The Real Work

impeded stream

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

–Wendell Berry

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had applied for the Executive Director of Leadership Development at the Banff Centre. I made it far along in the interview process, but wasn’t offered the job.

It was a job I wanted. For almost three months, I had put all my focus on getting it.

My mind is baffled about what to do and where to look next.  Berry’s poem reminds me that I am on a journey of discovery and growth.

I take courage from it.  Among the rapids of your journey, may you find courage too.

Stream image:  Nicholas T

An Admission



The Avowal

As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

–Denise Levertov

Poetry helps with courage. “The Avowal” has helped me. I recently applied for the Executive Director of Leadership Development at the Banff Centre. I made it through two rounds of interviewing. My second interview was on February 3. I was the first, or one of the first, applicants who was interviewed by the interview committee and had to wait almost three weeks until February 23 before I found out if I was still being considered.

To cut to the chase, I wasn’t selected. The committee chose to continue the process with another candidate.

The almost three-week waiting period tested my patience, faith, and courage. I read “The Avowal” several times a day to stay centered and not ‘make stuff up’. I took courage from the swimmers floating on the water and trusting a force they couldn’t understand.

I gave my best effort in my letter of interest, resume and interviews. No additional effort would make a positive difference on my behalf, except for the effort of practicing floating and letting go. I came to trust that the decision would be for the best.

Swimmers image: the edinburgh blog