Sunday, October 14, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

It has been so long since I last posted anything here. Does this mean nothing has happened or that far too much has happened. Or that I have just been too pressed for time or too tired to write.

I think that it is probably some combination of all the excuses. My intention is always that this blog serves as a diary that I will share with others, so I do apologize for being a bit stingy as October arrived. It has been such pleasure to read what you all have written!

The shop has taken more and more of my time, and I am glad to say that our sales have been wonderful, morale has been high and much has been great.

In between the joy, however, I have been trying to help the transition back to service of my new-mom-assistant who will return before the month's end, while trying to transition out a staff member whose performance continues to need improvement, and simultaneously, try of figure out what will be the future of the superb lady who has been my acting assistant manager for the past months. I do not want to loose here talents, and all that she has contributed to the now "all together now" feel of the staff.

I am well aware that some of the candor that I have expressed to my superiors has not been happily received. I am now way too old to reconfigure my "corporate" face, so will just have to see what develops.

While all this was going on inside my work place, autumn has gradually been arriving in the City.
The Park is beginning to sort of dry out and crisp up, even though the lawns are still brilliantly green. We had a very rainy day this week that was swept out by an extremely windy day that blew in much cooler days. I took a walk through the Park on that windy day and saw all sorts of leaves on the paths and lawns, and suddenly came upon a sound check underway at the old bandshell. Check, Check, One two, One two.

Had my sketchbook with me, so sat on a bench and drew some trees, while shivering slightly and wondering what sorts of music was about to be performed in front of the motly bunch of observers (passing tourists, competing skateboarding teenaged boys ... not in school that afternoon, gliding rollerbladers looking for dance partners, dog walking folks and other non-descripts like me.) Turned out to be some sort of promo venture by an unknown record promoter, of a country blue grass band, a country rock female vocal group, and even more grim a stand up comedian from New Jersey.

The performers were in reverse order of the above list, and suddenly the weather turned cooler, I finished my tree drawing and headed home for a cup of tea.

Let's see, what else. Well, on a mid-week day off, I elected to take part in my company's effort to unite the IT department's efforts with its beneficiaries. I got invited to go to New Jersey (see reference above to comedian) to visit the HQ of the company's IT gurus. I had a fabulously instructive day and got lots of info to take back to the shop. Strangely, I got up extra early that day to be sure to get the proper train, etc, but early on trying to check my e-mails, discovered that this very laptop had caught a very bad cold overnight.

So, for the first time ever, I got on the phone to the Dell help line in whatever country those calls are answered. I got great, polite, skilled help. Or else we would not be communicating right now! It was a good way to begin a day devoted to seeing what a well-functioning IT department can do.

Now...big finish.

Tonight I will pack my bags for yet another multi-day set of managers meetings at an off site location...a conference center right in the flight path of a suburban airport. I will be up about 5 tomorrow morning so I can catch the proper train.

But. This afternoon, I had the privilege of attending an address, at famed Art Deco palace Radio City Music Hall, by H.H. the Dalai Lama. I was given a ticket by a Tibetan work colleague and got to sit next to his family to share this experience.

I am not so enamoured of organized religions, but do think of myself as a fairly spiritual person, who does try to do good, and not to be swept away by negative thoughts or deeds. So, it was quite interesting to be in this grand hall, and to listen carefully to what the DL had to say.

I have read several of his books, but have not really studied Buddhism as such. I just feel tonight that I was in the presence of a very wise 72 year old man, who has traveled much, thought much, and has much to contribute. What he says is deceptively simple. I feel very much encouraged to continue to try to be a good version of myself. To not give up on a positive attitude towards life. To believe that the future will be better. To realize that everyone, even as he admitted, the DL can have have a bad day, or to be very irritated by some incident.

What a way to prepare for a series of business meetings, don't you think?

Pleasant dreams to all. See you later this week.


  1. I think I spend too much time reading other people's blogs to blog myself! It must have been really interesting to hear the DL. I hope your work trip goes OK


  2. Nice to see you back blogging I know how hard it is to fit everything in but I think we should blog when we feel inspired to do so, and you certainly felt inspired to tell us about you day to day life and your meeting with the DL, which must have been and exceptional experience. I too have read a bit about him and feel that he has a code for life that we should all try our best to follow, if we fall off from time to time so be it, but its a good path to try and keep to
    Love Blossom

  3. Nice to read you again Frances I haven't been blogging much lately either; I seem to get the desire in fits and starts! Lovely to take a cyber walk through central park in autumn. And how inspirational to hear the Dalai Lama. I feel as you do about him , would love to hear his words.

  4. Lovely to see you back Frances, though like Suffolkmum I tend to blog in fits and starts myself. How wonderful to see the Dalai Lhama - there is something so amazing about this man and it shows in his beautiful and serene face don't you think? xx

  5. You've been so busy Frances, no wonder you haven't had time to blog. Whatever you may say, I think your employers would be very dense not to appreciate your incredible talents and experience..

    It's lovely to catch up on how the seasons are shifting in New York and to walk with you through the park....
    How very wonderful too to see the Dalai Lama in person - not something many of us will achieve I fear. And yes, how perfect the timing. Do hope the trip goes well.
    Loads of love, janexxxx

  6. Hi Frances! I cant find the time to do a daily blog, somehow. I know people do manage it, but I get carried away in the garden, then it's meals, then all the rest of the things one does....

  7. Busy as ever Frances but as ever you have made time to observe nature and people this month from all sorts of angles.

  8. You sound very busy. It must have been fascinating to here the DL. I do love your paintings.

  9. Hello francis, so nice to catch you, my blogging as been as sporodic? not because i'm busy just lazy.. with little to tell..
    your photos and paintings are a real treat thank you xxoo jo

  10. Good Evening Frances,

    As ever, your writing from America is truly wonderful. I believe we should write our Diary's as and when we feel inspired to do so. It has been a while since I have blogged, always seem so busy.

    I can picture that walk through Central Park with all it's Autumn glory, and how lucky you are to have that special gift of being able to paint.

    I wish I could have heard the words from Dalai Lama, how wonderful that you Dear Frances, were able to do that. Enjoy the trip.


  11. What an interesting life you lead. I love to read your blogs.

  12. Just catching up with reading blogs. and like you I have had a busy spell when I couldn't get round to blogging. Yours as ever is wonderful. I am so envious of you hearing the Dalai Lama speak. I am not into organised religions either but having read a lot of his writings I am very inerested in the Buddhist philosophy. I look forward to your next blog but don't feel pressured, your working life takes a lot of your energy.

  13. Good to catch up and such a positive, warming blog Frances. You sound very happy and full of energy I hope the meetings go well. How lovely to listen to HH Dalai Lama and pass on his positive thoughts. Posie x

  14. Reading some of your old entries.
    Like what you shared about oranized religion and the DL.
    I feel the same.
    My son lives most of the year in Thailand at this time of his life.
    He teaches yoga, learning the language and I find his letters to his mom so interesting.
    From one who lives in a cottage at the edge of the woods...