Clever failure

I tried to be clever and make the below the title. But the program I’m using wouldn’t let me. But that’s okay. The point stands.

It can be easy to get swept up in the current of productivity; of doing, of making things happen, of metrics and measures and proving ones self; the way that we have centered work and economics over the needs — not to mention the beauty and miracle — of being alive makes it possible to go days and days and days without noticing; our breaths, our heart beat, our very selves.

Take a breath.

You are here. We are here. This is enough.



On occasion I write something — a snippet — that feels like it wants to be more. This is one of those things.

Imagine a thought
– say, a worry –
made of the same material
as a tree, a rose,
as love.

What might grow from a seed planted? Words can become, well, …

…anything, really.


Some thoughts on space

Today a colleague suggested that we take a pause on a project. Not because of anything bad, more simply to allow the client to process. It made me wonder — what is the difference between a pause and space?

Space to digest.

Space to integrate.

Space to breathe.

Can this happen without a pause? Can it happen within what we are doing? Or does what we are doing shift in such a way that allows for space, without losing connection to the work?



Slow down

Let’s return to pace. At what pace might a year move? If we’re not careful, the pace can be set outside — by work demands, or the energies of politics, world affairs, even family. I’ve been noticing this, but didn’t quite realize it. Until yesterday.

I was listening to Rob Bell’s podcast — the RobCast — where he was speaking with Alexander John Shaia on many topics. At some point, Alexander mentioned that he needed to pull over to the side of the road (metaphorically, of course) in order to devote his energy to creating this year. Basically, he said, he had to come to all but a stop so that he could let the things he wants to — needs to? — create catch up to him.

I almost pulled over myself1.

I really struck me: wow, it’s past mid-February and much of what I’d hoped to be connected to in this year is floating somewhere behind me. It needs catching up. I need to slow down.

So that’s a focus I’m bringing into my days right now. Feeling back to that. Slowing down. Finding the pace that this year (and this day, and this blog post, and this moment) is asking for.

Working to meet it.

  1. I was actually driving while listening. So, not a metaphor.



We have a meeting later. We spent hours planning it. Then, in the midst of a last minute conversation, through the whole thing out (kind of) and landed on something quite different. This happens all the time, actually. What were we planning exactly? One way to look at it is through the lens of a kind of inevitability. We’ll get there, we figure, but first we need to go through all of this. What the this’ is may not have any real relationship to the there’, at least not explicitly. Yet, one required the other. Even more, when it’s time to actually have the meeting, the odds that it will end up different than what we came up with are, well, high.

This is actually what I like about the work — really any work1.

Planning, well, planning takes us places we couldn’t really plan for.

  1. Including a lot of what happens in this space; I’m often surprised by where things end up.


A poem about the world

This world can be small — as small as we make it. Our lives can be pulled into a tight orbit, preventing the views adjacent to us from revealing themselves. It’s easy to find a story to explain this — to blame one thing or another. From upbringing to temperament to systems to culture. The true story likely lies within the relationships between these (and more). A intertwined complexity that creates and image that binds us to the things we believe to be true. That we believe to be ourselves. But the invitation is aways present — to feel our way into what is right beside us. A constant companion. Take a breath and reach for it — even if it can’t (yet) be seen.