The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

a Purposeful RESULT of Random Love

April4

so…

it was kind of a random moment… you didn’t need to be there. just trust me… a lot was going on. as bewildering as it seemed at the time, its just fascinating now. but, all of it; all of it, good.

life lesson stuff.

a buddy of my Grandad’s looked at me when I was about twelve and said:

“the harder you work, the luckier you get”.

I never forgot that. and, I try to leverage it every day.

that took the moment from a random act of kindness, to a purposeful approach to life.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

another Mary's call to Action

January14

Mary Guthrie is the Mother of two of my Shockers (Claire and Grace).

She is also a reader of this Blog, and apparently found a form of stimulation in one of my recent posts: from whence our Inspiration, and, a co-worker.

Divine afflatus /1 certainly abounds. Mary’s own story is rather moving – and, pretty great – especially when you see how terrific her daughters are turning out.

This story is not mine, other than for the telling, as it yet, continues to unfold. But, I will participate, as are many of our fellow Shockers. And, so, as you read this, I’ll hope you will feel free to contact Mary, and add a bag.

In any event, here’s the how all of this started…

“Dear Shocker families,

Karen, my co-worker, has a daughter who is a first year fifth grade teacher at a school south of Atlanta. Karen often shares her daughter’s sweet and funny stories about her rookie year teaching experiences. Yesterday, she told me a disturbing story I will share with you.

Many of the children at Tessa’s (Karen’s daughter) school are living at or below the poverty level. A little girl in Tessa’s class told her she had hoped for, but didn’t get, a matched pair of shoes for Christmas. Tessa looked at the girl’s feet and sure enough, she was wearing mismatched shoes. One of them was held together with duct tape! Later in the day, Tessa took a moment to look around the room. While none of the other children were wearing mismatched duct-taped shoes, many were wearing clothes and shoes that were too small and very worn.

As Karen was telling this story, I thought of my daughters’ drawers and closets overflowing with an abundance of clothes and shoes. Last night, they gathered the clothes and shoes (including size 7 never-worn sneakers for the little girl with the mismatched shoes) they have outgrown or don’t wear to give to the children in Tessa’s class. (The girls didn’t grumble when I sent them to their rooms to purge their closets. They even cheerfully folded the clothes and put them in the bag nicely! Wow! Knowing where the clothes and shoes were going seemed to inspire them.)

If your children have outgrown any of their clothes or shoes, the children at Tessa’s school could really use them. Grace, Claire, and I would be happy to pick them up and bring them to Karen who will deliver them to Tessa.

Thank you, Mary Guthrie”

You can reach Mary via email at: Mary Guthrie mkguthrie@comcast.net.

NOTE: I’ll not add her cellular telephone number because we don’t wanting you to text her (especially as she might be driving). To make the best sense of that plea, read: texting and driving to death.

Meanwhile, here’s am update to round-out this tale:

“Hi Brian,

Have you been traveling around Alpharetta picking up donations instead of teaching the Chinese to golf?

My daughter Hanna has a volleyballl tournament in Chattanooga Saturday. I will be back Sunday. Let me know if you have donations for the little Jackson Elementary (Butts Co., GA) students. I can collect on Sunday.

Thanks, Mary”

FYI- The first bags of donations have already been delivered. Tessa (the teacher) is busy distributing to happy kids! LOTS of Shockers are getting bags together, too.”

Go shockers. Who wants the ball?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.

i find my Brothers in the strangest places

December20

I prefer to spend what might be defined as spare time doing interesting things. Or, perhaps being an interesting fellow. I’ll allow for history to determine if any part of it qualifies as “chinese interesting”.

I like to sing badly (interpret that as you will). So, I do it a lot. I deeply (I prefer that word over really) enjoy music, and various interpretations of art, as well. I’ll admit, here, the music I like only need move me.

That aside, I’m working through a lot of Hootie and the Blowfish. I’ll add Darius Ruckers: History In The Making. I’m enjoying that with gusto, and to the mild amusement of my family, and the odd friend that happens to drop by.

In any event, I found myself thinking about my friend Earnesto. You might as well face it now, there’s a story around this; and, it’s just below!

The thought was triggered by the tune: I Want To Know What Love Is, as performed by Down Low & Friends Best & More (and, the Scream Factory) for Rappers Against Racism (that event was a lot of fun). You can find it on iTunes. And, you can also view it here:

I think the visuals off the video somewhat detract from the impact of the actual message. But, there you have it nonetheless.

Lift it UP! I may not be a Christian… But, this is my religion.

In any event, I first met Earnesto in the city of Sarajevo in early 1989. He was an artist of some repute. My team needed to escort a veritable troupe out of the city, and harms way. I was not surprised to learn that Earnesto knew Father Jim, my Catholic mentor (he would never approve of Christian). And, this was before Father Jim disappeared. Earnesto looked a lot older than his fifty-one years. Born in El Salvador, he had lost one young family in a FARC guerilla cross-fire. He literally painted his way to Yugoslavia where he earned citizenship largely on the grounds of his artistic genius (I had found myself standing mesmerized before a bullet-riddled mural painted by his hand on the south wall of a quaint little restaurant off Titova street [aka: Street of Marshal Tito]). He was still dazed and ruined from losing another wife (this one a Muslim) and young daughter.

Years later I was pleasantly surprised to find Earnesto, oddly no older in appearance, but clearly bent by life, standing amidst a group of hapless workers, right here in Alpharetta. He needed to work. I had that around my yard. I made sure he had hot thick coffee and cheese sandwiches. In a strange way I felt as though he was both grateful for me, and accusing of me. More importantly, in the scheme of things, I sorted out that he was gravely ill. In less than three months he was too weak to work. I found him an apartment, discreetly covered the rent, and made sure there was a bag of groceries on the kitchen counter each Sunday afternoon. In some fanciful way I’m sure I was hoping he would do something charming – like paint the walls with some brilliant story. But, that never happened. The magic was gone from his heart, hand and eyes. His english was broken, but his hearing was good. I found myself telling him stories about my own life, with a focus on Grandad, my girls, soccer and theories about politics.

In the last week he could not rise from his bed and his complete care was left to me.  I thought he smelled good. Rather like cinnamon. But, I also recognized the scent of death with the hollowness of his cheeks. As the darkness closed around him, and he fiercely gripped my numbing hand, he hoarsely whispered that he was not alone, and grateful. He seemingly had no fear; perhaps only resignation, if not relief. His only request: “you no forget me”.

By the way… That mural in Sarajevo is gone. But, it was an image of men of many faiths and color standing on a hillside on the outskirts of the city with their faces raised up to the sun.

I can’t and won’t forget that. It was a gift from Earnesto. And, it’s another lesson for me. As I remember the face of my father, Earnesto’s suffering, the bounty of my life’s experience – and, the potential that I have yet unrealized to make a greater difference in this life, I will continue to find more ways to learn what love is.

Happy Holidays.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

word and world – its the difference in the spelling, or doing

December15

I just had a young black fellow stroll into my offices.

This is a bit unusual. For one thing, this is Alpharetta. And, for the sake of perspective, a CFO for a local fortune 500 hundred company that I’m working with over some search and recruiting criteria likely passed him in the lobby outside the door.

I’m working fast and furious to help a coaching client tie together a few last details over his life-changing acquisition.

My visitor, with his baggy jeans, tilted cap and bling carefully advised me that he’d tried to stop by a few times: “just to see what’s going on”.

For only a moment, I thought about being irritated. Then a thought struck me: “A word of love can make a world of difference”.

So, I told him a little bit about myself and our business. He kept looking at my business card and asked me: “What is it like to be so important”?

My client was standing next to me, slapped my shoulder, and offered: “Cork will tell you it’s not about him, it’s about what he does”.

He certainly had me there.

So… I told the young fellow to go think about what he wants to do, and whom might need him. I want him to think about ways he could make those two things intersect in a  meaningful way. If he showed back up at my offices having put some effort into a form of plan – at least some thoughts, I grimly advised him that I would consider walking with him awhile.

His smile practically lit up the room. He reared himself up, and grabbed my hand, thanking me profusely. As he left, he was full of strut and purpose.

I sure hope I see that fellow again. And, I hope God gives me the ability to make a difference in his life.

More later, I’ll both hope, and to be sure.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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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