As you’ve likely noticed, the articles that we publish at tnocs.com are somewhat varied in their subject matter.
And we hope that’s part of the fun.
Although we usually tend to skew a bit more towards music, musicians and their craft, we recently and coincidentally saw articles that spoke of faith and religion:
Although I was raised Catholic, I find that I don’t have much to contribute when a conversation subject turns to faith. I have nothing but respect for those whose belief system helps them to find reason and rhyme to all that goes on in the world. But over the past dozen years or so: I’ve taken to trying to understand what goes on in my life from a perspective of science and logic.
This point of view may – or may not – turn out to work in my favor. I’ll get back to you.
But: a little thing happed this week that for a fleeting second, made me consider that there might be more to all this than mere coincidence, confluence, and math equations.
As I have mentioned to all of you poor people ad nauseam:
I’ve been doing an unusual and arguably excessive amount of business travel this year, with up to three weeks of the month spent away from home.
This is because I have new position with my company. And to put it bluntly, I’m very important.
Hmm. Perhaps I spelled “woefully untrained” incorrectly. Thanks for the timely coding, Gary.
Oh, I can think on my feet, all right. But here’s something that you all likely already know: you just can’t fake your way through the day.
If you try, people will eventually see right through the façade, and your credibility will plummet like an anvil in a Road Runner cartoon.
As opposed to actual training classes, the newly appointed tsars at my company believe in baptism by fire. “You’ll figure it out,” they say.
“I sure as hell better,” I think to my self.
So, instead of poring over standard operating procedures: it’s off to the skies and rental car counters, with a lot of angst and awful airport food in between.
Last week I was on a multi-city road trip to the meet the good people of Appalachia…
And dreading what was about to transpire at the 8 o’clock Monday morning meeting at a local client’s facility:
There would be a room full of people staring at me, whilst I flop-sweat through a mandatory and sleep-inducing 30 minutes of Power Point hell. While noshing on my very generous spread of local donut cuisine, they will ask me questions. They will test me.
These are smart people. Smarter than me. And who have forgotten more than I’ll ever learn. Even with my usual cool swag of sticky buns and a hot cuppa Joe for all – it’s not gonna be pretty.
I’m gonna get murdered.
Travelling to the location from the spacious and opulent confines of the Motel 6, I had been subconsciously driving slowly.
Perhaps an attempt try and delay the inevitable fail in front of the assembled group that I was about to meet.
Sometimes during moments like these, I daydream. And I often find myself wondering what my father might have had to say.
For purposes of this story, I’ll mention in particular that he was not what you’d call an “outdoors” kind of guy. He did not have a particular affinity for your flora and your fauna. But there was one particular creature that would get a rise from him, every time.
In our part of the country, we had our share of average backyard birds. And it was a unusual thing to see anything with striking plumage.
Like a red cardinal.
On those rare occasions when Dad would spy one in a tree or in flight, he’d light up, and say “Didjaseethat? Look! A red bird!”
So, on such rare occasion that one would make an appearance, we’d take note and report that we’d just seen “Dad’s bird.”
He was a fountain of plain-old common sense. When I was a kid, if he should notice that I might be having a crisis of confidence, he’d scowl, and quote Shakespeare, saying: “Waddayou, kiddin‘ me? JesusMaryAndJoseph… you’re smarter than them.”
“You’ll put these guys in your back pocket.”
If it sounds like if it sounds like pretty generic advice, it was. Probably by design. Whether at…
the Little League field…
a Middle school performance…
Or the first day at college:
He would pull the “pocket” speech out of his… pocket… any time that he thought I might need to hear it.
And on that day, as I drove through the Blue Ridge Mountain backroads with stiffened hands on the wheel, with my confidence solidly in negative-number territory:
Dad showed up.
Or at least – his avian doppelganger did.
Out of the left corner of the windshield, it swooped down, and slowly crossed my field of vision. Crimson, somehow graceful and serene at the same time. True to it’s mission… whatever that mission was.
I instantly found myself laughing and shaking my head, while – perhaps instinctively – tapping the accelerator in an effort to get to the meeting on time.
I was early.
He hadn’t been on my mind at all as I drove that morning to my appointment.
But he sure was later, as a sudden infusion of self-confidence helped me to field tough inquires from the room, and when they laughed at my little jokes, and when nodded their heads when I had a solid response.
And after Slide 18 of 18 was done, and the presentation was in the can.
Generally speaking, I’m a bear of very little brain. Trust me: I’m not wise enough to decipher any further or deeper meaning from any of this. The faithful among you will doubtlessly have the correct explanation. And the logicians among you will have another correct explanation.
Me? Like I said, I’ll get back to you. But I think that for today, anyway: I’m OK with any explanation in between.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Thanks for a really nice visit.