Poem — There Need Not Be More

I often find it is Zen-like expressions that move me most. Or Zen moments that are as simple as a deck chair and some deliberate morning stillness.

I wrote these simple lines recently. Yes, from waking. Yes, from living in continued pandemic presence. Yes, with invitation to move with life itself. Yes, with freedom to stay in the simple. Perhaps, just for this day.


There Need Not Be More

I am awake
from overnight rest.

as can’t be otherwise.

To start this new day,
with new me.

That’s all,
there need not be more.

Wonder & What If Thimbles?

As a young boy growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, I suppose it was episodes of Star Trek (the original series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) that opened up some of my initial sense of wonder in the world, that there was so much more to be discovered. Star Trek and, a decade later, the original Star Wars movie. Those and, a couple of Grandmas who wanted to grow my imagination. All of that and, a bit of painful life experience that had me reaching for meaning. As far back as I can remember, something in me sought for what was not seen as much as what was seen. Something in me sought for alternative ways of doing things, not just the established norms. Something in me sought relationship to what was timeless, not just what needed to be squeezed into a todo list.

With that as backdrop, I recently wrote this poem below, stringing together some of the “what if” questions I carry now, in both my work and in my personal learning, as I’ve sought even thimbles full of the unbounded ethereal, that likely started when I was a boy


What If, What If?

What if, what if,
this life could be lived 
as connection to the infinite?

What if, what if,
the infinite were found
in but a thimble of experience?

What if, what if,
those thimbles of experience
were available anywhere?

What if, what if,
changed everywhere?

Life is but a dream,
calling for our waking
to the infinite of the every day.





When I think “sip” one of the first images that comes to me is sipping tea. I come from a tea family. Some of my earliest memories of sipping tea were with my grandparents. I was likely six years old. Me and my cousins would visit for our two weeks of summer holiday. In Saskatchewan. Grandma and Grandpa had routines over tea. Often it was afternoon tea, to cap off a lunch. Sips. Comfort. Warm or hot. Not for gulping, like I might with iced tea on a hot summer afternoon. I like the thought of a sip. There’s enjoyment and fulfillment in just the gentle taste.

Last week in working with community organizers, I found myself seeking a framing with the group of 25, cohosted with my friend and colleague, Quanita. These are people that value tools. They value frameworks. They value a sense of connection. They value a spirit of family, working together. They value action and commitment — they do a lot that requires adapting on the fly. They like to learn together. The framing that I was looking for was to help contextualize what they might learn and use from such a broad set of tools and things to try. Quanita and I were not just teaching. We were convening them in their work. We were holding them in exercises that moved their work along.

“SIP” is the encouragement that I offered to help improve the learning. “Look for SIPs,” Quanita and I encouraged.

S — Simple. What are the simple things, the essence?

I — Impactful. What matters? What do you think will matter? What do you have a hunch about that, from all that we are doing, that will have impact on your work and your community?

P — Portable. What can you take with you? It might be a simple phrase. It might be a tool. It might be seemingly insignificant piece that stays with you. What can you take with you and use?


Quanita and I were encouraging people to be good noticers of what was happening in the training and retreat environment that we were creating together. I would suggest that all of these gatherings have some learning in them, some relationship building, and some getting to work together. I’m glad these were all present. However, in today’s learning climate of learning, to go together with one another, the individual and shared noticing of important things — this is the engagement as a living system part — SIP is what we offered to help shape some direction of meaning making.

I appreciate sips of warm tea. I appreciated being moved by loved ones. Tea. And sometimes, just the right sips to stay simple, to improve impact, and to apply with ease.

Stay Simple With That

There has always been something that I like about stacked wood. I suppose it is the fire-keeper in me. I suppose it is some sense of abundant preparedness. For warmth. For safety. For cooking. I suppose there is something in the simplicity. Chop wood, carry water.

There has aways been something that I like about workin with groups. I suppose it is a simplicity that underlays all of the complexity. I suppose it is a few simple values. Or a few simple truths that change how these groups are together. I suppose I seek the simplicity there also.

Thinking of all of this, I wrote this little poem last week. Seeking the simple. Like stacked wood.


Stay Simple With That

Focus on learning.
Welcome inspired learning spaces.

Focus on layers.
Welcome many to show up.

Focus on story.
Welcome questions.

Stay simple with that.