06 May 2016

Missing Daisy


Well, it has been two weeks since we said good bye to Daisy and if I'm totally honest with you it has been one of the hardest two weeks I've had in a long time. And I've had quite a few hard weeks recently. I knew it would be hard to say goodbye to Daisy. But I had no idea it'd be this hard.

There are a lot of uncomfortable questions - could we have caught the cancer sooner? How long was she suffering before we found out? Did we do the right thing with her treatments? Did we do the right thing when we said goodbye? Questions with no good answers and questions that it does no good to ask.

So I am learning to stop asking them and to instead focus on the certainties. She led a very good life for 10 years with a multitude of beloved companions and care takers (Jetta, Mema, Papa & Honey, us, to name a few). We enjoyed her so, so much. She is no longer suffering.

I don't know what it is about dogs that makes missing them so poignant. Maybe it's because they're so constant and reliable. Maybe it's because they're always there; they don't go to work or school or have meetings ... they never even just run to the store; they're always there. Maybe it's because they depend on us for everything. Maybe it's because they're so earnest. Maybe it's because they always love you - no matter how great things are in your life; no matter how bad.

I know that many of you know what I am talking about - this particularly dogginess I'm describing. I know because you've reached out to us in the last few weeks with such comforting words of condolence, such thoughtful reflections, such compassion and caring. Thank you to all of you. Here's another "maybe" - Maybe dogs bring us together, even when they tear us apart. At least that's what I'm feeling - torn up inside but surrounded by support.

I have a very powerful memory of sitting on the couch with Daisy and Sergio one night - a long time ago. I wasn't doing anything - not reading, not watching TV, not fiddling with my phone, not talking. Just sitting. I had Daisy on one side of me and Sergio on the other side of me. We were just sitting. And I remember thinking how good it felt to just sit flanked by these two beings. How profound it was to just sit with them. It calms me to think of that moment. That was a moment that I was living in fully.

That is what I want to do more - to live in the moment like Daisy did - like most dogs do. I want to sit squarely within each moment and savor it.

03 May 2016

Thought Provoking

Between the Hallmark Creative Leadership Symposium today and the Greater KC Interfaith Council's Table of Faith's event tonight, I have had many, many thoughts provoked.

Both events stirred ideas around the power of the question "why?" and the importance of believing in something bigger than yourself. Curiously, the theme of the CLS was "We Are One" and yet I came away from the event thinking about what distinct perspectives each of us in the creative community has to offer. How do we complement or supplement each other? How are we similar? How are we different? How are we unique? The broad range of great speakers and topics helped bring that aspect of diversity home to me. And those same questions might have been asked of the range of faith perspectives represented on the Interfaith Council. The Table of Faiths event was not themed "We Are One" though there is a sense that each of the faiths represented there all exist in harmony inspire of or because of their differences.

Each presenter and storyteller that I heard today fascinated me and inspired me. Here are just a few favorite thoughts from the day.

The Highlights - CLS

"The Disease of Self" - what Dayton Moore warns will tear apart a team or a business or a family

"Choose the thoughts that you think." Toni Blackman

"If you want to write, write." Gillian Flynn

"Don't ask the designer to design a bridge; ask the designer to get from one side of the river to the other." Mauro Porcini

"Believe that what you're doing has to be done." Chris Ciesiel

"Tear down your idea - what's left standing is something pure." Matt Castilleja

"Always know why you're doing what you're doing." Ryan Wing

"You turn folded card stock into joy grenades." Rob Riggle

"Know you're number 1 but act like the underdog." Carla Moore

"Music is not just sound. It's a force." Nolan Gasser

"My work is not satisfaction from all the people I've proved wrong. It's a tribute to everyone I've proved right." Raul Alejandro

The Highlight - Table of Faiths

"People were created to be loved and things were created to be used. The problem is that people are being used and things are being loved." - Shakil Haider (winner of the 2016 Steve Jeffers Award)