The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

outside the Inside

August27

I found myself offering the following bon mot to a younger fellow in my community based on something of a repartee we’ve found ourselves engaged around:

Keep looking inside. Eventually you will start to recognize what others see from the outside, and your perspective makes more sense to the majority. that makes you relevant.

I get to coach so many people across the four seasons of life that I’m fortunate enough to be constantly reminded that few of us can rest on laurels, or get too relaxed about our critical roles in life.

I had Haley Anne leaning on my shoulder while I was tapping that message into existence. she’s had a tough week with a cyber bully from another school. I’ll discuss this more later, but I despise Facebook all the more, and a lot of the social networking platforms available are simply dangerous platforms from which evil can launch all manner of assault. Haley Anne needed her Daddy. and, we are getting ready to start driving lessons. …wow…

in any event, she read the message aloud a few times and finally rewarded me with:

okay… the more you read that it actually makes sense.

I think it helps that we’ve had a running dialogue, whether she realized it or not, over the past few months about perspective, and what it means. it can be a trying concept. but, it’s foundational. and, it makes my point, here. the fellow referenced above is now over thirty. Haley Anne just shy of fifteen. I’ll be one hundred years old in fifty years.

I have a lot to both learn, and teach. and, I really do need to keep thinking from all the angles.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

we all have Special Needs

July28

so…

most of you will never have the pleasure of meeting, let alone really knowingMr. Robert _______.

Robert is the third generation owner and operator of a highly specialized business that has transformed the lives of countless people for three generations.

I reckon it was about a year ago Robert contacted me just to let me know he was going to “follow” me and see if it made sense to have me coach him.

“I’m not clear what is meant by your being a ‘cultural architect’ but your name comes up in interesting circles and I like what you say about helping men make better decisions”.

that was great affirmation, I think (and, thought). however, when he contacted my in June asking if he could sign-on with me I was astonished that it was me that received the first lesson, and it remains a doozy.

Robert has a child with “special needs”. that child will never have a typical leadership in Robert’s family business. but, what happens around the boy clearly reflects a culture, way of life, and view of the world that both inspires, and explains why the organization is so hugely successful.

at a point in the first rounds of getting better acquainted Robert explained to me that,

“God really trusts me. I think that is why He gave us Bobby. …or, He may think he needs to keep testing me on my toes. But either way He evidently cares enough to be in our lives because the experiences make me richer than any business venture I can imagine”.

seriously.

I’m confident this is not always the case. but, it seems to me I know a good number of men with special needs kids that always impress me. they are unique people, to be sure. it makes me think of the Muslim maxim:

“the promise is in the punishment, and the punishment is in the promise”.

or, something to that effect.

Monday I was finished with a good running work-out at Northpark on one the turf fields. as I was driving away I noticed two men on a bench apparently just breathing in life. as I drew past the pair I noticed one was younger. I’ll assume he was a son. he had is arms crossed over his lap and he was rocking himself back-and-forth. he had that “blinking’ and haggard look about him that often signals the challenged. but, what gave me the good pause was a man that I want to assume is his earthly father was relaxed, enjoying the moment with a hand draped across the back of the bench and gently stroking the lads shoulder. I was convinced this was simply a loving father with his son. they were good for one another.

I don’t have a point today. I simply wanted to share this with you. me? I want to stay moved awhile. and, inspired. and, thankful – if only, at times, by a simple perspective.

we all have special needs.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

every day is Fathers Day

June20

recall this post, if you will:

my daughters name is not Charity.

do it!

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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

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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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