Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Pride Mountain Vineyards, Summit Trail, Spring Mountain Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

May 9, 2019

This essay, Sabbatical, is the companion piece to
  1. Sabbatical II (Beginning)
  2. Sabbatical II (Middle)
  3. Sabbatical II (End)
in that order.

Photography by Laurence Platt

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

10:26am Tuesday May 28, 2019
IBM / Lenovo L440, circa 2014 IBM / Lenovo T61, circa 2008

My first outage in nearly sixteen years of publishing these Conversations For Transformation essays twice a week, occurred recently when I declared a sabbatical effective immediately Thursday May 9, 2019 which ended on Thursday May 30, 2019 (Thursday being both the start and end date, is merely co-incidental).

Some said "You deserve a break"; others said "It's a well-earned rest.". I love you for your love and kindness and consideration, and Thank You. But I want to be clear about this: the sabbatical didn't come from needing a break or rest. And I eschew "downtime". It was never that. A break? A break from what?  No, it was a warranty outage sponsored by IBM  (International Business Machines) / Lenovo for my L440 laptop computer with which I create this Conversations For Transformation website, that prompted the sabbatical. My L440 is a machine that's functioned flawlessly for five years (an aeon  of time in the world of tech) and after all that, only required some trim tightening (hardly surprising, given the intense workouts my relentless pounding has given all the computers I've ever worked with since 1969).

Look: engaging in Conversations For Transformation is living. If we need to take vacations to get away from our business as usual  lives, we go to the beach to experience living unfettered and unencumbered. But living an unfettered and unencumbered life is what engaging in Conversations For Transformation brings forth. Indeed I would have liked to avoid declaring the sabbatical altogether. What I'm committed to and engaged in actually calls me to go in exactly the opposite direction.

Without my L440, my technical prowess was obviously massively diminished. Yes I do have a backup. It's my earlier, eleven year old IBM / Lenovo T61 laptop, replete with the once cutting-edge Windows XP  (eXPerience) operating system, now almost unusable as an internet navigation tool (my, how quickly tech evolves ...) yet still capable of running all my good ol' ancient DOS  (Disk Operating System) editor and all the related green screen  softwares with which I write these Conversations For Transformation essays. With it, I could do some basic foundational but not yet ready for prime time work, which would have to be assembled into something more promising later. For that, what I also needed was a stack of A4 sheets of paper on my desk, a notepad at the end of the lane of the swimming pool in which I train, and a stack of post-it  notes on my car's dashboard on which I made (at any and all hours of day and night) notes about what to implement when my L440 returned.

The sabbatical revealed something profound for me, which is: there's a distinct space of being  Conversations For Transformation ie of living them; and then there's a space of writing  ie of speaking Conversations For Transformation. And between the two is a laser-thin line (like being and action, they're distinct ... yet inseparable).

Without my L440, the latter was limited. But I noticed the former (and this is interesting) never fluctuated. Being  Conversations For Transformation is where the rubber meets the road. Spoken rigorously, I require my L440 to implement what I share freely on the internet, coming from our relationship with Werner. But that relationship with Werner requires nothing. It's whole and complete and sufficient in and of itself. In a word, it's Life ie it's my life. And my life, I already got. So there's nothing I have to do, to get it. In other words, writing these Conversations For Transformation shares my experience; yet doing so isn't required for me to get it. That said, when you share your experience of transformation, it's proof positive that you got it in the first place. Really. Unshared, whatever it is ain't transformation. Sorry.

Now my L440 is returned, its trim new. IBM / Lenovo basically gave me back a brand new laptop (buy the best, and cry only once). Sabbatical's over. Back to work!

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