Today is a travel day for me. Dallas, Texas (after working in Denton) to Salt Lake City, Utah. My flight, Delta 463, was to depart at 12:15 p.m. Central Time. I boarded the plane as anticipated, sometime between 11:45 and 12:00. Seat 15A.

I dozed off to sleep pretty quickly, awaiting takeoff. It’s been a full week.

It turns out, there was no takeoff. The flight crew shared an announcement, something about a malfunctioned air pressure required to start the engine. If met, then the engine would function as it is supposed to. Apparently they’ve tried three “air carts.” None of it successful. Something to do with the heat — it’s been hovering in the high 90s / low 100s the last couple of days. They are now awaiting a waiver from the safety people in Atlanta — I’m glad there is protocol in place for safety.

Aside from juggling my pick-up in Salt Lake City (my son driving 45 minutes to get me), I’m not as impacted as others. We got water. There’s air conditioning. There’s power (watch movies, email, some reading and writing). They are about to bring out snacks — my question to the flight attendant was about how long they would wait to bring snacks. I don’t like arriving late to Salt Lake City, but I can get plenty done.

There is, however, growing stress on the plane as people think about their connecting flights and realize they won’t make them. So, there’s a flurry of people checking the smart phone for alternative plans. I’m a bit weirdly curious about the range of reactions with my fellow passengers. It’s a day and age when people have many options through personal devices.

The Delta staff are doing a good job. This is where they earn some additional stripes, required to amp up their communications, their comfort and counseling, their administrative help. And the snacks. There is a bunch of logistical implications for people. I’m watching it all. And typing this blog.

Sometimes I like the feeling of “waiting — what are you gonna do?” And, “waiting, might as well get creative.” Or just be helpful with other people, in case needed. Stay calm.

This waiting might just connect some of us.


I wrote recently about perseverance. In gratitude for Meg Wheatley’s book by the same name.

I’m picking up this book quite a bit lately. In the mornings. Randomly selecting a page. Reading the passage. Sitting quietly with it, the way I would a friend. And treating the passage as a kind of guide for the day.

Something in me is seeking. And tender. And persevering. And based on today’s reading, growing in patience.

The words below are all from Meg’s book, pages 140-141. Including the St. Augustine quote. There is a gift to essence, isn’t there.


The reward of patience is patience.
St. Augustine, born 354.



Perseverance is a journey seemingly without end.

Yet it has a few destinations or rewards, one of which is patience.

It’s not that we start out patient.
We don’t persevere because we are patient people.

We become patient because we have too.
There is no choice — the work is endless.

Everyday we have to make a choice.
Will we give up, or will we keep going?

When day after day we are willing to keep going we discover,
quite to our amazement, that we have become patient.

And then we just continue on.
Day after day.

It Is Hard Not To

It is hard not to feel sad in the world.

This morning I read of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada that took place last night. The description I read was of a lone gunman, perched high in a hotel overlooking an outdoor country music festival. He had many guns. Fifty people killed. Hundreds injured and taken to the hospital. One man, my age, laid on top of his kids — “I lived a good life. You have much in front of you.”

Sad is a euphemism. Shocked. Despair. Stunned. Traumatized. Paralyzed. Speechless.

It is hard not to feel angry in the world.

Anger is an accompaniment of sadness of this type. Anger goes with shock, despair, stunned, traumatized, paralyzed, and speechless. Who isn’t feeling fed up with the violence and the rhetoric of violence. And the bravado of violence. And sensationalism. It is so commonplace that a collective neural circuitry and psyche is being remade that will reside for generations. “War torn” is threading increasingly into the fabric of being human in this decade and century.

I’m not smart enough to know all of what to do. I’m grateful for the people who know more than me and who can respond to a very big picture. I’m grateful for those whose contribution is different than mine toward a common good. For me, when angry, I’ve always tried to find the step in front of me. Today, that is to be deliberate in not blocking the pain of the specific story nor of the broader pattern. It is to pause, to be quiet out side, to breathe, and to be still. It is to find with some deliberateness my own center, so that I can be helpful.

This violence is a phase. I hope this is true, the temporariness of “phase.” I feel lousy for even naming it that way, with such distance. I feel ripped apart inside when I think of those in Las Vegas and those in any of these similar acts. These are people being killed, not just numbers. With families. With partners. With stories.

One act of mass violence may never equal one act of simple local kindness, but it is this practice to stay in the now of local kind acts — without denying numbness and loss — that resets a foundation for reclaiming mass kindness. Love the ones in front of you in simple ways.

It is hard not to feel a desire for good. I’m trying to hold myself to that today, even when sad, angry, and pain. Please join me.