Behind functions and roles

Our MSH party at Lobster Cove finally happened, on the most beautiful day of the fall; the kind of day we call ‘a ten plus.’ But few people showed up. It was Columbus Day weekend; a long weekend for some, which many celebrate by going to the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, for a hike in the orange, red and golden woods.

Those who sat in the shade warmed themselves around a fire pit while others sat on the beach in their summer clothes, watching small kids play in the water, seemingly unaware of the water temperature. Axel was the only adult in swim gear and who got wet; he was too good a target for the four year olds with their buckets, and already wet.

I had hoped to bring MSHers together and recognize that we are more than the official functions and roles we play in the organization.  Being in flux, reorganizing, laying off and hiring has left many of my colleagues (and sometimes myself) quite vulnerable. This kind of vulnerability is easily transformed into judging and blaming, black and white kinds of distinctions, dividing lines splitting us into good people and bad people, those who are competent and those who are not. These judgments are harsh, like rubbing sandpaper on bare skin. When I first proposed to open our house/yard and beach to everyone in our Medford office, the offer was greeted with great enthusiasm, more than forty people signed up. People agreed that we needed to relax together and re-discover each other, the person behind the role; the mother of small kids, the wife, the husband or lover, the grandma or auntie. But then there was a hurricane and we postponed by a week. We did get to see some aunties and grandmas and moms and husbands, and it was good. But I would have liked to see some more as I don’t think the outing to Lobster Cove will make much of a difference.

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