Best Slowly: Field of Dreams
On this day last year, I started to craft my letter of resignation and retirement. I was still in the raw materials phase.
If Jung was right when he said cause is in the future, this was the place I’d been dreaming about. CTA had been a good place to take off, this was the place where I wanted to land.
Everything I loved about CTA, I carried with me to the Counseling Center at Fort Lewis. It was truly my field of dreams.
A good story needs a good beginning and mine was classic. The VP back then wouldn’t sign my contract. Ed hadn’t liked me from the moment he saw me. He wasn’t my type, either.
I had been sitting with Pat, one of his accounting students, and he asked Dan who the hippie was. Dan told him, “He’s the new counselor.” Ed said, “Not any longer.”
In “Field of Dreams”, the Costner character cuts a baseball field in the middle of his field of corn. It looks much worse than useless, even worse than crazy. It’s financially reckless. That’s the true measure.
The movie is all about fields, which is what relationships look like. It’s also about the way dreams come true.
If the two big questions in life are love and work, I wanted to answer both as best I could. How we learn how to learn is another big one.
When we started the training program, we had no idea if we could provide enough students. But the voice said, “If you build it they will come.”
I called the group room the cooking pot. It was like home plate in the field of dreams. We were all in the soup together. And the stories we told over the fire became soul food.
The cooking was the process, and it took both heat and a solid container. Not only was the group a container, but so was the sanctity of the room and the center.
The sacred and the profane are defined by the temple and the market area outside. We were the keepers of the temple, and we did our best to keep the money people out. We served a different master.
Our gold wasn’t the common gold, and most people hearing the word, counseling, avoided the place. The temple was coated with the mud called problems.
I remember learning that the first cognitive error is the belief we can avoid problems. The second error is the belief life’s a problem to be solved.
Why the sudden digression? We live a larger story and problems carry not just plot, but character development and meaning. It’s why when my time to die comes, I’ll see this room.
Because I’m doing this in stages, I could feel the time had come to serve the stew. I felt cooked to the bones.
That’s when I told the team, “Did you know I’m going to be a grandfather?”