Saturday, July 28, 2007
Micheal Pless is Authentic. And I will tell you why.
There is a hope that I have someday to find a certain place in life that truly allows for an unconditional free flow of soul. In other words, I would prefer not to have to worry about the result of any action, oration and/or position on a subject that I might have commentary. I want to let it flow someday, non-stop. I want to influence others through my tin can of experience, tell it like it is without recourse. In order to do that, there are risks, we have talked about that, therefore I, like most people, keep things tucked in. Conformity sucks, but I am slowly converting. I have a teenager for Gawd's Sake, if she knew of this she might think ill of me. Nothing scary, nothing over the edge here. I simply want to be me, totally, authentic, before it is too late.
I suppose that is why I am going out to California to meet a new acquaintance soon, Michael Pless, you will see the depth of character if you read the story and that pretty well is the reason why I am intrigued when it comes to "authentic" heroes. I have a passion for people with special skills, mainly the skill of expression, helping others, giving something up for the sake of your fellow man. My buddy Lewis Greenberg is of the same ilk. As are others, authentic, real and unconditional. They are the real deal, the teachers of soul release.
In our annual managers meeting the other day, we set the stage for our key management group. I suppose that, since we want to be different, and that we are different, I have no other choice than to include that (we are different) in our culture--that we make no bones about our unconventional "isms". We'll make it one of our "Pillars of Culture"--one of the things that makes us unique, the fact that we are inspired because of our ability to be ourselves. "Pillars of Culture" is now our slick reference to the soul of Pfoodman, our homegrown version of prosperity for those who want to achieve. Join us if you feel inclined to be yourself, while jiving on the energy of our staff. We got a pretty cool thing going on. Not perfect, but pretty cool. If you want to know our "pillars of culture" contact any one of our managers. They should have it tattooed somewhere by now, (kidding).
So during the meeting at around three PM. My favorite bald guy says for everyone to go to the condo and get comfortable, check in and meet back at the conference room. This was every ones signal to go and change out of traditional "business casual" dress and emerge as they truly are. This was the start of something new, something authentic. At 5:00 pm the party was to begin at a Cabin at Bald Guys lake house. I laid out my t-shirts on the bed and paced back and forth as to which t-shirt I would wear.
I had a Black Flag shirt, pre-Henry Rollings logo, by the way. When I lived in LA in the early 80's I saw them once and my sister thought I might like the shirt some 30 years later. Whenever I wear it, I get commentary from any assortment of people. People with the secret handshake, those who get it. The music, the counter culture of what was, years ago. Pretty cool.
There was a Burnin at the Bluff bike race t-shirt there. Which pretty much sums up what I do outside of work. There is sacrifice and a lot of energy in that shirt, it is grassroots, mountain biking. It represents what others can't do, unless they REALLY work at it. Blood and broken bones are in that shirt. I have had surgery 4 times because of what that shirt represents. I wear that shirt when I have threaded some sweet single track. I earned it at the Burnin at the Bluff 12 hour mountain bike race that takes place each year at Council Bluffs in Southern MO. Thank you Mesa Cycles.
I waded up the pastel colored polo's and tossed them in the closet. While they are important to me, this was no place for them.
I wore the Black Flag t-shirt and along with a salty Telluride Visor. Headed back to the meeting, it all came together for me. As I approached, I saw the managers filing in, dressed the way "they" are. The way they are most comfortable. It was expression. They were different, as was I. Talk about Soul Release?
At the party there was a rule. Everyone had to take a kayak ride. I brought my Wilderness Pungo, my 14 footer. I love that Kayak. It makes me smile. So everyone who got in it smiled a lot. When Fenner fell over we all laughed with her. Though everyone was ready to jump in and give her a hand should she have needed it. We had guitars and blues harps, we played music and sang stupid songs. Chef Anton knocked out a gourmet meal out of nothing. The campfire roared later, with 35 people in a circle laughing, telling stories being themselves. Authentic.