Riffing Mark in Lent.

Mark 9:30-50*

To reify** a parable. To make it concrete and real… the greatest of the foibles. The greatest of missing the mark… to put four corners on a great circle… 199A8920-6221-4675-8E2D-F3CFB6A2DA75

Missing the mark… to see or feel or stumble or … all of that, of missing the mark. So there is the parable … the declaration to remove, tear out… break off… The permission to cut, to drown, to … it is not permission at all… it is a charge of responsibility. All with a babe held in arms… to be passed with gentle love… all around from one to another.

Waking from a dream of being locked out of many familiar places. To have all agency stripped away. To have nothing but my feet… to trudge away from the ‘new’ and ‘special’ ways of seeing… the pivot that strips away all that is familiar. 3F99E1F7-AA26-4D74-84B6-E2C4404B37ABAnd… beginning that trek… with the first step. Suddenly understanding that the path that was so clear… now well shaken and stirred… 

The ‘new’ leader is ‘taking charge’… in ways that begin again. And… that is not the path that is of my path. All the friends and partners of that time are suddenly busy in the new plan… the wonder and comfort of that which was familiar and off being a part… is suddenly locked and apart. 

A new seeing … first as fear … to see that the change is coming quickly. A storm on horizon.

That which was … is now not. The tide has shifted and the harbor… comfort and care… the boat of my heart… is carried away on the tide and tested in storms. The whole of creation is about… dancing and howling and roaring… of a storming delight… in the maelstrom… far from a known land… held in creation’s arms… passed gently from arms to arms… Even as the owners of those arms … argue among each other… still the passing is with gentle kindness… The noise of the storming argument… does not touch the warmth of being passed from tide to tide… from rising sun to rising moon… from winds of the east, the north, the south, and west…4D25AEA9-CBF4-45F3-B6B8-69F89C487D3C

The joy of ‘those times’ is no less a joy. Those joys, are of the peace which passes all understanding. The gift of invitation to be in a moment of creation. That sacred shared moment of the whole host of creators… be they one, two, three… many… or beloved communion with just one other. All joy of a harmony … called forth in moment. A friend speaks of a shooting star… the wonder of moment… attempting to hold that moment… as holding back the tide… pushing the river back up the mountain… the preservation of a great flowing stream… that is alive with wonder.

All of this… in the tossing of night into day. The shifting of tide from rushing to slack and rushing again… the foment of waves… torn by a rip… Dancing winds … that rage back and forth… amid all … the sudden understanding of a peace which passes all understanding. The moment of that quiet kiss… the gentle passing of infant… from arms to arms… the voices… are a storm. The arms are the caring of all creation. 

So it is a gift of this lenten retreat… a gift of arms. The shift of storm… and caring arms.

The whole of the host of creation. A gift of this dawning day.BD56AAE8-84DF-4E65-AE1E-4FFD0DE14D77

*(They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve,

and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink becaus

e you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”)

** Reify:

  1. make (something abstract) more concrete or real.
    “these instincts are, in humans, reified as verbal constructs”

A Way To Think About Your Project.

I think in Mind Maps. Bubbles that link, interact, dance, and play…

A complete ecosystem of connection…

A symphony, a song, a lyric and a melody. A project, an idea, a way of puttering in this project world.

03 What is it that you are trying to do Steps to Start (Getting it out of

It is really easy to get completely inside this kind of thinking. Or… experince a major headache if you don’t see things this way.

02 From one setting to another setting- a way to think about your project(1)

These kinds of maps are not brainstorming or forms to fill out. They are a way of questioning a project and evaluating the capacities of the system which is proposing the project. It is relational thinking. The fun of it, for me, is to be given some information or data – in context… then, to play with the project players… play and find the connections, the disconnections and the opportunities in the emotional/capacity/compentency arena to make sense of the elements of a project.

The idea is that …

05 2022 Project - Business PlanningPermitting Questions and Flow

It used to be that I thought about these connected systems in disparate form and formation. No longer! The idea of projects which come to fruition is a dance of iteration, commitiment, mutual reguard, and hard work with partners. It is managing disagreement and conflict in ways that are generative. It is a whole symphony in a single product launch or process engagement.

It is soul-feeding. Just as music or poetry or a fine vista… soul-feeding.

04 Discernment Framework

This set of Mind Maps are the newest iteration of this work. There is progression and delight in the dance of a project. Just as planting a field yields, with good cultural practice and care, a crop; this set of assesment tools, alignment processes, and practices – questions, can yield success in deployment, engagement, enrollment and collaboration.

If you want to see the whole set… in flow, look here

To all who have walked this set of processes… in all of the various iterations, thank you. It is only with feedback that a system grows, changes, and iterates. To the play of living – with thanksgiving.

… Not a thing… it is the tide… turning

10-23-2021 That moment… of “Wake Up”…

What is wrong? Not a thing… it is the pang of dying and being born. What is wrong? Not a thing… it is the pang of the old trying to hold on and the new easing that holding into the stream. What is wrong? Not a thing. It is the sun beginning to light the day and the night… feeling the warmth of that light. What is wrong? Not a thing…the stream, the tide, the wonder of all creation… is inviting the old into the new. And… both the old and the new are striving to hold to comfort. What is wrong? The pain of the dying that is also in the birthing… it is all working in the tide.63B3F928-BBB7-47F7-A8D9-C70C99681096_1_201_a

What is this? It is the livingness of a moment. And, it is the pain of growing into a new place. It is the dying down and the growing in… all bundled in a set of cells… buried in the nerve. The pain… oh the pain…

As the old moment eases away… the deep pang of wishing for the rose in full bloom to pop back… as the last petal fall away… and the bones of the beautiful rose… fall to earth… so that the next may come… there is the honoring of the passing.

A set of buds breaks open… ah, that breaking… the pang and pain…

A note eases to silence… that last kiss of moving air… moving the hearing hairs of nerve endings… and then… all is at stillness… a pang… a deep pang… so deep, that the nerves scream in desperate need to … and then, in silence… a different step appears… in the haze of this pang and pain…

Light appears. A breathing appears. The husk of passing… the shift in tide… the flowing river… each and each and each…

The sun, through deep grey … lighting the darkness that was night… now suddenly… morning. Kisses of morning.

There, in this moment… not that of passing… this of emerging and singing the song of creation. This… emerging, singing the song of creation… that great wheel… the spark of aliv-ing… sudden to a birthing… sudden to a mastery… sudden to a gentle comfort of a newly birthed. Sudden to the gentle care of the dying down… sudden and connected… now, the wheel – turning and turning again.

Such is the first light of this day… such is… in grace, peace, and care… such is. With thanksgiving… such is. With love… such is. Just so… such is.

The Sun is Rising…

The sun rolled quickly into the sky.


It is simple… just to stop and be with the sun rise. Seeing it in so many different places… kissing each surface.


A gift.

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.

Applications of …

Application of solution in a problem set that is not as defined. The if only solving…

When the whole of the system engages and enrolls in the solving… then the solving is a solving. When the solving is based in prejudicial framing of the elements, then the solving is … as shifting sand.

The speaking… framing by label. Creates the shifting sand.

Sim Seq

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.

A Sacred Sunday Morning

# 04-26-2020 A Sacred… Sunday Morning…

The air smells like the Russian River in summer. The compressed heat, cool for the moment, ready to turn on the after-burners… in a while. In a while. In the yard, the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow blooms in profusion. The Jays play and cavort. Their tilt head look of … “… and what do we have here?” As they dance along my walking route.

BAA10EEA-18B6-4A95-ADB1-87DC3A990951_1_201_aThe ancient bones of the house gift the upstairs bathroom with the smells of long ago, my youth, as a child visiting the grandparents. Bones that in human years are ancient, in house years are ‘pretty old’, in relationship to all time… a blip… perhaps a half a blip… for the moment, ancient feels a comfort.

Faces and voices zoom down the hall. The office is full of project. The slow recycle of paper, ancient in relation to projects. Twenty five drafts of one chapter of a paper that was written, now four or five years ago… dusted in the filing cabinet. The final paper, part of a public document, a policy document so… it will live in the minutes of a meeting in front of some body… as long as that body is a functioning library of its work… how funny to have stuffed the drafts in a file and … kept, because, well you never know. The knowing that went into the paper has moved far down the river. And, as I was reading the framing from that then, I was and am struck by how far my thinking has come since that day.

Foundations crumble. Those ancient stalwarts who, with voices of thunder, call out importance. Foundations crumble. In the crumbling, so many opportunities to build anew. In the cacophony of the crashing… a path revealed…

Reading again, an old favorite author. A little story of plague. The moments… recognition, standard engagement, a breach of the standard, a collapse of the rigor, sudden emergence of possible path, complete fatigue, demoralization, overt anger and1CD2543C-6B94-490D-A751-D19CC95F8B11_1_201_a demands for the crumpled frame to provide as advertised…, the ironic turn of phrase that castigates ‘other’, frustrated words of human frailty, demand for help, wailing for help, voices of ‘help thy self’, many voices speaking, many voices shouting, in many corners, graceful care, one, two, three… in overwhelming corners, graceful care… And then, a sunrise where, all is changed and in the sun breaking through the passing storm, those voices, still in great Greek Choir raised… now is the new day. In that new day, a cycle of integration, yet again. This, the great run on… it is not a closure, it is an integration.

When a great strife has painted the whole of the earth… then there, in the cracks, the new integration comes again, and again, and again. The moments… and again.

In the thinking chair, in the black and white… knowing the colors and seeing the great relief in the black and white… now the integration. Changed yet still many voices… Experts humbled, workers raised up, information aplenty… and now, as a symphony… from cacophony, the score invites a conversation. In that conversation, each day, a new integration. Enough. And enough…

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.

The Rules… and the rule of Some


The Dove… a bird signifying peace, rising up, the harmony of… Yet, sold in a space or from a place… the taint of the space or place… does it taint the dove and the dove’s symbol? Does the taint of one set of belief or rule taint every aspect of the rest?

Or, as with all living, is there context?

Is the blanket taint the point?

In this story. The rule of Some rears its shadow large. Just as the care of a one is something that is … beyond.

It is a simple straw argument to say … all. It is so much more nuanced to engage the variation of some of this and some of that… that I could be a bit of this and that… you could be a bit of this and that… and that when it is this… there are some frames … when it is that… there might be different frames.IMG_8133

The rule of Some goes the other way too… application of absolute by some may mean that there is a moment of standing up and saying… not so much.

In this dance, the sun rose this morning. In this dance a few breathed their last. In this dance, the dogs got up, barked, boofed, and took their breakfast. In this dance a song ear worm began its daily work. In this dance lovers cuddled. In this dance couples shared a smile of intimate care. In this dance, cats came for a morning pat, a meal and a purr… In this dance, a day began. War was waged. Environmental damage was wrought. The ice caps melted a bit. Winds of change blew in every place and space… In this dance, creation wove in warp and weft. The tapestry of all creation … on this Sunday of palms… that tapestry of all creation… in the rule of Some… A star is emerging. A star is collapsing… And a rose is blooming … the first of the season. In some places … and in some other places. That taint of … speaks to each in that place of some.IMG_8112

The blessing of sunrise. In humbling gratitude. An ache and yet also a great amen. Here, emerging from the retreat cave… the candle now… joined in the world with the rising sun. Amen, and amen. Amen and amen.IMG_8132

Lent 40

“… and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.” Matthew 21:12-17