won’t you celebrate with me

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

                       — Lucille Clifton


It’s almost time for the big staff retreat we’ve been trying to pull off for the last 18 months.  Two years ago, we had an incredibly productive retreat in Ogunquit, Maine: four of us away for three and a half days, actually working.  We did a program evaluation and some data analysis and then got down to some serious strategic and redesign planning.  It was a lot of work, but it was also fun and entirely valuable.

This year’s retreat will be different because it will focus on more than my program, will include more people (six of us, with only three of the original four), and we’ll have less time to work.  I’m not sure what expect.  I’m looking forward to the trip, but I’m not sure whether we’ll be as effective as we were in Ogunquit.  This gang-o’-six is very different from the original four.

In any case, we’ll be leaving mid-afternoon tomorrow, off to Pidgeon Cove in Rockport, Massachusetts (sorry Pat and Alejna: there is absolutely no to-myself-time built into this trip that would let me pretend I’d have a chance to meet either of you for coffee or cake 😦  ), staying at a place called The Quarterdeck Inn by the Sea (which looks great from the photos on their website). 

Productivity —
what will it take
to keep all negativity
at bay, to shake
us out of our patterns, to make
us see with new eyes
to foster planning that is intentional, wise?

(You know, or something …  What was that I said yesterday about this form lending itself to more serious topics?  Well, ditto.)


4 thoughts on “Teamwork

  1. Hmmm… It’s hard to make changes in a team. I know that issue. At our Summer Institute every summer the leadership changes just enough to freak me out a bit but we get into a groove and I”m happy, usually.


    1. I’m not so good with change, I have to admit. But we’re a close group, which definitely helped the retreat go well. We all play off of each other nicely. We had a couple of rocky moments, but overall, it was a productive, fun time away.


  2. I hope you have a fully productive and enjoyable retreat! And I will have some coffee and cake and think of you, somewhere near by. (It’s funny, as soon as I read Massachusetts, I started to wonder if I knew where Rockport was…but I totally understand about the not having time. One of these days, I plan to get down to New York with some time to hang out with people. I’ve toyed with the idea of going down around the time of blogher, though it seems that I won’t make it to the conference itself. It’s already sold out.)


    1. We had a great time and got a lot done. I had coffee and cookies and thought of you. One of these days we’ll be in the same town at the same time … Until then, thank goodness for blogs, email and the postal service!


Your turn ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s