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I am a deeply (deeply) flawed human bean.

shy, really. and, often socially awkward. It’s not that I could, or should be compared to Howard Hughes, mind you. it’s just that I am always (always) focused. and, driven, of course, with a keen desire to win and prevail – and, with a higher standard.

it sets me apart. and, this can unnerve (most) people.

when I was eleven years old my younger brother, Greg, leveraged a lot of poor judgment and decided to toss some insults at a neighborhood bully named Tony.

I was eleven, Greg was six, and Tony was thirteen.

Tony came from a large (as in both physical stature and head-count) family, that lived up the street, and around the corner from us. for a couple of years I thought his name was actually “Hay Tooney” – you know, like a professional ball player. every time anyone (and, everyone) ever addressed, called for, or was looking at him, they would always (and, loudly) say, “Haay Tooney”!

in any event, he went after Greg. dude did not even hesitate; he was on my little brother like sewage out of the pipe. Greg had his little legs churning up our drive way for all he was worth with a head-start only just good enough that allowed for him to start calling for me. to this day I can’t remember much as I hurled myself out of the TV room, through the garage, and then with ten running steps later, full body into Tony. he already had a piece of fence in his beefy hands that he clearly meant to flail Greg with. instead, he beat me relentlessly with that piece of wood but I kept swinging and pushing. suddenly his resolve melted, possibly with my fury, and then he was on his back with me turning his nose into lasagne.

so… my Mom, the proper Sacramento debutante she was her whole life made me march over to his house the next day and apologize for giving him a beating.

“we are Cork’s. we take the higher road. you’ll understand better as you get older”, is all would say about it.

Tony and his Dad, with a small army behind them, met me at the front door. I extended my hand and simply said, “I apologize”.

…but, I didn’t mean it. not at all. I, in truth, felt like a flat-out liar. I wanted to cry. even howl, maybe.

“okay”, and sullenly, is all he said. his Dad said nothing. he just stared at me with a distant and mildly confused look splayed across his big bland olive-skinned face with a light stubble.

…the high road?

recently, I’ve lost something. and, man, it is, or was, dear to me. but, it’s really gone. and, I feel like it was stolen. now I have people that think I need to take that damn high road again and say things like, “best of luck to you. I offer my fullest support. I know you’ll do great”.

but, my heart isn’t in it. I did my best, and it was really good. the results were evident. now, some how and inexplicably, I’m taking a beating. and, it REALLY hurts. but, I have to go to the people that hurt me and take the high road because it’s, collectively, (maybe) good (maybe) for some of the people I care deeply (deeply) about.

I took a hard run Saturday and I admitted to God (but, He already knew, of course) that I did not want to take the high road. I wanted to be hurt and angry. I wanted to win. prevail. …protect people from the evil that I know is looming.

“come on, God”, said I . you and I both know there won’t be sincerity. and, what about hypocrisy?

I really do want to honor God with my response to this challenge, and the people that I’ve influenced. there’s a broken part of me that’s looking for someone(s) to be mad at. I’d love to exchange that for the patience and grace that He has, and hopefully will continue to show me. but, that’s so hard, right now.

that’s me being authentic.

this is another Kobayashi Maru, isn’t it.

however, as I was cooling down (literally, and miraculously in my heart) I knew that if I just said the words, something like, “it’s okay. I know you all will be great. I support you all”, that would, eventually (eventually) become the reality. it’s what they all expect of me, after all. let’s be very (very) clear. the words would not be sincere. they would ring hollow, in my own ears, in fact.

but, I’ll have said them. and, they might then have a life of their own, and there could be an effect.

my pain is meaningless, really. the people involved mean more to me than, well, me.

so… I wish them all the best (maybe because I want them to be happy and the best they can all be). I’ll have to move on.

…please. please (please), allow them to make me proud. and, remember, there has to be a difference between being pleased and being satisfied.

not because I say so, but because I really mean it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

rain does not make a lot of sense.

it rarely comes when we need it. and, it’s almost always certain to appear when most inconvenient.

that makes rain rather like surprises.

and, change.

I hate rain. and, naturally, I love rain.

rain is bad. rain is good.

I prefer to run in the rain; a down pour, please.

that might be where pain meets ecstasy.

perhaps rain, like most things, is what we make of it.

so, I’m listening to U2 and Running to Stand Still.

me? I’m running to the light.

peace be to my brothers and sisters.

brian patrick cork

I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

many people do, though.

but, prayer is for everyone regardless of how or what people define faith – theirs, or otherwise. it focuses the mind and aligns it with heart and spirit.

I tend to pray most when I want something, or think I need something. I used the word “something” twice in one sentence because the concept of the what ever it is renders itself huge.

just like God.

lately I’ve been praying (or, mumbling) quite a bit because of what’s been happening to my Shockers. I’m going to lose a bunch of them and a dream long worked hard for. it feels like treachery and satan and all that stuff. I face a genuine Kobayashi Maru. however, I know darn well that change can be a good thing. it really comes down to what you make of it. character seems to be part of the definition.

so… I’m pondering the whole prayer thing. my question is now this: do I, or that collective we, pray for the things we think we want or need? Or, does He have us pray to align our minds, heart, spirit and actions with what He wants or needs from us?

my eyes are welling up as I tap these words gently into a keyboard. I’m so incredibly blessed, lucky and fortunate . my family is happy and healthy (other than some challenges with school and grades). business is great. and, I feel pretty good as my training continues. so, that list of positive adjectives could run on for some time. but, suffice it to say that the ball has bounced in my favor many times – and, possibly because I always try to do the right thing.

this post is already being populated by words that I had not planned in advance. so, maybe God is carefully at work, because, as I create this message, I’m thinking my prayer(s) need to be that God have me do the right thing(s), soften my heart, and simply steer me where I am actually needed and wanted. I’ll raise my hand.

I just need a path and an opportunity to be a beacon to light that of others.

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

As “they” say: “you’re only as happy as your most unhappy kid”.

My little Emma Jo is learning how to use email. She has her own .me (Apple) account, and is rather focused and demanding when it comes to protocol. For example, I will likely receive a call on my cellular telephone this afternoon from a potentially irate Emma Jo minutes after she launches a communique:

“Daddy, I sent you an email how come you didnot send me one?”

However, this will certainly present itself with an opportunity and an invitation out for ice cream at Bruesters, some hand-holding and possibly roller skating. So, mine is the advantage, to be sure.

As many of you know, Haley Anne is embroiled in a revolution, of sorts, at her Middle school. She was also recently named as a captain on her soccer team. Additional strain on her emerging thirteen year old psyche includes a titanic effort to improve her grades (especially math and social studies) in order to qualify for a new cellular telephone (the current model apparently is not feature rich enough). All this while her heart is breaking over the broken relationship with her erstwhile best friend:

“Daddy I didn’t think she could be so mean!”

[…just wait my love. There is so much grand adventure, promise and heartbreak ahead. And, I want to be there, just off of your shoulder, every step of the way.]

Every earthly father must see the visage of an angel in the face(s) of our beloved (oh, unyielding cherish!) daughters. They can never represent anything but the best that life can promise – all the while inspiring unseemly fear in our hearts around events uncertain. I must trust that my role in Haley Anne and Emma Jo’s lives will offer it’s lasting impressions. And, I can trust their judgment (Haley Anne’s, anyway with Emma Jo only seven). I have only the requirement that holds me true to my own course – and ever vigilant reminder to reflect and represent and lead, some how, by example.

Stay tuned.

I love being a Dad.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

So… I’ve been  advised that one can walk away from a family sur name for less than $19.95. You don’t even need a lawyer. Seriously… You can apparently, and easily, access such diabolical documents over the internet.

Some times, more often than not, I might submit that the internet is a portal to the pits of hell. More on that later – else I run the, not unusual, risk of digressing and distracting from another point.

I suppose the story is more complicated. And there are too many ironies behind this post for even me to explore, today.

But there you have it, reader, one of those twists life cruelly offers us. Some expected and girded for. Others with no hopes for such largesse.

I don’t believe that I’ve realized agony like this since I watched Mom fade to black, while in the grips of cancer; dragged into the abyss, unaware that I was holding her hand; and, likely uncaring.

I’ll run far later today. Just to be numb. And, pray for the pain. At least I can make that stop with some element of my will. Another Kobayashi Maru?

I’ll likely refer to Dante’s Inferno, seeking some insight. The Bible rarely works for me.

Meanwhile, I’m listening to Ralph Kirshbaum’s Suite No. 1 in G Major, BMV1007, V. Menuet 1 and 2. And, Sia’s Sunday (mostly because it’s so damn self-indulgent).

On a positive note, I’m taking Haley Anne (thirteen) to the Black Eyed Peas concert at Phillips Arena tonight. It’s lost on her, for the moment, but I think it’s cool that we like a lot of the same music.

So, I’ll also be listening to selections of their work through the day as well.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Some times we must actually face a day we could not imagine might actually come.

I think I have to let go of a “thing” in order to hold on to a hope. Or, possibly another way of thinking/ saying this is: I must lose something to represent hope for the best possible future (for all involved).

I suspect that sacrifices can represent the elimination of both good and bad from our lives in the sincere hope the result is the best possible outcome. Rather like building up momentum in a burst-speed work-out. For me, the expectation must be that this represents a stronger foundation for a future where I am both fully optimized, and have some how facilitated the best interests of others.

But, damn… I feel so alone. I have lost a vital connection.

Are we stronger in the desert? When I emerge, will I be the same? I hope not.

Internally, what I think I am processing (and, no one can seem to help me) is that I am casting out, and also losing both a bad thing, and a good thing. I can only pray that the result is a better thing.

Either way, the end result has to be me representing and reflecting, and not that which I want; but rather, that which I need.

For the moment, I do have a goal. And, that is to earn a prize. I have to trust that objective represents the beacon I require to shed the appropriate light on my path that enables me to make everything else works.

…sigh.  Obviously, I am struggling with my words today. I keep reading this post, and remain unhappy with the choice of the oft repeated word “thing”. Perhaps this is, if only one of many, reasons why I feel at such a loss for words with this current challenge.

You can expect more later. And, as many of you know, I will likely pop back in and revise this post a couple times throughout the day.

Meanwhile, please share a story with me, if you dare (it will be our global secret).

Its been awhile since I shared my music with you. Here is some American Rejects with The Wind Blows (I understand an actual video is in the works, with an end of April release date. I am sure that will be preferable to this static cover shot).

Peace 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.