Saturday, February 28, 2004

Crossing Central Park

There is a certain life today in New York City, a buzz quietly forming in the streets around Central Park. It is the first nice day of 2004, and the park fills with people. Runners return, dogs walking, by-standers, picnics, strollers, newspapers - the usual activity. On a rock, I watch the passing groups and wonder how the movement seems so effortless to create art. I am fascinated by the flow.
I am sitting near a rock where one summer hence I had penned lyrics to a song. Today, no such inspiration; however, joy was present in the entertainment of my people-watching. Solitary moment, smile returns, and the sky fills with promise. It is clear and sunny, even if the trees are barren. Soon enough, spring will arrive - at least for today, it is already here. Alas, I gather my things and return to my hotel; I have work to do. Just as soon as revelry dissipates, I become part of the flow, too. Crossing Central Park carries strong memories of this wonderful city.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Softly Steal the Night

Softly steal the night
Of dreams beyond sight,
Days brighter still to be
As yet to live so fully.
Here they stay, soon to go,
Passing branches, river's flow
To carry days away instead,
Lying silent in my bed.
Moonlit memory, wading barge,
Sheets and pillows act as charge
For reflection, silence, stare.
Contrast image clothes the chair
Marking room's corner, end
Of vista, corner's bend
Toward window's glare of park
Lights peeking in as lark
To sing such cresting limerick.
Dreams soon drown the prick
Of life's ambitions, dull
Hasten morning's full
Interpretation of room's last bastion.
Life and passion unfasten
Hopes and fears so plain -
Night's domain leaves much to gain.
Await anew the next found day
For all the dreams to dance and play.
But first they come, in all their might
To softly steal the night.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Listening to a dial-in meeting

There is some chatter, white noise, multiple voices rollicking lyrically across the telephone network. Vocal sounds crossing in the foreground, background, all around until "we" hit the ground running on some item or another. I just sit patiently, waiting for the call to reach logical pauses, then collect certain items from spoken word to convert into documents and actions and thoughts and lists. This is work, all over the country, all from the handset of a phone, in front of a laptop, below a broad New York sky. I sit still while the words rush by.
Perhaps I should pay more attention and rein in my mind - remember that I am listening to a dial-in meeting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Three cups of coffee, two plates of chocolate chip cookies

Working on two successive nights of four hours of sleep, full days of thinking work, and facilitated meetings with groups of people in a large meeting room is no way to live a life. Half-opened eyes do not bring clarity to a situation. Each cup of coffee buoyed the mind for a sporadic fit of creativity that sustained a short burst of energy, but that was it. The cookies helped, too, but left little mark. That leaves the words, which are incoherent and insufficient.
Such is work. Such is consulting. The words come under guise of the half-opened eyes, ears trifled with a droning conference call that booms in the room. Three cups of coffee, two plates of chocolate chip cookies later, I am still here. Working.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Sitting in a meeting

I am sitting in a meeting room with no windows. 10 chairs, six people, one phone that no one uses. Router on the table with a tangle of CAT-5 cables, empty plastic bags from lunch, slight scent of stale sandwiches, half-empty bottles of water. There are voices that push and pull the air, many words that deserve plaques and recompense. Ultimately, these words have uncertain value; at least they produce keystrokes and debate. Each person has a computer with a different screen. We are all supposed to be looking at the same presentation.
Productivity can be measured by this time that passes with all these laptop computers open and implements surrounding. There are pens and notebooks on the table too, but they are muted - except for some words that produce a quick jot on paper. There it goes - another flurry of words between two meeting participants, another tries to add his weighted observation. Pause. Another quick jot on paper. This continual process rolls over another wave of special words, a few more quick jots, and the story goes on. It will last another hour, ended by a flurry of jotted notes (quick, quick quick), then dispersion. The clutter on the table remains, now left inanimate without word flurries - the remnants of sitting in a meeting.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Stirring thought

While sitting on the plane last night, I was struck by an idea. Suddenly, my computer was open, and I was typing. I was not quite certain of the outcome, only that the impulse that led to my thought dragged me through a stupor of insight and description. I fought to avoid the Xanadu experience and uncover the thinking before it disappeared. It was the start of a story.
Today, as I sit at my desk, the thought still haunts me, lingering in my head like a residue of sorts. It is the start of another creative outburst, and I will bear its burden on paper. I don't know where it will lead - mysterious and mystical as it unspools in velvet folds - but a stirring thought to grab my attention.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Rainy Day by the Bay

Sitting at the snug desk that nestles against my bed, I am listening to the raindrops fall in a wild rhythm to the trip hop songs spitting out of my radio. I am trying to complete some documents and move on to the next tasks, both personal and professional, that I am racing to complete before I have to fly away to another city in Texas. I am following the patter of the water to divine an answer to my present mental conundrum - what to do with my lack of motivation for most things. It seems that there are so many things rushing about me that I freeze in the moment and accomplish nothing.
I am using the rainy day by the bay to breathe fully, contemplate, and re-focus. The rain is meditative; I feel liberated. In reaching this state, the tasks fall away like the rain; I will continue work until the clock calls me away from my desk.