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Tag: Gwendolyn Brooks

You want an employer for life . . . or a life?

Employers for life

Today, CIPD published a story that we want an employer for life.

Insecurity distracting us from growth

Some people don’t understand the economic numbers and if they don’t, then the responses reported by CIPD spell out for them the meaning of a severe recession.

Employees are grubbing at the bottom of Maslow’s Need Hierarchy.

It’s not much of a life, and we won’t be going any where fast as a country until we reduce the fear and worry about basics.

Employment relations and psychology

We need to get the politics right.  We need to get every one to sit down and see what we can keep stable, and keep it stable.  Give people as much security as they can so they can plan.

But we also have to learn to function in the “whip and crack of the whirlwind.”  Other communities do.  We need to as well.

Careers have changed

CIPD was knocking the ‘free agent’ route.  Well, UK has not had much of tradition of self-employment or entrepreneurship.   We will get panic simply because we don’t have many role models around us.

Let’s take the intrapreneurship route with which we are more familiar.

Before social media

Our CV showed an obedient relationship with authority.

In a social media world

Our CV is our portfolio of original work and our evolving purpose.

What is our evolving purpose?

When we aren’t used to telling our story, explaining our purpose can be the hardest thing in the world.

So often our purpose has been no more than “hitch a ride on a gravy train.”

For too long, we’ve pretended

  • we can drive the train
  • make gravy
  • and that we are welcome on the train.

That is the crisis that we are facing.

But hey, if catching gravy trains is our skill and purpose in life, then at least we can become knowledgeable about gravy trains. When do they come and how do we hop on and hide?

We can write about it.  We might have to be like Banksy and keep our identify quiet. But we can write about it.  And show he evidence.

To carry on the train metaphor, we can show a picture of  us in Edinburgh in the morning and in London in the evening.  Of course, “they” will be looking out for us now.  No problem.  We are the experts.  Another route!

Psychologists reading this know where I am headed .  .  .

Build that portfolio!

You can call your life by any name you choose but there is only one life you can call your own.  Start you blog today!

Don’t do anything indiscrete.  Begin with the small things.  Take a picture of a train.

And then another.  Then another.

It’s a cheap hobby at least.

Bet it becomes lucrative though!

Acknowledgements:

“conduct your blooming in the whip & crack of the whirlwind” : Gwendolyn Brooks

“there is only one life you can call your own” : David Whyte

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Are you out of touch with the blooming of your life?

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

Anais Nin

I wonder when that time comes?

We fret when we are not blooming

I think we always know when the blooming is about to happen just as surely as some days we wake up and know we will tear through the to do list. But we can’t bloom all the time and when we aren’t blooming, we fret.

  • Some times we are anxious to flower before our time. We are not really ready to bloom. We are just anxious that we will miss the summer. We want reassurance like a child needs to know how many nights to Christmas.

Our sense of timing has gone missing. I am sure we could get it back with a few moments quiet contemplation or a five minutes of genuine listening to a friend’s distress.

  • Other times we are reluctant to bloom and we miss the summer. Sometimes we are not paying attention or we are trying to blackmail the world.

Maybe we need to “go out” and get in touch with the world to see if we notice the seasons changing. Maybe our friend needs a brief of fresh air or a change of scenery.

  • Other times we need to blossom but the weather is foul and we don’t want our fine petals to be cast into the wind.  We fret because we also know that there is no time other than now. “Conduct you blooming in the noise and crack of the whirlwind.” says Gwendolyn Brooks.

Maybe we stopping through vanity. Yes, we will be ragged and have no idea where our petals will fly. Maybe they will just lie unnoticed.

But it is time to bloom. And we can’t remain in a tight bud out of vanity.  It is time to burst into flower.

We always know when we are about to bloom

We will know when we are going to bloom anyway. Though we may have no applause.

No need to be vain. Bloom.

Autumn will come soon and we will be in another season of our lives.

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Is it time to reap your harvest? If it is time, reap. Now.

My Dreams, My Works, Must Wait Till After Hell

I hold my honey and I store my bread

In little jars and cabinets of my will.

I label clearly, and each latch and lid

I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.

I am very hungry. I am incomplete.

And none can give me any word but Wait,

The puny light. I keep my eyes pointed in;

Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt

Drag out to their last dregs and I resume

On such legs as are left me, in such heart

As I can manage, remember to go home,

My taste will not have turned insensitive

To honey and bread old purity could love.

Gwendolyn Brooks

For everything there is a season

If we do not sow in spring and reap in summer, what will we have the autumn and winter?  And if we don’t eat the harvests we stored during the cold months, won’t they just rot?

We make ourselves unhappy when we muddle the seasons. Look again.  The harvest in the store is still there.   There is no need to eat it all at once. But eat.

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Dilute confusion. Find and explode our mist.

The day before New Year is the day of rash and ill-thought out resolutions.  What better day for the colorful and incisive poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks?

Garbageman: The Man With The Orderly Mind

What do you think of us in fuzzy endeavor, you whose directions are

sterling, whose lunge is straight?

Can you make a reason, how can you pardon us who memorize the rules and never score?

Who memorize the rules from your own text but never quite transfer them to the game,

Who never quite receive the whistling ball, who gawk, begin to absorb the crowd’s own roar.

Is earnest enough, may earnest attract or lead to light;

Is light enough, if hands in clumsy frenzy, flimsy whimsically, enlist;

Is light enough when this bewilderment crying against the dark shuts down the shades?

Dilute confusion. Find and explode our mist.

Gwendolyn Brooks

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. . . sway in wicked grace . . . I dare you to

I’ve just found this snippet courtesy of a search for the first line that arrived at this blog.

“The time cracks into furious flower
Lifts its face all unashamed
And sways in wicked grace…”
“This is the urgency: Live!
and have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.”
Gwendolyn Brooks, The Second Sermon on the Warpland

I previously had the expression

“Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind”

This was written for all of us in the 21st century, don’t you think?

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Poetry of hope for hard times

Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.

Gwendolyn Brooks

One of the hardest concepts to grasp, I think, is that there is a time for everything under the sun.  But, are we supposed to enjoy tragedy?  Are we supposed to accept injustice?

Seasons at least come and go.  Some bad times are more protracted and we are trapped in waiting.  Some people are born into bad circumstances, or find themselves there with little possibility of exiting.

I really loathe the expression “glass half full”.   I think it often means “I’m alright Jack”, and when it does, it is aggressive.  It is denying someone the legitmacy of  their own experience.

That said, when it is our turn to be caught in bad situations, do we really want to wallow?

Understand the whirlwind

I’ve seen a lot of writing, here and there, that we are abandoning, at last, a Cartesian view of life – a dualism where we separate mind and body. In bad circumstances, though, I think we need dualism.  We need to see reality for what it is.  We need to say, this is reality as it is unfolding.  It is important to acknowledge reality in all it awfulness, to call it by what it is, and describe it, without any pretence to do otherwise, in its own terms.

It is also important to say that it frightens us, gives us anxiety attacks, humiliates us, and clouds our judgement.

What we must NOT do, is confuse it with ourselves.  We are not our reality.  We simply exist within the reality.

Poetry to mark our times

Obama has commissioned poet, Elizabeth Alexander,  to write a poem for the inauguration, and through the press coverage, introduced us to another American poet, Gwendolyn Brooks.  Her advice for people living in very difficult circumstances says it all.

“Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.”

I couldn’t see any copyright information on this page, so I have copied the poem below.  If I am in breach, please do tell me and I will respond immediately.   Thanks to George Hartley of Ohio University, more of  Gwendolyn Brooks poems can be found on the same page.  Her is the full poem.

The Second Sermon on the Warpland

Gwendolyn Brooks

For Walter Bradford

1.

This is the urgency: Live!
and have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.

2.

Salve salvage in the spin.
Endorse the splendor splashes;
stylize the flawed utility;
prop a malign or failing light–
but know the whirlwind is our commonwealth.
Not the easy man, who rides above them all,
not the jumbo brigand,
not the pet bird of poets, that sweetest sonnet,
shall straddle the whirlwind.
Nevertheless, live.

3.

All about are the cold places,
all about are the pushmen and jeopardy, theft–
all about are the stormers and scramblers but
what must our Season be, which starts from Fear?
Live and go out.
Define and
medicate the whirlwind.

4.

The time
cracks into furious flower. Lifts its face
all unashamed. And sways in wicked grace.
Whose half-black hands assemble oranges
is tom-tom hearted
(goes in bearing oranges and boom).
And there are bells for orphans–
and red and shriek and sheen.
A garbageman is dignified
as any diplomat.
Big Bessie’s feet hurt like nobody’s business,
but she stands–bigly–under the unruly scrutiny, stands
in the wild weed.

In the wild weed
she is a citizen,
and is a moment of highest quality; admirable.

It is lonesome, yes. For we are the last of the loud.
Nevertheless, live.

Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the
whirlwind.

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