The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

the Art of thinking about words

March22

I’m working with a fellow named Tim Barker (you’ve read bits-and-pieces about him on this blog before) as he launches a ministry. this effort might be unique in that, through something of a community-regulating system, the most productive ministries, relative to a defined return on investment (“ROI”) is measured, scored and followed. it’s all about accuracy and accountability.

Tim has poured his heart into this effort. and, my sense is it will make a difference. I’ll likely support it financially, and back it with my name.

while coaching Tim last week, these words tumbled from my mouth:

“don’t let your mission be clouded by passion”.

God does that to, or with, me some times.

I think Tim and I are both pondering that. but, there is likely something to it.

meanwhile, I also spoke in front of a women’s executive group last night. that’s so very energizing. I got to say a lot of things. I feel some of them made sense. and, I hope the words strike a chord and help some of the listeners make better decisions, soon, or at least eventually. key words included “proactive” and “relevant”.

on the way home I was thinking of words and how their meaning(s) change with context and order.

a preliminary result was:

“my experience clouds my judgment. and, my judgment is clouded by my experience”.

more on that later. but, for the moment, it’s just a thought. maybe like the Chinese supposedly saying:

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

if the Chinese do say that, the words have certainly inspired a lot of self-reflection on my part. and, action.

Nana used to refer to this as: “the art of thinking”.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

converging paths

September3

I’ll begin this post by inviting you to revisit two other efforts of mine that have received an extraordinary amount of attention:

taken aback by Bill Pope, and I want to know what Love is.

Next, I’ll admit that I’m not so sure where I’ll go with this particular post. I guess we’ll, collectively, know, only when our paths converge there. Along the way, I just might be looking for something we can all appreciate relative to what life’s twists-and-turns might offer us.

A few weeks ago I ran into Jane Pope and her daughter Madison at a Starbucks. I had my own little Emma Jo with me. We were hanging-out and running errands. We had only just climbed back into my Porsche, and I was looking at Emma Jo while she was describing one of her books to me, when I looked up and past her and saw Jane’s Jaguar. A lot can blow through ones mind in a whirl-wind. But, Jane looked great, and heroic, in light of, well, just everything. But, I started thinking about daughters, and paths, and the future, and the roles of Dads, in the lives of daughters.

So… I pay a lot of attention to my daughters. But, recently more so. It seems like my “spider sense” is up, or something akin to it.

Sure enough, Haley Anne was bit by a spider two weekends ago during a soccer tournament. She led us into the finals and apparently endured agony while doing so. The wound is still puffy and we are apparently at risk of staph – and, the fear of sepsis. Oooohhh God, help me. Then, on top of that she hauled-off and grew up on me a bit more, having just turned fourteen, and is statuesque and gorgeous, and all that. But, while I was fussing over her and trying to teach her, well, something, I was reminded that everything ends up …connected.

I’ve been tracking a group of entrepreneurs working on a very cool (and change-oriented) technology that Bill was championing. I had reached out to Jane to make sure she would benefit. And, then an old roommate of Bill’s found the post you’ve peeked at and likely shared with your friends already. And, I found myself forging pathways that I hope will intersect in a way that will indirectly help Bill with Madison. And, I pray that goodly men (did you know that behind every great man there is some woman rolling her eyes?) will rally to my own children (and, Joanne) if I don’t make it home one day.

Man… I am really struggling with this piece. But, this is transparency. Living the authentic life.

In any event, go to the comments section of the blog concerning Bill. Do it now! You’ll find the note from his buddy Bruce, whom apparently lost his way with Bill. But, maybe now he can shed some light on another path for Madison.

I’ll simply end this post, here, with my restated response to Bruce, within those comments, for the sake of posterity, with the hopes all of it means something, and the convergence is a good thing, given all the unexpected steps.

“Hello Mr. Waller.

And, welcome, here.

No matter your paths I’ll suspect Bill had you in his heart. He was a stout and loyal fellow, that one.

My immediate take-away from your comment will have me pondering the following words from Wayland – “…who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity; whose deed follows his word; … who appears well in any company; a man with whom hanor is sacred and virtue safe”, paints a good picture of “Willie Red”.

It’s also interesting to me that the type of man I most often like to bask with have inexplicably found themselves favored by a college professor at one point or another. I did not know about Bill’s relationship with your Dr. Gabbard. But, I can’t be surprised. Its likely along the same lines as my own with Dr. Pappas at Radford University.

I’m, and only just now, struck by a thought, that is possibly an inspiration… Deliver a hand-written note to Bill’s daughter Madison (via Jane of course). Tell her a story about Bill from his youth. But, make the best example of what a terrific gentleman he was, and how she should only allow for such a man in her own life one day. Bill had high standards. Lets work together to make sure Madison realizes those as well. So, regardless of your lost path with Bill, you can now help, in this small way, ensure his daughter walks the right one.

And, trust me, Mr. Waller… This will help you as well.”

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

lifting up a material girl

July28

Last week I found myself driving Haley Anne to summer soccer practice recently and faced with something of a challenge.

We were in my Ford F-150 (also known as the: “big black bad-ass soccer and dog truck”). And, it’s currently my vehicle of choice. Rowdy can sit comfortably in the back, or ride shot-gun. And, there are always soccer balls bouncing around in the back. It’s insight into my life and priorities. It’s cool and formidable, but also practical (it could pull the boat, in a pinch).

We witnessed a yellow Ferrari navigate a corner in good form and amidst a spray of gravel.

Haley Anne turned to me and asked why I didn’t drive a Ferrari (I do drive a Porsche, but she is apparently aware of the difference). “You can afford it can’t you?”, was the secondary question.

I almost told her that I am seriously considering a Volvo Cross Country Station Wagon (and, it’s true, I am).

The question that ended-up dropping out of my face was: “whom do you think has more money, the fellow with a Honda, or the fellow with a Ferrari?”

See… I thought this was a rather sage question. It was certain to set the stage for a ground-breaking dialogue between my beloved daughter and myself that would further establish our bond while I appeared wise, and she my able student.

I’ll pause here and admit that a quick image of Bill Pope popped into my head. I found my heart in my throat (I sure do miss my red-headed-Errol-Flynn-type-friend). I was also quickly thinking this was a good time to get her ready for the news that we are seriously considering a move from the big beautiful house in Milton (Alpharetta) to a more sensible home in the Crabapple area (I’m trying to send a message to my community – more about that later).

It’s still a great question, for obvious reasons. And, it raises so many fascinating ideas around wealth management, good stewardship, and self-image.

But, all that aside, I got a simple shrug with a: “who cares Daddy. Why can’t we have a Ferrari?”

I’m already thinking this is a great challenge (isn’t character always best when challenged?). What steps does this alert me to, and prepare me for, to curb her views around materialism? A defining Authentic Life moment and possibly a Kobayashi Maru.

…sigh. Lift me up, and stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

the life of being a Hero

February15

I had planned an epic post around a revolutionary event featuring Haley Anne (no skallawag, she). And, woven into it was a planned ackwledgement that Rowdy, my Rhodesian Ridgeback, is now one year old.

However, one of life’s unexpected opportunities twists caught me in mid-stride today, and required otherwise swift and decisive action.

I have medals that might mean I’m a hero by some definition. But, I’ll assure you, here, that nothing compares to the awarding of a happy little daughter’s hug.

“Elfie”, a stuffed elf to many, but a meaningful friend to my Emma Jo, had gone missing. We concluded that she was left behind at my new offices during a visit today during some errands.

Emma Jo was devastated. And, her hiccuping plea for Daddy to: “go find her”, a challenge of no uncertain consequence, could not conceivably, go unanswered. And, in fact, she had made it clear that: “only Daddy can do it. he can do anything”.

And, I did just that.

I mounted my steed, in this case my Porsche, and gunned it through the twilight (admittedly with the windows down and cold air whooshing around me, mixing with the strains of Tom Petty blasting from the Bose sound system – and, me howling along, the Knight errant).

Otherwise, no drama.

I arrived home to naught but great fanfare, and an excited: “Elfie’s home!” – and, that big, big wonderful, glorious hug, with extra squeezes, and a smooth face nestled in my neck.

When it comes to Daddy’s and little girls, there is no mountain high enough. And, the rewards – and, awards abound.

Mind… You’ll be hearing about my other daughter, Haley Anne, and her own school-related (revolutionary) heroics, and soon.

I’m listening to Tom Petty’s: You Don’t Know How It Feels. So should you. And, play it loud.

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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