Open border



I heard the shouts and shrieks then saw the bobbing head of a girl come rising up over the hill into view, inch-by-bouncing inch. She was bounding pell mell in my direction, laughing and calling back to others who weren’t yet visible. Turning up the Standpipe Hill, I kept my head turned to watch as two more walk-skip-running girls emerged, followed by a happy dog on a leash with a mother-sized person sweeping.

As the leader turned to the right and charged up the hill in my tracks, it dawned on me what was going to happen — I was going to get caught up in their mix. It was true; in seconds I was overtaken by the laughing one who raced around me like I wasn’t even there, shouting back over her shoulder, “Come on guys, run!”

“We don’t want to run, we already told you that,” one of them shouted from behind as they half ran anyway, their feet slapping the ground as they gained on me.

Mere seconds later I was momentarily absorbed, swept up in the energy of this little puppy-like pack as the two girls who didn’t want to run blew by me. Suddenly I felt a wild, overwhelming urge to join in, barely able to stop myself from shouting out, “I don’t want to run either! My knees are shot and those days are over but wait up; I want to come!”


One day after work I walked into my house to find two cats who were not mine lounging together on the big leather chair in our computer room. Later, after re-directing them out the door, I stood at the stove stirring something in a pot when out of the corner of my eye I saw another one very casually walk by, right at home.

I did not know there were going to be cats in our house today, our lives momentarily merged. I put them out — I’m done with kitty litter — but I love that they came in.


I was returning to work from an off-campus meeting with that dead feeling in my heart, the kind you get when you are minutes away from the job you once loved and now hate. As I was slowly driving that final stretch of road an entire line of birds suddenly lifted off the telephone wire and, strangely, swooped down and swept around my car, mixing me up in a sudden avian weather pattern. I’d never seen such a thing.

After flash flocking my car they lifted back up and arced off to the right, pulling something in me along. As I watched them fly off and gather themselves in formation, I was so light I could feel the wheels of my car lift off the ground. It was all I could do not to turn my steering wheel to the right and join their flight, me and my Kia Sorento, flying high with the birds, airborne.


The stories in this blog are excerpts from my memoir, The Organization Project. While they are true to me and reflect how I see, I acknowledge there are multiple truths, including my own which change over time, even as the events themselves remain the same. What I make of an event 5 years out may not be what I make of it 10 years out.

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