Friday, January 31, 2014

Can Camels Shrink? Or Only Grow?


Jim Wood, long known as @shrinkingcamel on Twitter before he threw off the cloak of anonymity and embraced his public persona, is “retiring” as the Work Editor at The High Calling this week.  

I met Jim online before I met him in person. It was via a web site devoted to faith and work, and this guy known only as Bradley Moore (a pseudonym) was commenting and posting. The site was retired a couple of years ago, but I had followed the camel over to his blog, and then we followed each other on Twitter.

One summer Saturday afternoon in 2009, the camel, Laura Barkat and I were tweeting on Twitter, the subject of the movie Bottle Crazy came up, and we exchanged a few lines of poetry. It was a fun thing to do, but that exchange led to poetry jams on Twitter and ultimately to the creation of Tweetspeak Poetry.

At the time, Laura was managing editor of The High Calling, and it wasn’t long before she enticed Jim to become the Work Editor and me a contributing editor.  Most of the articles I’ve written for The High Calling have been on work, and Jim has been my editor. He’s one of those editors who make it easy for a writer to write. We eventually got to meet face-to-face at an editorial retreat at Laity Lodge.

Jim’s the author of At Work As It Is in Heaven (I reviewed it here). I interviewed him at The High Calling about the book.

Now he’s headed back to college (with college-age daughters himself) to finish his MBA. And stay employed at his executive job (responsible for lots of stuff and people). And so he told us a few weeks back that he would be retiring from The High Calling.

It’s one of those decisions friends make that give you both joy and sadness at the same time.

And so, for Jim Wood:

Can Camels Shrink? Or Only Grow?

I saw a camel spit before
but never saw a camel shrink,
never saw a camel sink
at the oasis. One hump
or two, camels find it difficult
to slip through the eye of a needle,
even when lathered with olive oil.

I watch a camel slip away,
I watch a camel embrace his MBA.
I wish the camel well
at the oasis.

Photograph by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.


9 comments:

Maureen said...

Wishing Jim a great MBA experience. No doubt, he'll be the only one in the class who's looked through the eye of the needle.

SimplyDarlene said...

He edited my last piece over at THC - and I agree about him making it easy to write. I reckon sir Jim's input and influence will be missed over there.

(Blessings on your new endeavors!)

Sandra Heska King said...

Bittersweet. You'll be missed, Jim.

nance.mdr said...

well, that's cool news.
nice poem, Glynn.

David Rupert said...

GLynn, you continue to honor others with great grace. And brad/jim deserves that honor.

S. Etole said...

You both grace our lives in wonderful ways.

shrinkingthecamel.com said...

Glynn, and friends, thank you for these kind words - and my own poem, for goodness sake! Yes, it's time for a new beginning in my life, but this one has left lasting marks.

I consider you all good friends as we continue to navigate the journey.

Glynn, you have been an inspiration and motivator and such a great collaborator. I watched a movie last night called "About Time" where the father and son are both able to travel backwards in time... the dad said that what he ended up doing was living each day two times, so that he could read twice as many books. That made me think of you! (is that how you've been able to get all these book reviews in?:)

Blessings

diana said...

So many good wishes, Jim/Brad, as you jump into the wonderful whirlpool of grad school as a student in 'the later years.' I loved it - though I didn't do an MBA - and you will, too. But you will be missed at THC, that's for sure. Thanks for the tribute, Glynn, and for the fun poem. At the oasis, indeed.

Sam Van Eman said...

Nice tribute to JB, Glynn, and I still think it's incredible what those lines of tweeted poetry have become. #goodwork