The ocean turns over. Part that was deep comes to the surface. That which is surfaced… is evaporated. Now the vapor moves over land and comes back down as rain… rolling down the mountains. Bringing the flotsam and jetsam of the stream… back to the deep.
The ocean turns over… welling up from the depths. Welling and welling…
In air, the jet stream courses across the tides… bumps into and streams over mountains.
Where the mountains rise up… the great plates of the rolling earth’s crust… push up and over… shove deeply into core… there is also another set of speeds.
Then, then we come to the great speeds of shift in the human condition. A life… short and long… rushing at hyper speed… yet, only in miles of kilometers per hour… as the day rises, eases, and sets.
A life, rising, easing and setting…
In each dimension… these speeds – as normal motion. There are moments when all align. A moment of … and, if it is a the plates rushing over and under… it may seem an eternity to other scales. An eternity… which is but a pico in another’s relative time.
So, once seen… this cacophony of tempi… all moving at pace… along… and thinking, ah, there is another who moves at my time… my meter… my alignment… Another partner. The sudden easing away, as another, in fact is moving at alternative tempo… which for a beat, was in aligned wonder…
And, in another set of bars, will align again… out there in the great symphony.
Sections, all playing to a great pulse… yet, within the department, division, sector… an independent sub-tempo holds sway. Until the tide shakes the very core and … all are in the great hall for a movement.
Then, back to routines of harmonic fervor. To rouse in great hall again… further on along… as the ocean turns over, the great plates rise and fall… the spinning of the galaxies… dance through heavens… all in moment, all in chorus, all in … all in… all in…
A moment and all. In that moment. Just for a moment.
Clear. The moment. Before dawning in this moment. Humbled to see and swim in this cascade of clarity. The falls of … a spring shower… a gift of laughter in the humbling tide. A wave that carries high up on the beach. As it recedes… the tumbled sand shows patterns not seen before or since. A new seeding in. A new rising up. A new aligned presence. A moment. A gift. Unbidden, a gift. With thanksgiving
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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 –
Will we suddenly find, that a facility … once created for a critical frame … is now mostly an unused hulk?
Will we, now with a very different set of resources, find that much of what was held as critical is actually … a renewable resource?
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…
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?
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…
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.
Seeing 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.
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.
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.
The 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 and 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…
Shift happens in a moment. That would be the first moment. Shift happens in many moments; starting with the first moment. If it is a shift that is anticipated… then there are all of the anticipatory moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, even centuries of anticipation. The angst of anticipation.; the binding angst. Then… the pivot, the shift, the moment. All that energy suddenly unbound. The unbinding can be so violent that it also unbinds my own connection to the moment. Blasting across the all of creation. At other moments, the unbinding is as a release of … allowing the prisoner to go free. The opening of the cell door… The new journey actually begun.
Time and passing time happens. The rolling of generation into generation. Moment into moment. Moment into minute, into hour, into year and on and on. That wonder of cycle. Sun rising, sun setting… the seasons: of living, of the year, of the earth, of a star, of all of creation. Leaning into cycle. Leaning into the wonder of a rising sun … the setting sun. The tradition of watching the sunset. The pause… just before the sun eases beyond the horizon… the ‘going, going… gone’. The breath of pause, the prayer and holding up. The thanksgiving for the gift of days. The thanksgiving for …
In each beginning there is an ending. In the anticipation of both beginning and ending, there are moments of wishing to go back. To hold that warm and perfect place of memory that was a… let us do that again moment. The deep desire to hold that moment in all time. Into this wish, this desire, this deep wanting… the grand hook of zero sum comes. The straw hook, reaching into heart and soul to offer the return to Eden. We are far, far east of Eden. The simplicity of options of yes and no are long past. Yet, the offer of return is the siren song of desire, of wanting and of heaven. The thought makes me smile. The movie line… “Is this heaven? No it’s Kansas” (Field of Dreams)
And so… The moment, minute, hour and on; call to my heart this morning. The understanding of call to communion. Communion in the altar in the world. The call to sharing around the well of living water. That water, consecrated in heart, soul and spirit. That water, in sacred cup, passed among all of creation. The deep roots, sharing in woven communion. As a tapestry, woven wisdom.
In the passing of a moment. The passing of a life. The passing of an era. The passing of a someplace. The passing of icon… the phrase, “We will never forget,” is raised up. Yet, in the sands of time, many grains have passed from memory. So, to honor those sands, the foundation stone the builders rejected… now becomes, from the gift of earth, of creation, the new foundation. To welcome new foundation is to make the whole of creation ready to weave anew. This weaving anew happens with each sunrise. So too, with each sunset.
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.
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.
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.
“… 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