagement. To experience the grand drama of that power, dramatically framing the caution as threat or the frustrated leaning in and putting the sense all on … In each case, the leaning back, apologizing … Then, in this quiet moment… realizing, in hindsight, the caution and framing of frustration were clear in then and now. The issue, to understand the moment of crossing. To know that standing in the shadow of that power over or the desire to make an unworkable situation work … anymore… is not to the good of … so to say what needs to be said and own the shift. That is the ‘what’ in the face of that moment and, only for that moment. The challenge is, of course, that the moment of engaged … echos, ripples, and the the waves upon the shore … blow back into the pond, into the sea… the sea of equity.

Still, the caution of that moment, the acknowledgement of frustration, the blow of the winds of change… all of that still echoes. In the sloshing sea of equity.