unfathered father

I am a worry

that I do not worry

enough

or maybe

too much.

I am filled with fear…

that I live too little,

too much;

not at all?

how do you be

what you need to be

in a box out of reach

and buried in my own

stony chest?

these are thoughts

in mere fleeting moments

that run on repeat

and they would spark some movement

if not for the entropy

of my heart.

novacaine

live in your place

or die trying

live or uproot yourself

and rejoice in the withering

that makes you kindling

for the raging fires to come

there is no betrayal

in being whomever the fuck

you wanna be

there is no death

and pain is a gift to the numb

that pushes the novacaine out

and writes you with anticipation

live in your place or die

I don’t care and you shouldn’t care

that I don’t care

crater

don’t we wish
we could go back
and difuse the explosives
we let stand in the path
of the ones we walked with?

don’t we?

to stop the shrapnel
that flies to the future
that flies to the past
and shatters the ever-present?

but its done,
and the best we can do
is ascend the crater,
to leave its shadows
and move toward the rising sun.

Ruth

Naomi lost –
she lost lives,
she lost husband,
she lost sons

Naomi lost –
so Naomi left
on rumour that God had been good
to her people,
to this place.
a land of promise,
a land of plenty,
bringing clinging Ruth in tow

Ruth the foreigner,
Ruth the daughter-in-law,
Ruth who worked from dusk to dawn,
caring for natural-born Naomi

Ruth brought blessing,
and she brought favour,
and she brought David,
and she brought Solomon,
and she brought Jesus to Jerusalem

look what the foreigner brings
to the promised land that welcomes her

A Very Bad Day

In the grand scheme of things I have had a very good life to date.

The past five years or so have been especially incredible. I have a good job. The museum I manage has been growing and thriving every single year. I have an amazing wife and my kids are truly the best.

My eldest son just bought his first home, on his own, at 22. I have the incredible honour to have my middle son working at my museum as a field technician (withouty my meddling which was hard). His growth and maturity have been truly wondrous to watch and it is fun to watch him pursue his degree in Physical Anthropology and Computer Science. My daughter is such an amazing young woman I cannot begin to spell it all out. Active, a hard worker and supervisor at her job and getting ready for her final year of highschool…what can I say – I am VERY lucky.

I have not had a very bad day in many years.

So when today came as a perfect shitstorm of numerous things that had nothing to do with each other I might have been unprepared.

The only bad thing about a good stretch is losing perspective I suppose.

Today sucked on so many levels it nearly did me in. Really.

But…

But perspective sinks in slowly if you are lucky enough to have it sink in at all.

I will say it again – I have a great home. I have great kids. I have a great wife. I have a great job. I have great employees. I have great sisters, brothers and inlaws. SO. MUCH. GREAT.

With these things I can deal with VERY BAD. With these things I can deal with SHITSTORM. With these things I am truly lucky no matter what comes.

Thanks for listening.

Leadership & the Art of Deflection

There is nothing more unsettling than seeing how well some leaders develop the skill to deflect criticism, especially those leaders at the top of an organization.

Whether a CEO, executive director, pastor, imam, rabbi, director, board chair, city counsellor or mayor etc. the concept of “the buck stops here” seems alien while the ability to shrug off criticism to others in and outside of the organization is uncanny.

If you are a leader and you meet questions and criticisms with the following responses it is time to reconsider your role and possibly step away:

“Yep you’re right and I just don’t get why our people are doing this?”

“I have been saying the same thing for weeks/months/years!”

“I agree, the decisions being made are ridiculous.”

“What do you want me to do about it?!?!?”

If the above or any variation of the above is coming from you then you, my friend, are part of the problem…and depending on how high you rest in the organization, you might just be the problem.

I have a mantra that goes something like this – if there is an endless problem in the organization no matter how small, even if the toilets are broken and never fixed, the root of the issue ultimately rests at the top.

Leaders have a responsibility to ensure their organization is decisive and functioning…if it is not that is their problem. It is not the previous leader’s problem. It is not the staff’s problem. It is not the client or vendor’s problem – it is the leader’s. The best leaders recognize this and do not waste time with excuses and deflection – they get to the root of the issue and ensure a solution is put in place.

Leaders – stop deflecting, stop offering excuses – LEAD.