Tag Archives: dialogue

the ground remains

the-ground-remains

The weather has finally permitted for my backyard in the evening to transform once again into a glowing outdoor room. A friend of mine and I sat around the rickety wooden table under balls of chicken wire and lights puffing our pipes for nearly three hours this evening.

In my day to day schedule, I like to pretend that I am too important, so I don’t have time for moments like these. There’s no space for propping my feet up, bringing the music outside, lighting up a cigar and laughing, talking about ideas, and wrestling with what we are learning as it is shaken and stirred with who we are becoming.

But tonight, even though as it approached I felt as though I didn’t really have time to indulge this gathering with a friend a needed to catch up with, it was in fact exactly what my mind and soul needed to find each other again.

The work is good. The meetings and projects and plans and research and people are all good, and there is progress toward good things no matter how tenuous or temporary it may be. The calendar pages are flying off the wall faster than the second hand on the clock is ticking, but I am keeping up as best I can nevertheless.

There is something quite magical, and humbling, and ultimately holy and important about stopping long enough with another on the same journey to realize that when I prop my feet up, the ground remains. I am not holding things together, but merely participating in their newness. The meetings and projects and plans and research and people are all good, and for me to be a valuable asset in the mixology, I must make the intentional effort to take time to prop my feet up with thoughtful and entertaining and humble friends. I must hear their questions and see what they are thinking. I must join them in wrestling with their own demons and delights so that I can, in the morning, put my feet back on the ground and start again.

The ground, however, remains. The tasks are still there. My momentary pause from standing on my feet to push ahead is a reminder that I am not the one holding anything together. Propping my feet up every once and a while makes the work a little more honest, a little more true, a little more humble, and a little more holy.

So cheers to the rickety wooden table in the backyard on a brisk evening under the chicken wire lights and stars with good people on the same road.

djordan
Pine Tree

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apparently still and incredibly crisp

floored again in dialogue with a client today
the incredible resilience following him into the room
ignored by the very person living under so much
withstanding, but still struggling
struggling with real and reasonable and incredible grief

and still holding it together
hair on, face on, courtesy on, honesty on

the wrestling only barely under the surface of
otherwise apparently still and incredibly crisp waters
all hiding
all hoping
no one notices what a mess
we all show and tell each others stories

and in hiding and hoping no one notices
we all ourselves fail to notice
our fighting resilience as the only thing stronger than our struggles
and the only thing strong than our fight to hide our struggles

until we see it through a dark mirror
that we all look much the same
and we are all incredibly resilient as we float over
otherwise apparently still and incredibly crisp waters

djordan
Pine Tree

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when they disagree

Bertrand Russell, BBC Radio station with pipe in hand

One of the things that has become a favorite of teaching has been when students disagree with me. This semester has seen a class filled with diversity in age, income, race, and worldview. It has made conversations thicker and richer because no one in the room can get away with saying something while assuming everyone both sees it the same way and agrees with our conclusion.

I’ve seen the nature of the class feeling and creating a culture of safety in dialogue grow all of us into wiser practitioners and students of those around us. They have been a gift, and I thought of our class when I read these notes from Bertrand Russell in last week’s braingpickings.org weekly email. Considering Russell’s stance on religion, and also considering sending practitioners into the world who are Christians, it feels that more important than even knowing certain things is knowing how to think through certain things, how to disagree, how to ask questions, and how to engage.

I hope you find these as interesting as I did, in light of Russell’s zeitgeist and the one in which we find ourselves.

djordan
Pine Tree

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