Silly Grins

Friday, August 31, 2012


 Social clubs…never really gave them much thought.

My first time as a ‘guest’ on the North American continent, I was invited for a lunchtime visit. 

One might be tempted to ask why such places exist. 

Where the nondescript entrance led to was not really important. Neither were the forgotten names that adorned the halls. No, nothing of value…nothing valued nearly as much as the messages passed through the writing on the walls. Rules or codes of conduct are what resonate the most. 

Such are places where, when accomplished men enter, they leave their coats at the door, along with the weight of all social status that normally instills relentless competition. For there is a need for places at the tables where people can be reminded of the threads that link us all, through time and distorted histories. A neutral gathering of the minds, a place to develop character where that gnawing unrelenting competition is unnecessary…and unwelcome among peers.

No one sits alone and no one is allowed to buy anyone a round. Sure, bets can be made and dice can be rolled to see who shouts the next drink, as is the custom of mild-mannered gentlemen.

My social status may never reach that which is worthy of such invitation that would merit membership. Still, I am thankful for the opportunity that was shared. From that, I learned, as well as recognized, the need for cooperation in creative spaces from which ‘sacred’ productions are born. 

No one stands out among the circle of men who have risen so high. No one stands out where all are bound by the threads that weave a fabric of cooperation.

Sometimes, it only takes a glimpse to reassure that the driving and ever-present restlessness is subservient to an ageless collaboration upon which everything is founded. 

I felt honored to have been a guest and to have been surrounded by such humility.   


  1. I cannot do anything unless it can be compared and ranked against another. The only exception is taking care of animals. That is for my spirit. Everything else is a competition. There are no breaks, no friends,no pauses in pursuit.

    I wish I could turn off the switch but I can't reach it...I'm not even sure it can be flipped?

    1. I'm this way with most things, but there are few pursuits done purely for the pleasure they bring. Social Clubs?... I'm sure there are a few where being a fly on the wall would prove to be quite interesting.

    2. Chris: Your thoughts/feelings regarding competitiveness reminds me of a mentor I once had who had a knack for turning what seemed like every activity into a contest. I am grateful for many adventures and calamities I became part of (as well as those I chose to sit out). Early on, I learned to respect the decisions people made with regard to the paths people chose to run (and sometimes blaze).

      Though I am what pop psychology might deem a 'Type B' in terms of personality, I learned early on to give the people the space they need to charge full speed ahead.

    3. Billy: What has been interesting for me is observing what people pursue for the pleasure it brings them. The club, in my understanding, is a place where the competitiveness is given a rest in order to allow for some sort of balance that relentless competition doesn't normally permit.

      Movers and shakers giving themselves a place for rejuvenation...part of the deal is a respect for the public face as much as the private one. Some of the best advice or insight I gained from a brief glimpse into the circle was pretty common sense. Understanding that family is important and that time need to be made for those who succeed us...that message resonated with me.

      Another remark from people going through various stages of life is that a lot of things are changing. For me, understanding this is helping me to actively engage what is going on around me with a forward looking attitude. Even if my optimism is viewed fatal, I would rather actively nurture that than a passive alternative.

      Hearing accented language was apparently no big deal, which contrasts to what goes on around here. An inclusive embracing of the ever-changing times...invigorating. Sure beats the ideal of stoicism.