A Few (More) Good Men

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.

– Peter Drucker

I’m not a hostage but these days I feel like one. My hands feel tied, bound by the twin leeches of belief and expectation. There was a time when the institutions created to serve us  actually did just that and the men who administered them were  admired. There was also a time, I’ll admit to being very young, when I thought lawyers were more Continue reading “A Few (More) Good Men”

The Sound of Wind and Water

Within each of us there is a silence—a silence as vast as a universe. We are afraid of it … and we long for it.

Gunilla Norris – In Inviting Silence

There are days when the sounds of civilization overwhelm us and our tired brains seek silence. Release comes easily to some, but for others the trinity of must, could and should floods their brains, constantly repeating, like a refrain caught in the groove of a damaged record. It is hard enough to block external noise, but inner silence is, for some, becoming an increasingly elusive commodity. While some find it through exercise or meditation, I was first able to achieve it in places where the gentle sound of wind and water lulled me to a state of Continue reading “The Sound of Wind and Water”


Be still. Remember my name. It is the label that is attached to me. It is the one thread that is sewn through this entire story. Your story or my story – it is only the stitching that changes. The want is the thing that drives us. Trust me: I have a story to tell.― Richard Payment, For Want of Wonders

Prior to his birth, lots of time was spent guessing what the newest addition to the British royal family would be called. Now we know. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have named their infant son Archie. The name is currently popular in Britain but as soon as I heard it memories of the Riverdale gang came to mind. Some of you will remember the teenage superheroes Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead. Comic books were the rage in the days before Netflix, and those of us who were not allowed to have them found friends who stashed and shared
Continue reading “Archie?”

Remembering Hannah

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.

Pete Hegseth

Several years ago Bob and I traveled through Southeast Asia with some remarkable people. Many of them had military backgrounds and had served in Vietnam. The testosterone levels in the group were fairly high and there was polite jostling among the men see whose exploits and memories would carry the day. Tucked in our group was a woman, about my age, who had a passion for textiles and weaving. She was Continue reading “Remembering Hannah”

Good Enough?

Good Enough

My son, beware of “good enough,”
It isn’t made of sterling stuff;
It’s something any man can do,
It marks the many from the few,
It has no merit to the eye,
It’s something any man can buy,
It’s name is but a sham and bluff,
For it is never “good enough.”

With “good enough” the shirkers stop
In every factory and shop;
With “good enough” the failures rest
And lose to men who give their best;
With “good enough” the car breaks down
And men fall short of high renown.
My son, remember and be wise,
In “good enough” disaster lies.

With “good enough” have ships been wrecked, Continue reading “Good Enough?”

Some Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Mother and daughter, it’s a special bond that spans the years. Through laughter, worry, smiles, and tears. A sense of trust that can’t be broken, a depth of love sometimes unspoken, a lifelong friendship built on sharing, hugs and kisses, warmth and caring, mother and daughter their hearts as one. A link that can never be undone.– unknown

Mother’s Day seems as good a time as any to ruminate on mothers and the relationships they’ve established with their daughters. Over the years, various labels have been used to describe parenting styles, and Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Mother’s Day”

Sow or Soar

…and so it happened that one with roots as deep as the wild fig, pulled free and soared up and on towards the seven seas. Others in the grove held tight, whispering farewell in fading light. – Unknown

As I was walking this morning, I came across patch of weeds that, against all odds, took root in a dry and barren soil. I once read that weeds were simply flowers growing where they were not wanted. Looking at the brilliant blue of the flower thrown by the chicory plants along the river walk, its absence from Continue reading “Sow or Soar”

Some Thoughts On Personal Best

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Confucius

“Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.” Remember that phrase? If you attended a Catholic secondary school or are familiar with the writings of St Ignatius, the translation, “All for the glory of God,” was immediately pulled from your temporal lobes. While the poetry of his enjoinder is beautiful, I come from a marginally religious family and despite my education and exposure, my father’s often operatic demand for personal best, trumped St. Ignatius every time. The message, however, coming as it did from two directions, was internalized and the quest for personal best became part of who I am. I rarely dwell on it these days, but a recent chance encounter set me to thinking about it again. Continue reading “Some Thoughts On Personal Best”

…hopping down the bunny trail

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. While out walking I passed a group of six or seven year olds having a sword fight with the fronds they had received at church that morning. I smiled as I watched the musketeers battle, but later, when ruminating on my day the incident actually made me laugh because I  started thinking  how my grandmother would have reacted  to the duel.

I had a very Irish grandmother.  Maude, like many widows her age,  was devout and had strict standards of propriety.  She believed in Continue reading “…hopping down the bunny trail”

Figuratively Speaking

“A creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about clichés: Avoid them like the plague. Then he’d laugh at his own joke.” – Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)

The English language can be difficult to master. Those learning to speak it as a second language find its vagaries more like a mine field than a walk in the park. Effective communication requires a mastery of grammar and pronunciation as well as the acquisition of a large vocabulary. The sheer number of words in the English language can boggle the mind. Add to that the need to know verb variations and tense as well as mastery of slang and colloquialisms, and you’ll have yourself a real kettle of fish. But the straw that breaks the camel’s back Continue reading “Figuratively Speaking”

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