General

Sublime Vulnerability

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The day I met my first born marks a milestone in my life. A day after which, I was no longer the person I was before. An anniversary of my becoming conscious of complete and utter vulnerability. Upon meeting him, I would never again walk this Earth with the same sense of complete confidence. The physical scars have long since healed, but I remain tragically aware of how profoundly wounded I could be because of this most precious being.

My deep vulnerability is packaged neatly and poetically with laughter – sometimes a chuckle, sometimes absurd, full-on, side-splitting belly laughs. Belly laughs like when we discovered that I pee (just) a little bit when he double bounces me on the trampoline. That’s right, I pee, just enough to make me laugh out loud.

So double bounce away, little man, because the mixture of belly-filling laughter and slight humiliation is truly sublime.

Originally posted January 2010.

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Brown-Eyed Girl

Dear Brown-Eyed Girl,

I lay there on the table with the bright lights shining overhead. There is a chill in my veins and the subtle beginnings of tears forming in my eyes. Your father stands silently beside me, his hand placed gently on my forehead. He is wearing a look of overwhelming joy with a faint dusting of fear.

Although my body is asleep, my mind is alive. I think to myself – who is this child?

Moments later I hear you and, by the grace of God, the sounds are strong. Images begin racing through me – a newborn baby, young girl, a teenager, a woman. A daughter we have in you. A daughter with a small, graceful neck and the frailest shoulders. Continue reading

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Iterating to the Moon

When we are young, we mistakenly believe that once an adult, we should and will have it all figured out. As if the grown-ups have known all along what they wanted to be when they grew up and they act upon this knowledge with grace and conviction.

Some do, I suppose, but turns out most don’t. In my case, it took 10 years and what feels like a trip to the moon and back to see what I believed should have been so clear all along. For a long time I lamented not having more clarity from the get go and resented the side tracks I made to get right tracked again. But not anymore, I now see it as case of simple iteration.

I recently made a trip to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to show my two kids where my childhood dreams were born and hopefully light a spark in them, like the one that was lit in me by my late grandfather. I hoped they would be as mesmerized by science holding hands with adventure and how together they do a dangerous dance beyond the boundaries of our atmosphere.

Mercury…Gemini…Apollo 7…10…11…13…Shuttles…Stations…Mars…all of these experiments designed to advance the greater mission. Each one proving some hypotheses and disproving others. Some were viewed as successes, some successful failures, but all tested boundaries and broke through barriers. Each and every one iterations on the next…innovation perfected.

It is likely the experience lit a spark or two for the kids, only time will tell how significant. But as an adult, I took away something different this time. Along with the coolness of science, engineering and adventuring our way to a new future, I hoped they walked away with one simple truth.

Clarity of mission is essential, perfect execution is optional. With that, you can iterate yourself all the way to the moon.

Today’s post was inspired by good friend, kindred spirit, and fellow seeker, Clark Kellogg.

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