Category Archives: process

It Just Doesn’t Matter

Accepting and striving counterpoised. It all reminds me of Tripper’s speech, in the movie Meatballs…

That’s just the attitude we don’t need. Sure, Mohawk has beaten us twelve years in a row. Sure, they’re terrific athletes. They’ve got the best equipment that money can buy. Hell, every team they’re sending over here has their own personal masseuse, not masseur, masseuse. But it doesn’t matter. Do you know that every Mohawk competitor has an electrocardiogram, blood and urine tests every 48 hours to see if there’s any change in his physical condition? Do you know that they use the most sophisticated training methods from the Soviet Union, East and West Germany, and the newest Olympic power Trinidad-Tobago? But it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER. I tell you, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!

And even, and even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far over our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days. Even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field. Even if every man, woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn’t matter, because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk cause they’ve got all the money! It just doesn’t matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!

It doesn’t matter…at least, the thing we were all supposed to want. This is not nihilism, but a rejection of some external definition of winning and losing in favor of some other acceptance. 

Detractors will appear. Critics and well meaning sages may offer unsolicited comment.

Settling? Perhaps. So what? 

I know what does matter to me most of the time, and it is different than it used to be.


Son

He’s getting older and I am getting old.  He doesn’t want to talk so much these days, and I want too much to talk with him.  He is fine, even when he is not, and this we have in common.

He is a man in ways he may not recognize. He is young, and he has the benefit of choices, a terribly scary burden. He is excited to make them his. 

He is my son, and he is tied to my life. He is his own, not yet on his own.


Meadow

Hardened earth and hallowed ground
grow hardy and thirsty notions,
thistle and briar, engaged in wind-borne
attempts at spreading gospel.

Hitching to a body in motion, a transient,
unknowing and unconcerned, other
than to gnaw and pull at the roots,
to sate a hunger.

Riding the reaper, then ejecting itself,
the emigrant arrives an immigrant,
the notion spreads to fertile breasts
and hips, and takes hold.

But that is just a singular gene, a body atomic.
The whole of it is truly wide, a legion of
seeds spread in every lee,
unmarried and independent.

Born of almost infinite notions, a meadow rolls
and breathes, crawling over the dells, climbing and diving,
a map of invasion and recession
and constant flexure.


Comfort

Define achievement and success in terms
so basic, banal, and un-spectacular,
in a grey and beige shelter
of business casual beams and
game night girders,

like daddy-daughter day,
or coaching, or concerts,
or buttered noodles and green beans.

Like replacing a cracked windshield,
upgrading my smart phone,
or dinner with an old coworker.

Or trees, trails, and falling April skies
on a lone Sunday.

Comfort.

Comfort in chasing clients, winning trust,
making decisions for everyone stuck,
consulting with those who won’t speak up,
and the priveledge to
be trusted in the role. 

Comfort in designing a world that can be sustained,
in holding everyone to account,
Me first.

Who has been saved, included?
What questions were answered?
What footprints were layed deep
enough to withstand erosion?

What can be called progress?

Any?

The uncomfortable answer, the one
that is past the guilt of not enough,

or not yet enough, is

Yes.


Multiple Choice

Phantom limb,
or persistent weather,
or mental gravity,
or re-runs?

Selective memory,
or self-delusion,
or cosmetic makeover,
or choice?

Necessary growth,
or attic clearing,
or season turning,
or loss?

Door, window, map?
Risk, reward?
Hourglass?
Dune?
Deluge?


This Old Life (Live)

This program is broadcast live, un-scripted and un-rehearsed.

Building. Demolishing. Rennovating. 

The choas is captured along with the rising structure.

Construction never pauses, even during the commercials for spray starch and the local ambulance chaser.

Keep the cameras rolling. Let post-production chop it up and splice it together for the re-runs.

The cranes move behind the scenes, backdrop to the hosts’ argument caught in cam 1 and cam 2 over removing water from that hole, patching that piece of pavement, and who is going to make the lunch run.

Jeans, boots, and safety goggles. Gold and orange vests. The night crews are setting the work lights while the stage crews are moving the spot lights.

During the foreman’s spontaneous monologue, the cranes are engaged in movent from the laydown area to the pick zone, setting trusses, christmas-treeing joists, and preparing for the topping-out.

Drama makes the show compelling, but the bricks, the driven nails and the planted cherry trees will be here years after the show is cancelled and the contracts have expired.

Closing shot under the credits and theme music: expanding frame, exterior – the family sits down at the table,  laughing as the last one entering the room draws the curtains. 


The last days of winter

Walking together with the dog,
the air is heavy, a waterlogged cold,
though the wind reminds me of
winter’s true desire, now fading,
to be crisp, keen, knifey.
The sky is dark at this hour,
shifting all hues toward dark blue and
purple, even the young grass, now
poking through mud and the season’s decay.

Ten minutes pass, lights off, door locked,
the sky has trimmed itself a bright blue.
I walk to my car, frost no longer
wrapping the panels, as I set wheels in motion.
I fight against the glare as a
mandarin sun swings above the treeline,
my eastward push slowed, with the others,
on the salt stained highway
heading into spring.


Sustainable

Truth is that life is struggle.

Accepting that, dropping the frustration at inconsistency and the search for righteousness, makes way for applying considerable skill and resources to the short view goals and the long term plan.

Each circle emanating from me, from my very self outward to the world I know, gets a part of me today. Today, some events in the greater circles will get special attention. Excitement and organization is building around an idea, my idea.

Today, I’m planting more seeds in one field as I reap the harvest from another.

I am the earth I tend, and it is high time to get back to work.


Bridges (reposted)

Ancient art in arched
Construction
Stones, hewn, stacked
Laboriously and slowly
Approaching
The moment of truth
Falsework removed, shores
Released
Arch settles, key locks
Feet, hooves, and barrow
Wheels
Move bank to bank
Implicit faith in achitecture’s
Angels
_________
Reposted from 2015