The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

shakespeare and quixote and life

May7

I haven’t been myself of late.

I’m going to die, and it’s hard understanding comprehending that.

All of which means that I am out of my element and doing a great deal of reading, almost none of it pleasant.  I have forced myself to make time to care about other things, and I’m disinclined to fiddle about even with leisurely pursuits, except when I simply can’t take it anymore. That’s when I run, and hard, like few mortal men are capable of.

Aside from that milestone, and considerations abounding what happens next, there is a lot happening in my life – and more or less importantly, in other people’s lives. And, I worry about all of them. It’s a self-imposed burden. I might also pause, here, and ponder if it might be self-evident, but others, will most certainly call it, now or later, self-indulgent. But, regardless of my legacy, be it evident today or tomorrow, I feel responsible – for everything and every body. Just so we are clear on the subjects, I don’t feel guilty about what’s been happening with Brett Michaels (the former lead singer for the 80’s “glam band” Poison), although the ecolological travesty unleashed upon us and the shorelines of  the Gulf Coast by British Petroleum has me on edge.

However, I see a glimmer of hope. Nearly four hundred years after the death of William Shakespeare (some called him Bard, while I know him as impish), scholars are ready to add a new play to his canon.

It’s true. You can read something about the events, unfolding by the hour, here.

The play is called Double Falsehood, or the Distressed Lovers and it’s believed, by the Prudent Gentlemen, anyway, that Shakespeare wrote the play, but found itself improved upon by, another dramatiste, John Fletcher, a Jacobean Playwright (The Jacobean era refers to the period in English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of King James I (1603– 1625) of England, who was also James VI of Scotland.) who followed Shakespeare as official playwright for the King’s Men.

The play is apparently based on an earlier work by Shakespeare, based on an episode from Cervantes’ classic Don Quixote. Rest assured, this is naught less than a cause celebre for the Prudent Gentlemen, and an object de gravitas for myself. Consider my passion for Quixote, here: tilting don quixote.

“Double Falsehood has thrills, spills, sword fights, violent sexual assault and to, most modern ears, the potential for a terrible ending.”

I’ll trust that Haley Anne and Emma Jo will read these words, perhaps one day. Without the eye-rolls I suffer today, the effort that is Double Falsehood, will be evaluated, with conviction, remembering the face of their father, and perhaps with fondness over his keen sense of proprieties.

Anyway, whenever it is, I’ll surely await its coming with unseemly interest.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

stands to Reason

February8

I was talking to an older fellow here in town Thursday. He leads a Bible study group and, regardless of mitigating factors, can often be quite close-minded. I savor that delicious irony. I do!

Just to be clear, I understand, and will also submit that this is not a view limited to Christians (not even those whom profile as Christian-esque or Christian-ish [see Atlanta-based MSA Mafia]).

In any event, we find ourselves outside of Starbucks, often engaged in friendly debate around all manner of topics. Thursday he was explaining to me that God “gave” man woman. Husbands, in his view (and, he isnsists the Bible is clear on this), “own” their wives.

I shared one of my own maxims with him as we were parting:

“Behind every great man there stands a woman rolling her eyes”.

He did not like that. This was greatly evident in his body language – and, his face turning an alarming shade of purple. And, he grimly warned me, in his own not uncertain terms,  that: “you don’t get it”.

Correct. Albeit relative to context.

This fellow, and he’s a good man, in my estimation, believes I have some how failed (his version of) God.

However…

I have two daughters (and, I coach and otherwise influence many more daughters).

Me? I’m teaching them to be forthright, self-aware, leaders with positive self-image. Other earthly fathers trust me with their daughters when I coach them in soccer, and hang out at our home. They don’t have to be second class citizens if there is a son in the house.

[pause for effect]… …how many readers out there have such a situation in their home? Sons being favored over daughters, to be more clear. It needs to be a veritable elephant in the room (often crowded with another form of idolatry).

In any event, I’m seeing good results. I think I’m on the right path. And, if not, in terms of wanting to facilitate my daughters contributing to society in a meaningful and multi-faceted way, then God can smite me now.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

God gave me Daughters. What did He give You?

January29

Matt Rosenhaft recently commented on our business Blog (its true… we have one of those. it’s simply not as much fun) [you’ll notice, perhaps, that I’m not even linking from this post to that business Blog] that:

“As for Brian, those of us who know him, know that he practices the “give to get” model religiously. It is the core of his being. At the same time, he runs a business so it would be natural to reference an example of something that he practices for himself in his business in his personal blog. His personal blog is about what he is thinking and his observations on life.”

Matt (whom defines Cerebral) [by the way… I like Matt, quite a bit] had a lot more in mind while crafting that comment than I’ll give him credit for in this post. The point I’m trying to affirm is that, what you read in my personal Blog, is what I’m thinking about. And, even though this preamble might have suggested I was building up to something meaningful, possibly significant, I’m not.

Today, it’s about that which should be obvious.

Tonight is the annual Daughters and Daddy Dance at the Intercontinental Hotel. This is a very big event in the Cork household. This is mostly about Emma Jo and myself (but, Mommy needs to help A LOT). The tradition includes a lot of excited discussion, planning, the weekend trip to the dress shop for a new dress, and accessories, the hair dressers (is that what’s it’s still called?), getting nails done, making sure Daddy wears a tie that matches the dress, buying shoes that can be taken off as soon as we hit the hotel ball room, etc.

For a few magical hours it’s all me and Emma Jo. I’m the center of her universe (and, she is the core of my own).

Many fathers speak of how quickly these times come and go. They mourn, often while the daughter is still very young, how they lost track, and how they failed to connect with their girls. I often discuss, on this Blog, how I feel God’s greatest gift to us is discernment. But, that discernment is often best utilized to enjoy an almost equal gift – which is having a little girl that absolutely adores you for no other reason than you have the absolute privilege of being her Daddy. Little boys are smelly. But, daughters are always Princesses. Well… At least in my house, always.

How many of you are reading this post, and there are thousands of you, and only now comprehending that you aren’t going to a Daughters and Daddy Dance?

Maybe it’s not too late.

Consider leveraging that discernment outside of business, and addressing your daughters. I promise you, the rewards will eclipse, by naught less than a HUGE margin, any satisfaction you realize from a business transaction, or a frakking round of golf.

By the way… I’m fairly confident that I know most of the Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus songs. And, I’m ready to dance to every single one of them this evening.

UPDATE: Read the comments of this post. Man… What a perspective. Thank you Gary, really.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

our daughters our Shockers

August30

Many of my readers know that I coach my daughter Haley Anne in soccer. These are naught less than fantastic days filled with high adventure and life lessons (for both of us).

I wrote this piece for our soccer teams Blogsite earlier in the week around my coaching youth soccer, and want to share it with my broader community of readers:

What is it about our daughters?

We look at them in all their varying shapes, sizes and attitudes – and, see princesses.

Mixed with that is the uneasy realization that we have to prepare them for a world that will often hurt them while they work tirelessly (we expect) to help make it a better place.

With that perspective in mind perhaps you come to understand when I ask them, almost daily, whether they be “silly little kittens” or “mighty tigers”.

I understand that opposing teams start matches using this against our Shockers in a derisive manner. But, by matches end, those other teams are typically hands-on-knees and understand that we are bold and fearless – and mighty tigers all.

I often find myself looking at parents and saying things like: “Have I thanked you for having AC?”. Of course that is because they likely did something great on the pitch. But, it’s also often the result of something I saw in them as a growing person. They may not be ready to espound Jeffersonian ideals just yet. But, they exhibit ever more abundant positive qualities like compassion, fairness – and, fearlessness. A balance required to succeed in almost anything worth doing in life. And the drama often played-out on the football pitch is so often a corollary for life. Yet another opportunity to remind ourselves why it is so often referred to as the “Beautiful Game”.

Yesterday, as I made my way through the parking lot at Central Park, I had an opportunity to spend a few minutes with Vicki Bineau (Lauren’s Mom). I hope Lauren won’t take exception to being singled-out (although she better get used to it because I ALWAYS have my heart on my sleeve), but I found myself, as I often do, thanking parents like Vicki for “trusting me” with her daughters.

That seems to always take parents by surprise.

I look into the faces of our young citizens and I see, oh so much, hope and passion, and fear, and uncertainty, and the potential for confidence. The latter is the best part. Seeing that something we are doing one-on-one, and through the team, is building their self-esteem.

Our Shockers will look back on these days, a short spell, to be certain, and hopefully always draw on a memory that is the catalyst for a resevoir of strength and determination to face a challenge. Any challenge.

Perhaps “We are Shockers” will echo in the back of their mind in a moment of truth (in fond memory is certainly good enough). Maybe “I want the ball” will be something they carry with them daily.

When new players sign-on with Shocker Nation, it is, almost always, a similar story… There is timidness, and a dread of the endless running – possibly a resentment towards sprints. There is also uncertainty around why Coach Brian yells – even while I seem to be having fun. However, after a few weeks they feel their bodies strengthen. Skills they did not realize were possible become second nature (like dribbling the ball and looking up and down the field). I look them in the eyes (and, I can tell this is unnerving at first), and say things like: “I know you have it in you; and, I am going to count on you to give it your best”. And, they accomplish all manner of things.

This can include keeping their chins up. Heads held high with a steady gaze.

And fist bumps are meaningful.

Some times it’s only, seemingly, a small thing such as ball control. It can also be making a courageous stand against a determined fast-break. But, regardless of the actual result, they grow, and learn something every time.

We are going into our third week and we have been quietly discussing things like respect, leadership, a legacy of the uncompromising FIGHT and our legendary defenses. Why and how we win as a team. How individuals can form a team that is like an unbreakable chain – providing it’s forged with integrity, hard work and keen desire.

And, they get it. It’s in their eyes. They run their laps without complaints now. They understand the drills and enjoy the AGGRESSION DRILL.

So… It’s different every season – yet, in the same way.

We are Shockers, indeed. Always that. But, we are citizens first. And, they are our daughters. Always that.

Coach Brian

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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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