Finding a Voice

Monday, July 31, 2006

race starts August 5th

Tom's race: Baja Extreme
If you're looking for him in the gallery, I can't remember when he did his last race. When I find out I'll let you know.

Jeffrey's blog: Endless Ever
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 6:58 PM 0 comments

Thursday, July 27, 2006

my brother the potter/photographer

My brother Jeffrey is a professional potter in Duval, Saskatchewan. He has recently updated his website, New School Pottery.

This month Jeffrey is on the road, travelling to Mexico to meet up with our brother Tom who has gotten into Adventure Racing. You can find Tom listed as one of three members on Team Stride in this Explore the West/California race update. This Outdoor Pursuit website has a photo of Team Stride from May 2005; Tom is the one on the right with sunglasses on top of his head.

August 4-5, Tom will be participating in a race in Baja CA, Mexico, with Jeffrey along to take photos and video footage. While Tom is racing, Lori and their 3 kids will be enjoying the new pull RV in San Diego.

posted by Colleen McCubbin at 8:36 AM 1 comments

Monday, July 24, 2006

a new season

On Thursday, July 6th something crystallized for me:

It's time to go.

So I went to see Glenn, my boss, and said, "I think I need to quit."
He asked, "Does it have to be this year?"
I replied, "Yes, I think so."

He wanted to sleep on it.

Glenn and I met the next morning (Friday) and agreed on some details.
Briercrest will keep me on payroll until the end of August
and they asked for 20 days of work and that I not leave before August 13th.
I wrote my letter of resignation and submitted it that afternoon.

I'm leaving Briercrest at the end of August.
15 work days to go.

For most people this is going to seem sudden and shocking.
Several will know that I've been thinking about it for months ... years.
Of course there has been the Ph.D. question.
Then there's my friend Lamb in Ontario.
But this decision isn't about either of those.
Last fall, after meeting Lamb for the first time in Ontario
I returned with a feeling in my bones
that I wouldn't be here this fall.
But after Christmas
when things with Lamb were progressing
more slowly than anticipated
I put it out of my mind.

In May I visited Lamb in Ontario
and we attended the Write! Canada conference in Guelph.
I took the songwriting class.
The instructor, Ali Matthews, and her guitar player, Rick Francis, had met each other
within months of each quitting their jobs to pursue music.
Ali and Rick and Lamb and I sat on the lawn talking for quite awhile
about what kind of courage it takes
to jump off that proverbial cliff.
Lamb kept giving me knowing looks.
But I didn't really imagine the jump would happen this year.

Then on Thursday, July 6th in a conversation with my mother
I realized that it was time to turn a vocational corner,
to go freelance.

It seems like a terrible time to leave Briercrest.
It seems like joining an exodus.
I've been loving my work with Student Households.
We were on a pretty steep learning curve this year,
but I had no regrets
and am excited for what can and will happen in the coming year.
I love who we've got in student leadership positions.
I was eager to work with them.

Then yesterday everything converged and crystallized.
It's time to go.
My cloud is lifting and I must follow.

I'll be around to help with the transition this summer.
I'll stay involved as Publications Editor in CACSD (Canadian Association for Christians in Student Development).

I'll move to my parents' place in Spiritwood, SK for a few months,
about 1.5 hours northwest of Saskatoon -- it's been in the news a lot lately.
I'll finish my thesis,
and set my hand to freelance publishing
and songwriting,
and singing and selling my CDs (about 100 left).
I will also work on building my network marketing businesses.

I had a dream about my Grandpa a few weeks ago.
In the dream I was reading his memoirs.
The details are not distinct: just lots of reading, reading, reading,
and a tremendous feeling of comfort.

Everything is rather surreal right now.
Yet it is undoubtably right.

Since making the decision, I have been realizing just how right it is.

Two days after submitting my resignation letter,
I encountered two students, Jordan & Sarah (newlyweds), in Superstore.
"Hey, Colleen!" they enthused,
"we picked up your tape [as in cassette!] at a garage sale.
We listened to it all day and we loved it
and we said, 'Why doesn't Colleen do more of this?'"

I told them, "I have a confession to make.
I just quit my job so that I can do more of that."
After recovering from the shock of my news,
they were very excited.

The next day an acquaintance noted,
"I saw that you have a CD in the bookstore."

The same day a friend said,
"My daughter just noticed that you have a CD in the bookstore."

In six years, I don't remember when my album has received so much concentrated attention. One of these days I'll learn CSS and post a couple of MP3s.

Then there's my Birkman profile. I did this profile in January and found it fascinating and illuminating. But since resigning I have been looking at it with new eyes. One of the things the Birkman measures is areas of interest. My top five areas of interest are Musical, Literary, Artistic, Social Service, and Clerical (definitions below). On a scale of 1-99, anything over 75 is considered a need. My scores, respectively, were 99, 95, 91 ... 71 and 62. For the past four years I have been living out of my fourth and fifth areas of interest, and merely dabbling in or even suppressing my top three areas, which are, apparently, needs. No wonder I have felt exhausted and even unhealthy. And no wonder I have had no misgivings about resigning. Don't get me wrong -- I have loved my work at Briercrest and have found it immensely satisfying and important, but it's time to nurture those areas of interest that are needs.

Could it be, if I need music, literature, and the arts, that the world might also need my contributions in these areas? About 10 years ago, while a student at Regent College I took a one month retreat. During a conversation with God he said, "I want you to write." I argued, "As if the world needs another writer," to which God replied, "If I want you to write, you'll write!" About 5 years ago I attended a service at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. A woman prophesied that I "will sing release to nations." These two experiences have been simmering in my soul for these several years and I have been somewhat reluctant to really pursue them. But it's time now. It's time.

I am a poetess
And one day I will take my place
among the grandmothers and wise women
I am a poetess
Between the silences
I hear stories and find the words to speak ...


MUSICAL: Involvement with music in its many forms. Interests may include melodies, compositions, attending concerts, supporting the musical arts, or simply appreciating music. Professional musicians would be expected to have a high degree of this interest.

LITERARY: Creative interest in writing and in sophisticated language skills. Indicates appreciation for abstract ideas conveyed in various mediums and materials.

ARTISTIC: Creating imaginative works of aesthetic value, expressing ideas artistically. Working or performing in the visual arts.

SOCIAL SERVICE: Organized assistance and services to support and advance social conditions of the individual and community through social programs, agencies and organized religious involvement.

CLERICAL: Being involved in administrative positions including recording, data processing, numeric detail and personnel functions that require predictable results and specific controls.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 11:05 PM 8 comments