The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Haley Anne

honoring the Squirrel

April24

so…

my excuse(s) for not blogging much these days seat themselves squarely on Lacrosse.

yes… I still coach my Shockers (although Haley Anne is actually a Breaker). But, both Haley Anne and Emma Jo find themselves on undefeated Soccer teams this season (despite the coach), and these days are rich indeed.

Joanne often resents the time I spend blogging. but, I completely understand. blogging is genuinely a great exercise in self-absorption. but, I really do try and use myself as an example, most of the time, regardless if the result paints me in a good or poor light. I want it to be a worthy and noble effort through a life well-lived; an authentic life.

how many of you know that Haley Anne is named after my Mom, Barbara Anne, and Joanne? And, that Emma Jo is also meant to honor my wife? I look at my daughters and I see the women that both were, and remain, forces of nature and incredible influencers through my existence.

in any event, I still play Lacrosse. and, I hope to play a lot of it this summer for a couple of teams. however, I’m a bit frustrated by my achilles again. so, we’ll see. but, through all of that I have “my guys”. Coaching boys in Lacrosse is am amazing experience. …more on that later, though. this is about almost everything else; a bigger picture, if you will. I must.

coaching (sports and in business, for that matter), of any sort, is another form of self-absorption. back when I was a volunteer fire fighter in Lousiville, Colorado, I found myself being interviewed by the local paper over some harrowing event. and, the reporter asked me,

“why do you put yourself in harms way when you don’t even get paid?”.

I looked at her, and probably a bit askance, and I offered, “are you kidding? I get to wear cool gear, ride backwards on fire trucks – and, I’m a FIRE MAN!”. I actually feel selfish and self-absorbed that I get to do this”. I told her how, that morning after the fire, as we rolled-out, there was a small group of young boys watching us from a street corner. there was awe in their faces. awe, and admiration. I gave them a wink and a thumbs-up, and I really did feel like a hero.

Lacrosse makes me feel that way. so, another possible post is around the concept of Braveheart.

but, it was the events of that life-changing day (a cool Colorado evening with the great promise of a rich and full life, and the leering wake-up call of an ugly death) that led me to my current career, in fact. but, that’s another story. certainly for another time (but, I need to make a note of it. hopefully one of you will remind me).

mind you, I get similar questions from the parents of kids I coach. such as, “why do you give these kids so much time?”, and, “how do you do this?”

I’m going to discuss that in the next couple of weeks. because there is a lot of good-and-bad, trials-and-tribulations mixed with that – balanced by an incredible sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

I love Lacrosse. I love my family. I love life. I love giving of myself. and, everything I’ve done with my life has brought me to a point where I feel I can make a great difference in the lives of the people God surrounds me with. okay… that strikes me as another blog post idea.

are you beginning to wonder what the hell this has to do with a squirrel?

well… this might come as a shock to some, but not necessarily others. Joanne will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that I am not often as sympathetic or compassionate as she feels I ought to be. I believe that trait in myself is valid and that comes from being raised by a military officer (my Dad) and also a Mom (the ideal officers wife and Mother) that were both convinced that doing anything is worth giving it everything you can. that’s something I teach all of my players, and it’s a driving philosophy in terms of how I manage myself by the hour with a higher sense of purpose and accompanying standards. but, sometimes… okay, often… really ALWAYS… I come across as exacting, uncompromising, certainly demanding, and clearly seemingly unsympathetic.

that was until I faced the squirrel.

I’m that guy that finds himself driving down a road and unconcerned if a squirrel frantically tries to evade tires. that’s an ugly image. but, it’s an obvious and practical reality. Joanne, on the other hand, will throw her car into another lane to save a squirrel, duck, dog, or deer.

but, about two weeks ago, as I was driving home from Lacrosse practice, as providence would have it, a hapless squirrel skittered across my path. I steeled myself and surprisingly managed to evade him, and found myself pleased by the result as I took a peak in my rear view mirror. “off to home and hearth, little fellow”, thought I.

not but a few days later was I facing the same challenge. and, the thought did, indeed, cross my mind that this could well be that same damn squirrel. I really did try to avoid the critter, but I felt the awful and final “thump” under my truck tire. instantly I was, myself, genuinely distraught. as I looked in the rear view mirror, to my horror I saw the squirrel flailing in the street. with my heart in my throat and a cold sweat on the back of my neck I slowed down. numbly I backed-up knowing I had to put the stricken creature out of it’s misery. and, the horror I experienced was comparable to Sarajevo.

when I got home Joanne and Haley Anne were in the midst of a fifteen-year-old-girl-issue. and, evidently Joanne was having a rowe with her own Mom and one of her sisters. as I listened to to the details of all that I found myself uncharacteristically engaged with a softening heart. there is a lot more going-on in my head and heart relative to all manner of venture, adventures and efforts. but, four days ago I told Joanne that a lens I wanted to start looking through life with in terms of how I related to people, ironically, would going to be about “honoring the squirrel”.

so, God has a whacky sense of humor, to be sure. he gave me and all my Southern California, Lacrosse-playing buddies daughters, for one thing. and, he throws us a curve-ball (some times they may look like a squirrel), to change-up our view(s) of the world. but, I don’t want to look back on my life and miss an opportunity to make sure that everyone I meet and know; that’s in my life, feels loved, valued – and there is compassion, possibly the option for compromise.

that’s it. you, collectively know, even the simplest of maxims’s must needs have its vociferous story attached (or affixed?) to it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

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the 2012 My Princess Dance

January23

time certainly does fly, but all the more so when every Daddy grimly observes the ticking clock against the dreaded time his “little girl” lets go of his protective hand.

however, those fears can be reasonably set aside for the moment, because its that magical time of year, again. and, the 7th Annual – My Princess Dance is upon us! it is! so, mark your calendars! guard the date, and fiercely so! Saturday, February 18th at 630pm to 9pm at The Foundry at Puritan Hill. stand firm, goodly men, and register, here.

to be sure, you’ve read earlier stories on this Blog from last year, God gave me daughters. What did He give you?, Its time for a Princess to Dance!, the Princess and the me, and, investing in my daughters.

consider forging a few stories of your own.

I have three Princesses in my immediate family with the girl of my dreams at my side, and two daughters that I’m determined will realize their own.

I coach a good number of princesses in soccer. but, that is different. and, the stuff of other stories. you can always read about those adventures, here. now, I’m also coaching young lads in Lacrosse with the best hopes of influencing them to be gallant around any right Princess. more on all that, to be certain.

Haley Anne and I went to the first “Daddy/ Daughter Dance” six short years ago after a heads-up from Woody Faulk (a father of four girls of his own) let me know he would be hosting this inspiring event. it has quickly became an Atlanta-area tradition. Last year the event was renamed, and aptly so, “My Princess Dance,” and held at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead. More than five hundred fathers and daughters came to that My Princess Dance, and they are, and all of them, forever changed. complete with princesses, carriages, chocolate fountains, and a knighting ceremony, the evening was spectacular.

Haley Anne kicked me to the curb after seventh grade and I started taking Emma Jo to the dance. the experience has been brilliant for us all, and I’m keen to share it with any man that understands how important he is in the life of his daughter. I’m convinced this is a vital bond where God really trusts some of us with daughters. the anticipation builds with talks about pretty dresses and an afternoon getting hair and nails done (or, Mommy can certainly do that!). it’s dancing practice and perhaps a special dinner. then come the shared secrets and the memories that enchant a life-time realized in only the span of a few hours that leave us all the more excited about the next year.

the My Princess Dance is all about the importance of family by stopping the busy-ness of life, and spending time with those we love, and cherish, the most.

read more about My Princess Dance in this story, printed by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution: bit.ly/fLhOUt. do it!

and, then watch the video below for a sense of what is yet to come (sorry if it’s bleeding over on this blog page. it’s videos fault, and not mine own – yet, I’ll forgive almost anything that helps me share this wondrous event with you all.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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brian cork can run Over the Abyss

December16

Feel free to indulge yourself with an audio version of this post,  brian cork can run Over the Abyss. click on the link to listen. do it!

so… I found myself being updated around the continuing adventures of Mary Guthries family. I coached two of her daughters in soccer for a couple of years. they taught me a lot. and, like my own daughter, Haley Anne, I’ll likely long consider great days of coaching soccer as being associated with the Guthrie girls, Claire and Grace.

I’ll keep the details of the most recent email exchange with Mary in trust. but, the immediate result would be the following excerpt from that dialogue…

[…]

I am, the eternal optimist.

my own home is under pressure from Satan. I know that sounds dramatic, and it’s meant to be. I don’t know precisely how Satan works because I don’t qualify as as an evangelical Christian. but, in my imagination, this is how dante may have been inspired for the abyss.

but, I always feel like I can prevail and with the balances of forces between good and evil, light and dark, I am a good guy, and thusly hold a tenuous advantage. kind of like the Hal Jordan Green Lantern (my favorite). the ring knows Jordan’s heart is pure, and his greatest test is always his own deeply rooted sense of humanity. that constant test of strength, character and will raises him above many of his brethren, and fuels the awesome power of the ring that is focused against evil.

so Mary, this Fred character makes me think of Sinestro, a Green Lantern arch villain. Or, possibly a Shakespearean villain (actually Sinestro is quite Shakespearean by design, I’m certain, and he is clearly meant to come across as fascist). I’m not prepared to label Fred a “fascist” (mostly because I know hardly anything about him), but he should always offer the courtesy of keeping you in the loop where the kids are involved. but, with that said, I have to believe your daughters approach him with a mix of many feelings, not the least of which is curiosity. but, I would trust them to maintain a level head. you can tell them I expect they’d both to make terrific Green Lanterns.

moods are good. they suggest “feeling” with it’s attachment to life, and change. remind Claire to take a run when she might feel blue. it certainly works for me.

[…]

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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sometimes I do fall Down

December15

I’m having an admittedly tough day.

some of it has to do with the recent cyber-bullying Haley Anne recently endured (that’s the right word, endured). I had to question my prowess as a Dad to even let that sort of thing happen in her life. I still remember her, at three years old, stomping in a rain puddle, and exclaiming, “Daddy! That’s My Daddy! Hi Daddy!”, waiting outside the garage for me to pull-in, and home from work. She’s banned from Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve taken steps to block the evil from reaching her via iPhone.

and, of course, I’m taking heat from my Lacrosse Club for being over-the-top. but, I’ve formed a covenant with my players; I always do. and, they trust me. my job is to make them better, and then, great Lacrosse players. The Board of Directors can’t keep up with me. but, where is my responsibility? my heart is on my sleeve, all the time, and it’s taking a beating.

Joanne is displeased with me. all I want to do is make my girls happy. it doesn’t always work, so not often enough. so, I act like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. that’s an overly sensitive lot that has an unusually keen sense of fairness.

I had a young entrepreneur practically in tears this morning because he could not articulate a valid Return on Investment (ROI) for his business idea. it was so hard to show him the truth. big dreams break hard and painfully so. I see more of my own daughters in everyone every day and pray someone like me will be there ego guide them, in turn.

but, it’s me that happens to be the common denominator. I acknowledge that. my struggles are hardly Biblical. but, certainly the stuff of a parable, or two, eh.

it’s always the Kobayashi Maru. but, I do find a measure of solace in understanding that character and faith (including in myself) are best when tested.

just give me time, everyone. I promise to pull it all together, for good effect.

today I’m listening to Fall At Your Feet, by Crowded House.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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