CIRCLE by Tom Grode (Man of the Sea)

Antonina Sofronova - undated

Antonina Sofronova – undated

Katherine McNenny, founder of this blog, wrote this paragraph to describe what I’m doing: “Tom Grode, who is a contributor on this blog and also in real life on the streets of Skid Row, is heading east this Summer on Special Assignment for Trees on San Pedro Street Project. Tom has told me is on a sort of spiritual quest. I look forward to hearing from him as his journey unfolds.”

Here is my first blog on this journey:

The blog references an L.A. Times article by Mary McNamara.  Her article was published the day before the verdict.  Since then, the Zimmerman verdict and it’s aftermath have become an ongoing national story, including here in Los Angeles.

One of the major aspects of Native American culture is the circle.  Circle is most often expressed with the Talking Circle and the Circle Dance.

In the book “The Circle Way: a leader in every chair” by Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, they propose two shapes define Western Civilization – the triangle and the circle.  The circle has no beginning or end and every point is equal to every other point.  A triangle has three distinct points connected by three distinct lines.

The book says, and I agree, that Western culture is unbalanced with a lack of circle.

“The Circle Way” tells the story of Christina Baldwin sitting on a plane next to a man and as they strike up a conversation she tells him about circle and triangle with her on her way to conduct a workshop on circle.  His response was he’s an airline pilot himself and if people don’t do exactly what he tells them to do when he tells them to do it, alot of people could die.  They conclude their conversation agreeing both triangle and circle are important with her gravitating towards circle and him gravitating towards triangle.

I want to take that story one step forward.  It’s not just that both circle and triangle are important; they actually need each other and each functions best when they complement one another.

Triangle, the giving and receiving of direction through authority, needs the consensus building spirit, the sharing of experience and opinion in safety found in circle, to be healthy and mature.  Healthy and mature triangle empowers circle to explore, to discover, to go deeper.

By Tom Grode

Blogger’s note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Trees on San Pedro Street Project editrix, Ms. McNenny. This is a Community improvement blog and not faith-based.

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