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Let it be
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Soft morning light from the bedrooom window nudged me awake this morning. I lay still, enjoying a fuzzy state between sleep and consciousness. The window framed an abstract painting, a high-contrast pastiche of thick black lines and fractal branches against a glowing gray background.

window-styll

Contemplating my living painting (it rustles in the breeze), a thought from Dwight Eisenhower flowed into my head: "Farming looks mighty easy if a piece of paper is your field and your plow is a pencil."

This morning I want to wrap up a chapter on cultivating the learnscape. The chapter will be advice for composing a productive ecosystem for work and learning. A month ago, I'd have called this Design. Now I cannot.

As a verb, design means:
  • design something for a specific role or purpose or effect
  • conceive or fashion in the mind; invent
  • make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form
  • create the design for; create or execute in an artistic or highly skilled manner
  • make or work out a plan for; devise
Learning, working, and living simply aren't designer goods. Rather, they evolve as relationships come together and break away as one chunk of reality tumbles into another. No one painted the picture I saw from my bedroom this morning. No designers had a hand in its creation.

After two cups of good, strong coffee, I find the painting morphing into the redwoods in the backyard, with a Japanese maple in the foreground, backlit by the fog over San Francisco Bay.

window-styll2

Perhaps I could have designed the painting, but I could no more design those redwoods than I could plow a field with a pencil.

Ever see a redwood cone? They are tiny. About the size of a marble. Each cone contains sixty to a hundred tiny seeds; 125,000 seeds weigh about a pound. Sixty years ago, one of those seeds took up residence in my back yard. Several of my trees have grown more than a hundred feet tall. They weigh more than a million pounds. How the hell did this happen? The seed contained a blueprint but the seedling's relationships with its surroundings created the tree.

New workers are seeds in the business ecosystem.

1 Comments:

Blogger Mary Lynn said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for this lyrical piece.

5:32 PM  

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