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Archive for January, 2009

anyone you know?

“A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.”

Sidney J. Harris

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okay, cliché

So, let’s go on the premise that every cliché that has ever been repeated is ever so true.

They are.

Time screams by faster and faster the older you get, you’re wiser and know less, no good deed goes unpunished and happiness is not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you have.

Let’s examine each opine.

The time thing… OMG! This past year flew with extraordinary velocity; a chaotic sprint from January to December. Weather and nature analogies abound… the first few months were a crushing avalanche of people desiring to wish me well (or not); to meet with me for the first time (or not); to share aspirations, information, fears or just warm the seat in front of my desk. Many were clamoring, insistent, or angry. Many more were beacons of bright hope, humor and peace. All were teachers in one way or another. Warmer months brought a storm of unexpected minutia, each larger goal slowed by a stinging rain of untended administrative tasks that had languished for years. This was coupled with an ever-present gale of misinformation, conceit or intentional opposition to my every stab at change. The whole year ended in a tornado of activity. I often felt as though I had been standing in the eye of the storm, watching the whirling world of work pass in a dizzying maelstrom. Sometimes I’d catch a glimpse of a fence post, a car bumper, a chicken, or Auntie Em. It was enough to just hang onto the desk and let it spin.

I’d smile or gripe. We’d frequently laugh, and still do.

You see, I’m older and somewhat galvanized, the gift of crusty age. Again and again, I am brought back to a place of gratitude. What surprises me is that, despite the maddening negativity that sometimes surrounds me, I am not yet without optimism. I must not be as old as I look! I still believe we can change our fortunes if we work toward a common goal. I still see the beauty of this City that graces the hills overlooking the Mohawk. And I’m more certain than ever that we will make this happen sooner than later.

This is why. No good deed goes unpunished.

a-strong-woman
I get plenty of pokes from the unhappy. If those that oppose me are doubtful, often vocal or push back, we must be moving off of square one. I mean, there are plenty of people that are awfully uncomfortable with what my team is attempting. The status quo are steadfast in their desire to see this venture fail, or flail, or me fall with my skirt up over my head. But you see, I’ve taken that fall and it wasn’t such a big deal. You fall. You stand up. Straighten the skirt. Take note of the stone that tripped you up. Pick it up and throw it away. Or keep it and build a walkway. There will be plenty of stones along the way.

And stones make me happy. They are gifts of the earth, hard and sure. They are silent, cool to the touch, laden with possibility. They are nothing and everything. They will mark our passing.

Tomorrow, when I walk into work, I will run my hand along the cool, red brick of the building and think of all that have passed before me. I will enter the threshold and start in on the new year. I will remember that I have been given what I wanted and I will want what I have. I pray that we will all truly see the gift of what we’ve been given in this City.

God bless the fossilized sea of bedrock that Amsterdam clings to and God bless this new year.

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