The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Mom

happy wife happy Life

February6

 here is some perspective. you’ve read these before. but, do it again:

so… I saw this on, humansofnewyork:

of course it reminds of Dad… and, Mom.

sad man on humans of new yorkWanted to share with you guys a letter I got today, because I think it’s a testament to the community of people who follow this blog. I’ve also attached the photo/caption referenced in the letter. I get nervous as the blog grows that the culture will fall apart, but with 2.7 million and counting— the HONY comment section remains a sort of rare internet jewel where everyone, for the most part, is really nice. And when there is a mean comment, it sticks out as an anomaly, instead of the other way around. So thanks for that.

Hi Brandon,

I’m Ted, we met getting off the Six at Grand Central. When I got home Sunday evening, I had an e-mail from friends in Chicago. One of their daughters reads your blog (is that what it is called?), and recognized me even though she has never seen me with a beard. I am astounded! I’ve read about 1000 of the comments, words cannot express how touched I am by what I have read. Its actually more than touched, it has been very emotional to read the wonderful things people have said. A couple people appear confused about what happened, for the record she had acute myelogenous leukemia, we were diagnosed July 2008, we lost our battle February 20 2013, not quite a year ago. Thanks for doing this, it has really touched my life. The most wonderful people in the world read your material and comment on it.

———————————-

“At first we kept saying: ‘We’re going to beat it. We’re going to beat it.’ Then after awhile we began to realize that we might not beat it. Then toward the end, it became clear that we definitely weren’t going to beat it. That’s when she started telling me that she wanted me to move on and find happiness with somebody else. But I’m not quite there yet. Not long ago a noise woke me up in the middle of the night, and I rolled over to ask if she needed anything.”

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

riding that big glassy-fronted wave of life

March8

big wave riding record

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…this is what my life feels like, right now. however, I don’t think I want that to change.

life is like riding a big glassy-fronted wave. one stupid mistake and it things get nasty, or awesome.

what is the human body made of? water. the physical makeup of all our bodily fluids and ocean is very similar. and, its glorious they find each other.

life is like riding the [a] wave. something is always changing. adapting to these changes is the challenge, just as the surfer must adjust quickly and accurately if a successful ride is to be realized.

Eckharte Tolle wrote that “if the primary focus of of your life is the now, then you will be free from pain and suffering.” thusly, when you’re on a wave, time ceases to exist, and you’re in a such an intense combined state of euphoria, peace, presence and excitement that it’s something you have to return over and over again. once you realize that, to live any other way would seem completely insane. – Srinivas Rao, The Skool of Life

that makes surfing, and life’s potential rather like feeling close to God. just like being in the arms of a woman you truly and genuinely love.

so… you can’t change the way it breaks, but you can change the way you ride it.

…seriously.

“There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.” – Frank Herbert, Science Fiction writer (1920-1986)

we encounter waves in every minute of every day. there are light waves which make things visible and sound waves so we can hear. even solid physical matter is a wave that is vibrating at a certain frequency. if we observe the behavior of waves, we can see how energy changes from one state to another, and back again.

just like the ebb-and-flow of life. the analogies and potential for metaphor are boundless.

I love to watch the ocean waves. my Mom was a child of the sea. she was drawn to it. her best childhood memories speak to it. she took me there at any and every opportunity. when I told her I might love surfing as much as running (this was big), she just nodded. she got it. of course, she was born under the sign of Cancer, the sign of the crab, so she liked coastal areas like Merced, California, and sunny beaches. she would spend an entire day contentedly watching the waves, preferably with me atop one.

the act centers me. sometimes waves are big and strong and sometimes they are gentle and calm. a wave can throw us back to the shore or if we are not careful can suck us in. water that were waves have nearly taken me a number of time. here is an example: no body is homeby brian patrick cork

life is whacky. and, God has a wild sense of humor.

whatever wave you are on, one thing you can be sure of is that they will always come, crash and then smooth itself out. if we learn to read the pattern of the waves in our lives through our interaction with them we can understand the energy of a wave, how to use it to our best advantage, how to dwell amidst its awesome power, and how to avoid crashing into, or being overcome, one.

big waves are actually quite rare. just like HUGE, epic events are much too rare in other peoples’ lives. I crave adventure, the wild twist of fate, less the cruel mirth of a capricious God.

for perspective…

eighty percent (80%) of all ocean waves are less than twelve feet high, and forty-five percent (45%) are smaller than four feet. the largest waves, those measuring over thirty-five feet, require anywhere from six to nine hundred miles of unobstructed ocean, or “fetch,” to reach full size. by the time such an anomaly encounters a reef break or shore incline, it has become a powerful rolling mass of wind-born energy moving through the water at speeds of thirty to fifty knots per hour and capable of exerting forces of more than three tons (that’s six thousand pounds of pressure per square foot) as it finally curls up-and-over itself and breaks. in life that may read like a tragedy… or adventure. some might ride that wild wave, whereas others might cower from it. however, in an attempt to elucidate (look it up) just why the experience of riding a wave is so unique, author Daniel Duane writes in Caught Inside: A Surfer’s Year on the California Coast:

“The climber never quite penetrates the mountain, the hiker remains trapped in the visual prison, but the surfer physically penetrates the heart of the ocean’s energy – and this is in no sense sentimentality – stands wet in its substance, pushed by its drive inside the kinetic vortex. Even riding a river, one rides a medium itself moved by gravity, likewise with a sailboard or on skis. Until someone figures out how to ride sound or light, surfing will remain the only way to ride energy.”

then, there is also…

emma jo rock climbing

for those driven to put themselves in the center of the “kinetic vortex” of big waves, the risk is incredible.

perhaps this is why being an adventurer, entrepreneur, provocateur is in my DNA. I’m “salty”.

being caught in the falling lip of a wave can send surfers underwater so deep and so fast that the pressure change breaks their eardrums and the capillaries in their lungs. there is the risk of losing everything in a heart beat. and, that is perfectly acceptable. dismemberment, fractures, or broken bones from contact with the ocean floor or from the seething force of whitewater are so common that Laird Hamilton – Big Wave Rider stopped counting his stitches after a thousand. both of his feet are disfigured from broken arches, but he claims that they may now be “stronger than before.”

how many times in LIFE have people around you said something like, “if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger”.

Derrik Doerner, another pioneer of tow-in surfing, and the man who launched Hamilton into the infamous wave at Teahupoo with a jet ski, was once hit in the face by a surfboard underwater. just before he went unconscious, he felt his cheek. “My hand went in, like, two inches,” he says. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in a helicopter. I had a broken jaw, broken cheekbone. I needed 123 stitches in all.”

…ride your waves of life.

“I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea; Yet know I how the heather looks, And what a wave must be. I never spoke with God, Nor visited in Heaven; Yet certain am I of the spot, As if a chart were given.” – Emily Dickerson, American Poet (1830-1886)

“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will? –  Jon Bon Jovi

‘Tuesdays with Morrie’

okay… read this story to your daughters…

the story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. he’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “my God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “look what’s going to happen to me!”

then along comes another wave. it sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “why do you look so sad?”

the first wave says, “you don’t understand! we’re all going to crash! all of us waves are going to be nothing! isn’t it terrible?”

The second wave says, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” – Tuesdays with Morrie, American Educator (1916-1995)

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”  – Henry David Thoreau –  American Poet and Philosopher 1817-1862

“live your life darling. all of it. question everything. accept nothing.” – Barbara Anne Cork, Wife to one, Mother to all

the Chinese have a twist on the word, “interesting”. it’s a form of curse. but, it’s worth exploring.

there is a Muslim maxim that goes something like, “the promise is in the punishment, and the punishment is in the promise.”

I hope you all get hit hard by great waves. just don’t hold your breath too long.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

brian cork looking (back) at Old Sacramento

September17

I’ve been ever so busy with life. it’s good to be certain. and, those that know mw well, and perhaps not so much, all understand that it’s both Lacrosse and Soccer season.

that said, a newish friend of mine responded to a TeamSnap team email where I mentioned Mom being an Old Sacramento Debutante. he came back with some interesting information. my response is below. some of the information is new to some of you, not so much, for the rest. but, good insight into me, and whnce I come, just the same….

————

My Dad was a South Dakota farm boy and a 2nd Lieutenant when he met my Mom at a soiree in Old Sacramento in early 1959. They were introduced by my Dad’s best friend (my Godfather), who was also very close to my Mom.

My Mom grew up with Max Baer, Jr. (Jethro Bodine from Beverly Hillbillies and the son of Max Baer, the heavy weight champion) as her next door neighbor. She had the only back-yard pool of its kind in the city in that era.

A few months later, when Dad was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, he showed-up on Mom’s doorstep and, as the story goes said, “I have to go to Nebraska. If you’ll have me I need you to meet me there in a month. Plan on staying”.

She did just that. She and my Godmother jumped on a train and never looked back. I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1960. I was evidently a “Mai Tai baby”, according to my Mom. There were witnesses.

We then found ourselves at Beale AFB when Dad made Captain. My younger brother Greg was born at Roseville General Hospital in 1965. I had many adventures all over Beale AFB, rather like Huck Finn.

In 1968 or 1969 my Dad headed to Southeast Asia for the first of two one-year tours. While he had two B52’s shot out from underneath his navigators chair my Mom held post back in Sacramanto. We lived in a rented house but visited the Mathers AFB Officers Club pool through the summers. I attended Albert E. Schweitzer Elementary School. Through all that we often visited my Nana Lenci (my Moms Nana) whom lived in Old Sacramento and ran bootleg gin out of her bathtub in the ’20’s. She made the best tortellini and brodo soup you can imagine. She had also taught my Mom how to dive from the towers in Merced during the summers growing-up.

After that it was mostly midwest duty posts. Dad was highly decorated. Always promoted “below the zone”. He was the first navigator in SAC history to command a B52 Wing from the Navigators Chair. Later he moved over to Peacekeeper Missiles and commanded a Missile Wing. I believe he is also the only SAC Colonel to have commanded two Wings under separate missions.

After my Mom died of cancer in 1985, Dad sent me off to Los Angeles with my college degree to work at Northrop Corporation. I pulled out a MBA at Northrop University (which is mostly Bullshit because the school lost its accreditation). But, I double-dipped and played another round of college Lacrosse at Loyola Marymount. I spent every hour I could surfing, playing Lacrosse and volleyball while trying to be the man David Sugarman said I could be learning stocks. That’s where I also met Joanne, twenty-two years ago, this December. I’ve never “seen” another girls since (just like my Dad).

I still surf when I can, have the girl of my dreams, and love Lacrosse. Most of its tied to California, some how.

I’m certain my own daughters will read these stories one day. perhaps they will remember the “face of their father” and value his memories – they’ve formed me, after all. so, I’m delighted to share them with all of you, as well.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

my Mom and Apple pie

June22

this reminds me of my Mom.

Mom was our family stock-picker (and, the very axis upon which our collective world revolved). sure enough, we owned Apple stock going back to it’s IPO. we also owned Hanes and Blockbuster, to name others – all of them making sense, in one form or another, to Mom.

when I was thinking about building a Tandy or Commodore PC over the summer of 1982 for college (I tended to obsess over neat papers and the like), Mom classically, if not presciently, said to me:

“sell some stock your Grandad left you and buy an Apple. It makes more sense, honey”.

Mom did some research, made calls and decided I needed an Apple Lisa (they were not even on the market before July of 1982) and then abruptly changed her mind for the Apple II Plus – mostly because the of the new Apple Dot Matrix Printer ($700). and, we had an early release of Apple Pie aka AppleWorks straight from Robert Lissner, himself. this set me back over ten thousand dollars. but, I worked that machine hard. I wrote hundreds of papers for fraternity brothers, lacrosse mates and other partners (it was easier than the moving company and bouncing at TJ’s Pub. before Mom left us in 1985 I had already upgraded to a “true” Macintosh. I wrote a farewell letter to Mom on it, and a poem for her funeral, I Bid You Adieu.

she never had the chance to read the letter, it’s unopened to this very day (although a part of it was made into a poem and read aloud at her funeral, attended by hundreds).

however, with every Apple I buy and use for family, business and charity (and, there have been hundreds), I think of Mom, her influence, and vision.

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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