Un Rompecabezas

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Edison

Puzzle PiecesOne of the beautiful things about being in a foreign country and learning a new language is that you can’t avoid having the refraction of your prism altered. This morning’s ‘word of the day’ and one of its examples from my SpanishDict cast such a light – un rompecabezas meaning a puzzle. The example, Me tardé horas en armar un rompecabezas al que le faltaba una pieza, translates, ‘I spent hours putting together a jigsaw puzzle that was missing a piece.’ Two unintentional things happened in the moment. I was struck by the poetic nature of the word and how it seemed to reflect something not quite put together. But then it was the example that wouldn’t let go – the fact of all that time and effort to discover a piece was missing.

Pillars of Creation NASAPutting the pieces of a puzzle together is a lot like connecting the dots in a creative exercise. There are clues to what is there to be worked with but never the knowledge that there might be a missing piece. It brings to mind one of my favorite adages, we can’t see what we can’t see. That applies to both things that might be obvious to other and things that are absent from the known landscape. The challenge for the creator is that the missing piece, or pieces, may not be apparent until the puzzle is well advanced in its construction. The mark of the artistic genius is that it’s all about dealing with the missing piece.

I would propose that in the universe there are no missing pieces – only those yet to be discovered or created.

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‘I didn’t know I had a swimming pool.’

This story will be new information to many if not most of you.

I didn't know I had a rose garden.

One of my many favorite movies is The American President. 1995, when the film debuted, was a kinder gentler time. One of my favorite scenes is when the President, escapes the confines of the White House to go find flowers for the woman he intends to romance. The line comes later when asked about the flowers the President said, ‘And I didn’t know I had a rose garden.’

Cape MaySwimming has been a major part of my life since childhood, learning to swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape May, New Jersey about the same time I was learning to make sentences. I would become a competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and swimming instructor at different points through my college years. More recently my health program included yoga and weigh-training and when I arrived in Morelia, Mexico on February 27 I was in the best condition since those earlier swimming days. The elevation change of six thousand plus feet and excessive walking on unfamiliar and uneven walkways caught me by surprise and with some unprecedented leg distress.

Landscape MapOn the 25th of April with the leg stress unchecked I moved into my new apartment at Aquiles Serdan 803. Once again the grace of Morelia embraced me and the next day with serendipity at full power I experienced my first ever chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture. Today the leg distress is mostly gone and the task at hand is rebuilding strength in my right leg in-particular. The ideal gym, Forsithius, where I can continue my weight training is on the same street four blocks away and massage therapist, Angie, is in the next block at Spa Sayamara on the same street. The first massage last week took the healing to a whole new level.

Swimming PoolEarlier today with my writing returning to full throttle I discovered, ‘I didn’t know I have a swimming pool next door.’  And, the facility includes the barbershop of Blanco, who trimmed me up today, and sauna rooms. Tomorrow I will have my first lap day in a pool since the late 1980s.

Grace upon grace upon grace from the angels of Morelia continue to bless my soul and reclaim it much appreciating vessel.

With prayers of thanksgiving for Mary y George, Itxel, Gabriel, Celestinos, Dave F, Mitzi, Angie, Eduardo, Carlos, Juan, and the compassion of those who I have yet to learn their names.

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Battle of Puebla and Cinco de Mayo

Battle of Puebla Cinco de MayoDuring the French-Mexican War (1861-1867), an outnumbered Mexican army defeats a powerful invading French force at the small town of Puebla de Los Angeles. The retreat of the French troops at the Battle of Puebla represented a great moral victory for the people of Mexico, symbolizing the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against a powerful foreign nation.

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Paso a Paso

One Step at a TimeLessons in Spanish and life. Today’s word of the day, paso a paso, from my Spanish Dictionary tutorial is yet another example of the insights my move to Morelia is exposing.

None of us can take more than one step at a time (Paso a Paso) and yet many of us try. In a hurried up world trying to get over the ground as quickly as possible is not only tempting but often encouraged. In reflecting on my early software development days the conventional wisdom and culture being shared was ‘go fast’ and ‘speed counts.’ There were a number of seemingly valid reasons; first to market with the next big thing, competitive advantage, and the list went on. It became so much a part of the ecosystem that any alternative tempo was regarded misdirected or worse.

One brick at a timeThere were countless stories from the period of 1999 and 2000 that saw the meteoric rise of companies, their attraction of capital, addition of employees, and valuations. With the dot.com bubble it evaporated like an early morning mist being warmed by the sun on a spring day. Excessive exuberance was not a new phenomena then and had been part of the landscape since then, often induced by the ‘sophisticated’ market leaders.

Vista Express Garden CafeThe pace in Morelia I have described as three quarter time. There is a peace and elegance that comes with it. From meetings to meals there is no sense of hurry. And the slower I go the more I see. Come for a visit. Somethings just need to be experienced. Stay tuned for the inaugural tour of Michoacan. It will be an experience extraordinaire.

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The Venice Dreamer in Morelia

David at Virrey

In one of my writing rooms at the Virrey de Mendoza, whose portrait hangs in the background circa 1744

Morelia is awakening in me things that laid dormant for way too long. The good news for all of us is that it’s all there awaiting its reawakening. Soul mates appear as if aspirations in physical form. The cascade has been literally just that. Today took those feeling to levels, heights and depths in the same instance.

The piano plays everywhere here and reminded me of some music that has been probably thirty years since my listening.

I hope you will find a moment of quiet and hear George Winston’s The Venice Dreamer. If this is not the right link please go to YouTube and find it there.

Among other things I came here to write and a book in next year’s queue is In Search of the Light, which has significant settings in Venice. It will introduce a character to the literary landscape. His name is Martin Daniel.

In the meantime please enjoy the music . . .

 

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Machiavelli

MachiavielliOn this day in 1469, the Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born. A lifelong patriot and diehard proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli became one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Machiavelli entered the political service of his native Florence by the time he was 29. As defense secretary, he distinguished himself by executing policies that strengthened Florence politically. He soon found himself assigned diplomatic missions for his principality, through which he met such luminaries as Louis XII of France, Pope Julius II, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and perhaps most importantly for Machiavelli, a prince of the Papal States named Cesare Borgia. The shrewd and cunning Borgia later inspired the title character in Machiavelli’s famous and influential political treatise The Prince (1532).

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Facebook and the Workplace

david-houle

Highly Recommended

Facebook at work? Social platforms would seem like a perfect fit for large corporations, where siloed business units can impede productive communications and worker collaboration. Yet even as a growing number of business applications shift to the cloud, offering more readily accessible and shareable data, the adoption of commercial social networks has lagged expectations. Workplace looks and feels like Facebook, and much if its growth comes from leveraging that familiarity among office workers the world over, Mr. Codorniou says.

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You are invited to join the Workplace Hidden Opportunities platform and take your career path (this applies equally to Boomers and their exit strategy) to the next level . . .

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