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”

… And all Creation Waited.

After a moment… out into the wilderness… on a journey… while on that journey… all creation waited…6253B4D0-82ED-44DC-99D5-E573D8C123F6

Working with a friend… learning a tune. We both have played the tune many, many times alone. The lyric, the chords… the notes of the melody. Each portion of the whole – rehearsed, caressed, and beloved. The friend brings a friend. Now, suddenly, the tune is actually a collaboration of three. The Lyric, the Chords, and the Notes of the Melody… touched by three… danced by three… sung by three… it gives release to each to explore, within the frame of the score, options and opportunities… a dance of wonder. All in the proscribed frame of key, tempo, tuning, and lyric… A bit of low. A bit of high. Some middle… layers of notes… or… all in a singe note. All the while… all creation is both present and waiting.

Then, as with a sunrise… the new song arises. On wings… 

A setting… in all creation. A gift. There is the dance of this dawning day. This Ash Wednesday… a beginning… a step on the journey of … 

With thanksgiving to morning. A song. May each be in the tune. A gift.8C459E86-40C2-4DF1-A63C-807CDD2585A4

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.

A Prayer with the Divine…

4F6B69C3-060F-4DB9-A36F-E122004DFD30

Oh Divinity, Master of the Universe,

All creation sings together.

Across all time, across all dancing;

We come into being and grow through arc – our song of livingness,

From many heavens – comes Light, Air, Water, and Creation’s Manna

To bear us up in our Loving, our Labor, and our Living.

In this, creation’s song, please forgive our missing the mark;

7A685188-3C64-4E9E-9751-440D6B1B4840As, we forgive – those who miss the mark – with and against us.

In times of trial, walk with us;

Deliver us through evils that invite and mock.

For all creation, all power, and all glory are from the Divine;

Now and forever. Amen.

Of Mary Oliver and Parker Palmer… the gift of giving to…

D1FE4C6F-135F-4CEA-A3E0-51B6030DAAA6The high C
The song sung at an internment
The song sung at a sacred moment
The song sung at a passing

In each place and time,
given of myself fully…
And, this moment,
as candles burn

feeling lost and without
anchor to a place
anchor or moorage
in bay or at quay

so sensing a rising
resentment to this state.
Sun breaks upon
rising mountains

tears of falling
raining from upwelling
eyes blurred in
light of day.

80F964F6-CB34-444B-939F-D8C60FDA0172To Palmer’s questions:
What do I need
to let go of?
What do I

want to give myself to?
These gentle query
basking in fall sun
guide the boat.

A dear friend,
declared a shooting star
a swift passing
across the sky.

That same friend,
called out surround;
armor all around
with butcher’s bill

from tilting ground
with broken
with battered
head to hands

again to questions…
What do I need to let go?
What do I want to give
myself to?

47747915-BCDF-469E-9C34-F6D1D29D8AE0And again…
What do I need to let go?
What do I desire to give
myself to?

In the rising
the walking at
the altar in the world
a gentle echo.

A gentle kiss
the all of creation
the surround of
that giving in moment.

Two, Three, Four, and more… align

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

Of a morning… 12-25-2020

B9053F48-AC89-4732-8219-A0DB53EA4B1FOf a Christmas Morning. The wind is down… Still dancing and playing. Enough to blow the porch around… And so, battened, hunkered, sheltered… with family and friends scattered in places near and far… comforted by the stories of the desert fathers and mothers… grumpy and also filled with care, empathy, humor, … a bit dusty from days of wind, piles of sand, blown over and then away… care-worn and yet, and also, and even… filled with humble care, humble love, humble wonder… at the rising sun of this day.
Of a morning. Blessings to each and all beloved. Holding in mind’s eye, the whole of the journey’s host. Some gone on before… the beacons to harbor, to camp, to home. Some off on far away journey. Seeking and finding on a path which, for the moment, has looped away. Some, from a moment of great connection… now on a river, stream, bay or ocean… long shifted in the tide. The parting, perhaps not of the same texture of the shared moment. And, in this dawn, lifting up that moment shared. For, it is the soul moment.
The rest is but cover of other condition.6DCD975E-1FEF-4A06-B728-86E0B6248E6B
Of a morning. Chipping clay from leaden feet. My own – of course. For every moment of amazing place… a pat of clay to humble in oh so human. The wounding from, these feet have trod… Yet still, the dawning of this day, as each dawning, to fall again in love … at this altar of the world.
A blessing of the dancing wind. A blessing of the warming sun. A blessing even of the dust filled air… even that set of mote – a blessing.
In dreams, last night, again in a barn. The rain and storm… battering against the walls… the machines drawing milk from warm and steaming cows. The stench of manure and urine … of sweet milk and my own sweat. The sacred moment of, sudden care. Just there, sweet hay also is in the stench. A song begins to lift in my heart. For, this is dreaming and waking dream… all wrapped in a moment.
Now, far distant… through years… a moment back in that barn… a sudden remembering and also crystalline vision… on a boat, in a storm, on a flight, in halls in far off lands, at the foot of castles, in ancient stadium, with baton in hand… at letter A, in the 3 with 2, at a birth, at a death… the whole of the host… in the arms of love, in the arms of lyric, of song, of all of creation… of a dawning morning. The fire is burning bright. The wind dances. Children are waking. In this same dawn, a breathing is stilled… the leaf falls from the tree… a train leaves on time… a ship sails, a song… the last note… there, just beyond hearing… fades away… and it is all of this, in each breathing moment.
A gift. A humbling gift of the living moment.2D3FA2AA-9C15-4F3D-AC10-CF280E6AF4C9
In thanksgiving… in lifting up… in the bidden or not… presence.
And into the dawning of this, this new day.

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.

Into the Day

04-28-2020 The Day…

To confront being vector being transmitter, being receptor… To confront all of the personal responsibilities of that set of triad. In the rule of three, the stool which stands, as it has three legs… the rule of communication… for it hears, it engages and it speaks… or listens or … is a tube through which sound passes… with some recognition of the sound.

In a social setting… sitting at distance… still a vector, a transmitter and a receptor… all three, all three legs…

And when the signal, that darling signal of contagion, when that has no more stools to jump between… what then? For then, then we have set a new standard… and in that standard… the contagion for which we modified … it now has left an imprint. What then?

How funny. To speak of that then… we are in this now. The panic of contagion. The cacophony of contagion. The peace of contagion. What peace?

For certain, a new method of triage. For certain some method or best practice to make a layer between the vector and the rest… To have a place of care become a point of contagion… the calm voice of practice… And, that moment of wanting to be over there when we are here.

A voice, saying loudly, what do we do now? Or, follow me, I am going to lead a contagion parade. Another voice calling out in pain and exhaustion. Yet another singing a quiet song of lullaby. All in the same symphony of … requiem of…

The sea tide. The waves crashing. The great squall roaring across the lake. The wide river, rising higher and higher… all of these, the water that has tumbled down from high mountain or fallen in storms upon the face of the open surface… all of these… voices of this contagion. For, as vector… we dance in this storm.

The many locks to doors in the body… in the living organism. What locks does this particular key fit and turn? What doors of mechanism and shift do open? What doors, lock tried, resist the entry or turn the visitor to another place and time? The idea of point of entry… in through the front door? In through a small mouse hole? Carried with an ant… investigating the kitchen after the rain has pushed the whole trail inside? Or born on the gentle airs… sprayed and then carried as a note on the airs… carried as a note on the airs. If I can hear, then the contagion has come to me also…

Transmission and contagion… not the same. One is a cacophony. The other… it is a communication. In this moment, sitting with the still small voice… hearing that quiet focus in the dawning… the sacred touch of all dawn… there is a place to quiet the contagion… at distance, connected still… a lesson of the desert mothers and fathers. In this time of great learning… when the old saws have dulled in the practice of just running them across the stone… Dulled in the automatic script… Dulled in the speaking that has unhooked from the moment. That speaking that meets not a moment but a spin…

When the tide rises and the docks rise also, the sudden rush of … into this rising tide… speaking of the wane… the wane to come… it is the … wait, that moment is not now.

So again. The dawn has kissed this moment on this place on the planet. The contagion of cacophony is stilled for the rise… and now, into the day. The voices of all creation, speaking in and at and through… From this set of speaking comes a symphony. For the moment it may be a requiem. Or, a transition into new form. Certainly a song of creation. A gift. A wonder and a gift.

The parting…

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.