A long, long, long time ago, Lao-Tzu was leaving the city, and the gate-keeper stopped him. Recognizing Lao-Tzu as a man of great learning, a walking treasure, the gatekeeper refused to permit Lao-Tzu to leave until Lao-Tzu wrote down what he knew.
The book written down we call the Tao Te Ching, and it describes the mysterious Tao which underlies and animates all the universe and all life.
Frankly, I don’t have anything that valuable to write down. I might as well admit it; you’d have guessed it anyhow. But I’ve seen this in action …
Some years ago at Network Answering Service, a young man named Chris N. came to work. Of hundreds who worked there, Chris stands among a handful notable among humans because he took responsibility for his actions. That means you could assign him something, and he’d do it or discover what was needed to do it and handle that and then do it. If he made a mistake, he made no excuse. In my experience, this trait is rare in humans, and I greatly respect it.
One day Chris made a one-page comic strip, called “The Airtight Answering Service of Richard French” (later re-titled “Cronographics“) about our little band of OPs. From time to time, Chris would add another page, spotlighting various OPs in some science-fiction adventure. These we posted on the wall in the bathroom, where all could enjoy them.
Chris worked there for some years, and then one day it was to be his last. If memory serves, it was the day of our Christmas Party, and there was a certain amount of wine. When Chris was ready to leave, slightly sloshed, he was surprised when I ambushed him in the stairwell, refusing to let him leave until he finished Cronographics.
He requested pen and paper, and sat on the stairs, and drew a final page. And then he left, going on to other adventures both sacred and profane. His final page was magnificent.
I have no such talent. But I’ve seen some things, and known some people, and some of these people and stories might be interesting to others.
So in the hope that some of these stories might be of interest, and that some of these insights might prove useful, I write them down, in this world-wide journal, the weblog.
May you find something of interest here.