Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Touching Base

Response to my interview on “The Story” has been gracious and incredibly kind.

Two hours before it aired in Vermont, fear buckled my knees, wondering what insanity had possessed me to expose such business incompetence to so public a forum?! People later complimented my courage, but at that moment it felt like such foolish behavior. Having done so poorly to provide for my family, clients and staff, I should more likely hide my head in shame, especially remembering Dick Gordon’s shocked question, “You didn’t even consult a lawyer?”

At the last minute, I considered the comfort of friends to listen to it (share the embarrassment), but all were wrapped in their own lives in the middle of the day. The interview with the baker I heard while unloading asphalt shingles at the dump, feigning non-chalance. A few minutes later, I pulled into a parking lot over-looking a small pond and quietly pondered my own voice aloof and alone.

We all know our recorded voices sound differently than what we hear so familiarly in our own head, but this sounded even more different than that. I pictured a white haired codger in basball cap, pencil tucked behind the ear, something like (I realized later) Paul Newman in “Nobody’s Fool”.

The editing was fascinating. Technically, they spliced separate sentences together and created a flow out of a conversation that had been somewhat bouncy when it was recorded a week earlier. I was pleased with the coherence.

To me, however, the interview ended abruptly at the bottom of that tar-pit, that forlorn place where the wretched carpenter covers his homeless, shameful losses with a thin shroud of dignified resignation. “We make our own mistakes.” He was no one I recognized. No wonder the calls and emails are so full of consolation and re-assurances.

The second half of the interview, the part that never made it to air, the piece that really excites my interest, is the tale of the man I do know, the man who is taking charge of his life and learning to live with more authenticity and integrity, less desperation for the wrong reasons. Here is a story with a happier ending, a tale of inspiration and enlightenment, something I think is worth sharing.

I have no interest in pity, nor undeserved flattery. My heart appreciates, but does not require, emotional bolstering at this point (but please, folks, keep those cards and letters coming!). Learning to nurture myself, my own voice sustains me right now. My mind explores the mysteries to discover easier paths to reach the resting places each day, always moving forward to opportunities just over the horizon. Glances back on the landscape left behind are for guidance, not instruction.

No over-wrought or deranged ego has forced me to reveal these failures of my business, home and family. Rather, I share the journey with an extended hand, a move, in fact, towards sanity, offering a place where we can stand together in understanding; naked truth allowing us to feel compassion and heal our hearts.

I am so proud of the embraces this foolish bravery seems to inspire.
Please share with your friends


persistentillusion said...

WOW. When you mentioned enthusiasm as a 'personality flaw', I felt the pain there.

Amazing how you faced your mistakes. This took a lot of courage.

Laurie said...

I really don't know what to say. My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry you had these problems, Kip. I'm sorry you lost so much. Consider yourself hugged really big.

Richard said...

Kip, greetings from Minnesota. I sat in my garage for a long time to listen to your whole story, and was moved with empathy as incidents along your path made me reflect on my own good intentions and high hopes... especially the immense, "good-husbandly" desire for a home run that will make all the stumbles seem far away at last.

It's obvious that you are very bright and I am sure you will rise up at the other end of this, stronger in unexpected ways. All the very best to you -- and thanks so much for sharing your story with the world. (Isn't "The Story" the BEST?)

Kip de Moll said...

Hayden, enthusiasm, no matter how well-intentioned, can be blinding without moderation.

Laurie, you obviously have a big heart and bigger hugs.

I have alot of family in Minnesota so I can imagine your garage. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Rebecca Grannis said...

kip, you are getting quite a bit of press lately, the cannon, the story... what a great interview. You sounded full of bravery, humility and deep reflection. thinking of you.