After a moment… out into the wilderness… on a journey… while on that journey… all creation waited…
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can we ‘make’ the sun rise more quickly? Can we delay the moon’s rising? In the speeding up of the deep carbon cycle… are there consequences for this ‘adjustment’? Each is a far fetched moment… yet, there is active demand to have daylight be more… and night less… so that there is greater productivity… what other cycles are being ‘adjusted’ in the name of – a specific system need-as opposed to a harmonic balance-in the dynamic of the ‘whole’ of a linked – supporting – emerging set of variables? Just musing the sun rise… a dynamic balance.
Each a view of the same set of elements. Each element speaks from a different set of foundational facts… The conversation, if it is adversarial, stacks the various foundational facts, elements, views, and position in different perspectives, contexts and places… being invited to rationalize this pile, this stack, this conversation… takes time, thought, collaborative perspective, respect for the various agency… all in a sense of calm… it doesn’t come cheap… if the whole motivation is to get a quick determination… to get to where ‘I’ want it to be… well, that is an argument that will return again and again… Seeing the patterns spin… play that tune again, and again, and again… or not… and if not, taking the time to make rational, connected, linked, and aligned agency.
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 conferring, 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 the 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 links 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 sand.
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.
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…