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“ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END” – There is an end to everything, to good things as well. The proverb dates back to about 1374 (Chaucer). First attested in the United States around 1680. The word ‘good’ was added much later. ‘Everything has an end’ and ‘Everything comes to an end’ are variants of the proverb.

Also…

In the end, we are undone, perhaps in only our current form through treachery, deceit and selfishness – all qualities that are, ironically, so un-Shockers Nation-like.

As one of our parents so aptly pointed out… Perhaps they, my erstwhile hearty and ferocious Shockers, have become accustomed to the unique experience and take it for granted (this includes parents). Now, they must drink from another cup and make that their comparison.

Will Natural Selection always prevail?

Coach Brian

I don’t know, yet (anyway), if my recent post: prayer and change (everyone is talking about. I’m flattered, just skeptical unsure as to why) upset or inspired Butch (“RW”) Nicholson. But, it certainly initiated, or possibly provoked the following point and question:

“Many people pretend to be Christains? Really? People believe what they believe, including you. I am interested in what you have to say. I am not interested in what you think others pretend to be. I would submit we all pretend most of the time. What do you pretend?”

I’m now pondering precisely why, but the question made me recall another of my posts: drink heartily from the cornucopia of fear.

This is an exercise in assigning words that might read pretty to a feeling that is ugly. To recognize what we don’t like, so that it can be replaced with what we want or dare hope for.

And, also, the widely read and certainly debated: Christian Ambiguity.

There is nothing worse than a Christian on the defensive. They become less tolerant and more judgmental when they get insecure.

And, somehow, from the dark reaches of my own mind, there emerged a response to Butch’s query:

“well… there is always the implied contention that the demonstrable inadequacy of any argument from analogy for the existence of other minds is sufficient to reject introspection as a method of determining one’s own mental state(s). there is always the position in the repudiation of an argument from analogy, but disagrees with knowledge of one’s own mental state(s) does not require introspection

so… relative to my blog post, I simply don’t pretend to have an answer like – for example – people with fish (symbols) on their cars. I only believe (in the context of this rapartee)  that prayer can help anyone answer most questions as it aligns mind, body and spirit with most circumstances.”

I strive, and daily, to live the authentic life. I may fear hypocrisy, but I pretend little (other than, perhaps the pretense of no fear, itself).

This is a line-of-thinking that may have no end. But, you can’t lose for the attempt and effort – although there may well be no clear win. That is, until you fade to black, or see the light, in a manner of speaking.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Do a happiness audit.  Do it!

Write down a list of all the things that you do during the course of a week and put them in categories according to the level of Joy they cause in your life.

That, I suspect (well, actually know), will make you part of the solution.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Today I’ll give you a break from my opinions political and economic, and just allow you some insight into where my head is from a personal and fitness level.

(proper) Futbol is done for the Fall season (http://shockers.wordpress.com/). And, as I navigate a recent betrayal from an erstwhile friend (who was an important part of all that) and reorganize my thinking around my passion for “the beautiful game”, I’ll have some fun writing, the holidays, and focusing on my youngest daughter with some road trips (pretty dresses, carriages, Broadway and FAO Schwartz, here we come!).

Meanwhile, at the tender age of fifty (just stop, if only for a moment, and ponder that entendre), I like it when people tell me I look great, and ask how I stay so fit.

I still have my “wheels”, I can do more push ups and pull ups than most human beings, and I manage quite well on an unusually low number of sleep hours.

There was quite a media furor when the news got out that I had issues with my achilles tendons. But, that’s passed and I’m feeling more like myself, now.

Lacrosse beckons – and, with it a keen desire to get out there and put some recent college graduates and defenders on their collective backsides.

What you don’t know is that I am too old for a sports injury to be a status symbol or anything other than a dent in the armor that is failing. But, the key to my long-term fitness strategy is to maintain a rigorous, albeit smart fitness routine with a balanced nutritional plan. I’ve recently stopped thinking about trying out for the Falcons as a walk-on Quarterback (and, I’ll not likely pursue medical school with an eye towards being a surgeon). But, I will follow through with ending up at a university teaching future entrepreneurs, compete again in a Ironman Triathlon, and look to scale a few hazardous mountain peaks.

It’s my life. And, I’ll live it.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Last week, I recalled that, during my many visits to the desert (you’ll ask: “metaphorically speaking?” I’ll respond: “does it really matter?”), I met a wise man named Buck O’Neil – a prophet, if you will – and, asked him the secret to a long, successful life.

“Good genes,” was all he said, at first.

Buck left us all behind October 6, 2006 – the day before my birthday, just like Dad. There is a rhythm and pattern to life with that. But, we’ll discuss it some other time.

His hair was white and his face was mahogany, calling pleasantly to mind a pint of Guinness. “I’m ninety-years old,” he continued, then pressed his fingertips to unlined cheeks, which shone like polished apples.

“Good black don’t crack”, he mused (I’m not sure he actually mused, but that word works, here).

With that, I was fully prepared to move on, and thanked him. In fact, I was already rising halfway from my seat, like a bluffing panelist on To Tell the Truth, when he said softly: “There is one other thing.”

So, I settled back, curious, I might add, and he said:

“I never fill my stomach. My mother was a great cook, but my father told me, ‘She’s only filling your stomach so another woman never gets to. She’s just trying to hold on to you.’ Ever since, I can eat more, but I never do.”

Look… The stories around Buck are countless. Many of them will bring a tear to your eye. Others will make you slap your thigh with joy in preparation of laughter. He was a black man, and it never mattered to him, even though it did to everyone else. But, everyone respected and loved Buck (Note: That might be a vital difference between men like Buck and Barack Obama. By the way, did you know that  Obama high-tailed it to Asia, pouting over his loss of the House Tuesday? Other than a vital need to drive home a point, here, I’m loathe to include Buck in the same story as Obama. But, the only real difference Obama will make in our lives is he must now change his plans to stay in power).

Let other, more articulate folks tell those stories. Especially those that lived them alongside Buck. I never had that privilege. But, I try to learn from men like him, every day, and any way.

Part of that is my on-going efforts to live the Authentic Life. And, that includes having a life well-lived, and worth remembering by those I’ve lived amongst.

So… What, then, is the secret to a life well-lived?

Here was another hint. “Don’t hate another human being,” said O’Neil, whose father was the son of a slave. “Hate cancer. Cancer took my mother, took my wife four years ago. Hate what happened on September 11. But don’t hate another human being. God made man.”

…oh wow.

I did, in fact, find myself thinking: But God made men who denied you, at various times, a toilet, a hotel room, an education, a living, your very humanity. And, of course, I voiced those thoughts, because that’s what I do (“oh really?[!]”, you exclaim. “Brian has opinions he foists on people?”).

“My parents always told me most people are good,” continued O’Neil. “Even when I was young, (Note: he lived his early days in Carrabelle, Florida), most people were good. The thing was, good people sometimes let the bad people have their way. But who wrapped their arms around Jackie Robinson in his time of need? Pee Wee Reese of Louisville, Kentucky, did. The commissioner of baseball in 1947 [Happy Chandler] was a man from Kentucky.”

With this, his left hand grabbed my forearm, and his right fist rapped his own breastbone as if it were a door.

“It comes from in here,” said he. “Doing the right thing. It takes somebody to change something. My grandfather was a slave. And God saw it wasn’t right, so he sent Abraham Lincoln. And Abraham Lincoln joined hands with Frederick Douglass, who joined hands with Sojourner Truth, who joined hands with Harriet Tubman – and, so on.”

Apparently, and thusly, human progress, in O’Neil’s view, is a chain of men with virtu (the Greek form, mind you) in their hearts (the word virtu always has me thinking of Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford University), linked at the wrist and leading to you.

O’Neil paused, and I could only sit quietly in wonder through what must be churning through that lovely mind, and then he added:

“This is the greatest country on Earth, but we can be better. That is going to be your job.”

He held my forearm like a bat. “In my day we changed some things. Now it’s your turn to change things. And you’ll do it. I know you will.”

I did pause. And, when I confessed that I struggled, with my generation, challenged to change our channels manually, much less to change the world, he invoked the memory of his grandfather Julius, born into slavery in South Carolina, and owned by a man with the surname, O’Neil.

“Grandpa used to tell me he loved Mr. O’Neil,” he said. “And I would ask him: ‘Grandpa, how could you love a man who kept you as his slave?’ And Grandpa said, ‘He never sold off a mother from her children, he never sold off a husband from his wife.’ And Grandpa, this is before all the doctors and all the medicine we have today, lived to be one-hundred-and-two years old.”

Was this good genes, I wondered, or something greater? I was merely seeking the secret of a life well-lived – how to progress – and, felt I was getting closer. So, I asked about that. And when the old man, once again, took my arm in his hand, I felt physically linked in that chain-of-virtu to all who had gone before me…

“Love,” he half-whispered, as if sharing a confidence. “Love, man. This is the whole thing.”

So… You gotta be a “Love Kat”. It’s been awhile since I invoked that one. It’s timely to be sure.

Peace be to my brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

so… we’ve moved households deeper into Alpharetta. now, I may start using “Milton” – like most everyone else.

meanwhile, living out of boxes is never fun. but, it can be an adventure. and, there is always the potential for something new and interesting to occur.

here is a fun and simple example…

Joanne makes lunch for Haley Anne and Emma Jo every morning. that’s certainly typical. most Mothers do this (mine did for me and my younger brother). so, that is unremarkable.

but, I hung back at the house this morning to get the garage under control. Joanne had some extra sushi and home made chocolate chip cookies. I’ll pause here and admit that I have a defined weakness for chocolate chip cookies. I could write poetry about the way way I feel about chocolate chip cookies. so, she put some sushi in a container and made a point of putting three chocolate chip cookies (have you sorted out by now that I love chocolate chip cookies so much that I write out all three words each and every chance I get?) in a small baggy. I did not think this was a necessary measure because my plan was to eat them, all three of them, mind you, on the way to my offices. but, Joanne was determined that I have a properly layed-out lunch.

this was when it struck me I needed a lunch bag, like the girls – or, a box. And, of course, it needs to be a special box. I told her about my old Racer X (Speed Racer) lunch box, and my Major Matt Mason lunch box. so… now I need one of those.

Joanne took a breath and offered: “well, let’s just make it Vera Wang, then”.

you need to know Joanne to appreciate her wit. but, now I’m stuck. and, don’t you dare laugh at my colorful, and trendy lunch kit. having said that, I’m willing to accept, as a gift (please!!!) a vintage Major Matt Mason lunch box.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

I miss my Dad.

I think my readers (and, certainly those of you, otherwise, closer to me) know that he took his own life on October 6th, the day before my Birthday. That was a good number of years ago. But, the rawness of it still explodes at the back of my skull every October. I had this gripping post ready to go. But, I’ve sat on it for weeks, uncertain why, until now.

Yesterday I had a good day with Emma Jo.

A quick aside, if you’ll indulge me… I spend a good amount of time with Haley Anne – especially around proper football (soccer). She is gorgeous. And, yesterday I realized that she is developing a love for writing, in her own right. My Dad had more of a gift for drawing. But, her creativity, in general, would have delighted him.

Meanwhile… We are preparing to move our household deeper North into Alpharetta (Milton) horse country off Freemanville Road. There is a long story attached to this. But, I’m more interested in some of the highlights occurring in and around the “big picture”.

While rummaging through the storage spaces in, what will shortly be referred to as the “old house”, we came upon containers crammed with family photos. In one crumbling box was a treasure trove of photo albums and curling black and white snap shots of Haley Anne and Emma Jo’s ancestors. This included my Dad in many an enigmatic situation. There were a bunch of them with him with his arm around me. Or, me hugging him from behind while he worked on some project (this made me recall that I often hugged my Dad. I never shied away from that, even in public, through High School and College). And, these fascinated Emma Jo. She took right to them with an endless and insightful stream of questions. But, the best part was the bonding as she snuggled into me. So, she was my “buddy” all day. We made a few trips back-and-forth to the “new house” having loaded up my big black bad-ass truck. And, we were fortunate to have another classically beautiful Georgia Fall day because the drivers-side window is broke and won’t close. So, we had this incredible moment with a lull in the easy conversation when Emma Jo was caught thinking carefully between questions and observations. She looked so happy. The golden light was pouring through the window and highlighting her hair, still almost white from the lake and sun, that had the wind pushing wildly around her shoulders and face. Her cobalt blue eyes were bright as diamonds. She looked over at me winsomely and shrugged, rather shyly. And, it struck me that Dad had ironically created this moment.

I was so incredibly thankful.

Dad was a better man than me. And, I was fortunate to have him in my life. And, he is always my inspiration for the sort of earthly father I try to be every day. So… October sixth can come and go. But, Dad and Mom live on through Emma Jo and Haley Anne. And, all of it means me living the Authentic Life.

You can roll your collective eyes at me – and, I’ll give it little merit. And, so, I’ll share this video from Glee and their cover of: I Want To Hold Your Hand with you. It’s apropos, to be sure, and I think Chris Colfer is a terrific singer.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.