Tuesday 30

Pumpkins Past. This year Danielle and Daryl decided they were too old

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for carving pumpkins. But what is Halloween I cried out without a carved pumpkin all aglow on the front porch, welcoming the little treat or treaters to our house. Halloweens past we have had three, four, sometimes

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five intricately carved pumpkins on display here at Birch Lane. So I bought a big pumpkin today on my way to work. I cut it and I carved it (I bought a tiny pumpkin, too, for the dining room table.). I pulled out all the seeds and I carved an old-fashioned face into my pumpkin:

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During the day I met for two hours with someone I once worked with and he gave me lead after lead after lead; he must have given me twenty or thirty (I filled three pages with notes!) and I wondered why--why was I so blessed with this giving and then I read this quote in The New York Times, which now that I look at seems to have nothing at all to do with my puzzlement, but I still like it:

Writing to Ingrid Bergman, the filmmaker Jean Renoir once noted that the real basis for great achievement "is daily, humble work within the framework of a profession."

Monday 29

Nothing to Say. I have called my dad every night since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Tonight we talk about Ashcroft's warning today to be on the alert for more terrorist attacks this week; I had heard this press conference in the car dirving home from work. My dad says, once again, to me tonight, "Bruce, when I heard that news report I was scared to come home to my apartment and look out the window toward Manhattan. I just can't do it." I tell him I understand. I received a few touching emails today; Ann writes:

Thanks for your beautiful card, which is beautiful on many levels.  I'm thinking it might one of the last beautiful things I receive through the U.S. Mail for awhile, considering all this anthrax craziness.

At night I took a few photographs. I have nothing to say: although I find what I read at Alamut very interesting and inspirational:

Kobal, the narrator of Peter Handke's Repetition, recalls a teacher who wrote fairy tales without plots:

"They were merely descriptions of objects, and each story dealt with only one thing, a thing which, as accessory or scene of action, must have been familiar to readers of folk tales. The subject of one tale was a hut in the forest, but without a witch, without lost children, without fire...; and beyond the seven mountains [in another tale] there was nothing but a brook, so clear that its bed could be mistaken at first sight for a road... According to the author, these 'one-thing tales' were supposed to be "sun tales' and manage without the usual 'moonlight of spooky adjectives', 'sun and subject' he thought were fairy tale enough; they were the 'situation'. A single glance at a treetop, he held, sufficed to produce a fairy-tale atmosphere."

And again from Handke, this time from The Story of the Pencil:

"The best thing, storyteller: get others, gently, to tell stories - make it your goal; and do it in a way that afterwards they feel that they had a story told to them (a wonderful one)."

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Sunday 28

Kyrie Eleison. On a morning like many other mornings, I am a highly charged particle, vibrating in the bright autumn light, part of the morning chorus. Later, I read the newspaper and I shake, frightened of the future. Minutes pass and on CNN someone says "What don't you understand?" And then I think I hear him continue, or possibly I imagined this part in church where the pew handrest in the last row supported the full weight of my body and faith now shaken; "There are 5,000 people burned in hate's baptismal fire and brutally buried in the dust and molecules that is lower Manhattan." Someone says to me, "Bruce, what do you think happens when you die?" During the children's message, the minister says God is always with us, even when we are afraid. "If God if for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:31)The daily living shakes out of me; the morning song of joy, the song of light; make me conscious of the potted lily, the warm sunshine, the birds that come to the yard to be fed, the blaze from the trees, the swilring leaves and falling hickory nuts, the child's laugh--how rich I am am but how easily to be preoccupied with the day and not the art of experiencing the divine; "melt the clouds of sin and sorrow, drive the dark of doubt away."

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Saturday 27

A Room Full of Boxes. A Gift.

I took a few more pictures during the day, during my periods of rest from cleaning the basement. In the basement there is a room full of boxes. In the room full of boxes I found empty boxes and boxes full of books. I disposed of many of the empty boxes (after, of course, consulting with Elizabeth, The Lady of the Manor of BirchLane) and I poured through the boxes filled with the books.  In one box I found a beautiful book of photographs of what seemed to be an artist's look at girls at a catholic high school and in the book of photographs next to the editor's photo I found this quote:

Seeing. We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb - if not ultimately, at least essentially. .
~ Tielhard de Chardin

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This is what I said: I said, "Hi this is Bruce from BirchLane."  I said "This is Bruce from BirchLane" because I did not know how to say "Hello, Jouke. Jouke Kleerezebem?" Look at this name. How would you say it? Daryl and I have often tried to say it. And when I called the hotel the day before Jouke  arrived for the Declarations Symposium I had a long conversation with someone at the hotel about the right pronunciation; we were both wrong, but I must admit he more than me. We talked of family and work, art and cameras; it was as if we had once met--and were friends.

Today, a small gift arrives as an e-mail; a friend writes:

......thank you for the vivid picture you gave to me of your visit to the City. I have read so many accounts, and heard from other friends, but yours was so intimate and personal that I felt my breath catch and my jaw drop much as yours must have at the time of witness. and it is an act of witness, isn't it. All of the time I spent at my television in those first days, and the way I still check in to the news infinitely more now than ever. Not so much to see what "the news" is, though that is part of it. More, I find, to bear witness to these strange days. To feel the weight and measure of it, so that it can be carried by as many as possible, in the hopes that it may, then, be lighter for some. Thank you for sharing the weight that you felt there, on that day, and know that I carry part of that with me now, so that it may be lighter for you, as well.

A gift visits me at work, too. An old business associate and one-time vp of sales for me, came to my office and we talked about the end of the world as we know it and I could see tears in his eyes as I saw in the eyes of the woman I had an appointment with in New York City as I saw in the eyese of the purchasing manager in Hartford; and he came to see me, to help me, and gave me solid leads that could result in me having a rather quite successfyl year.

And a gift from one of my favorite artists, Julie Hedrick, arrives in the mail today and my spirits are lifted. She sends me the beautiful catalogue from her recent exhibition, "Temporal Motion," at the Nohra Haime Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, New York City. She encloses a note:

Dear Bruce,

Beautiful image. Thank you. I am painting a similar collision of colors. I was afraid to start painting after 9.11. but found it was the only thing to do.

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Friday 26

Last night before I go to bed I start to read Thomas Friedman's seminal study, From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won the National Book Award 1989. It begins with a quote from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

"Did you want to kill him, Buck?"
"Well, I bet I did."
"What did he do to you?"
"Him? He never done nothing to me."
"Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?"
"Why, nothing--only it's on account of the feud."
"What's a feud?"
"Why, where was you raised? Don't you know what a feud is?"
"Never heard of it before--tell me about it."
"Well," says Buck, "a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in--and by and by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. Bit it's kind of slow, and takes a long time."
"Has this one been going on long, Buck?"
"Well, I should reckon! It started thirty years ago, or som'ers along there. There was trouble 'bout something, and then a lawsuit to settle it; and the suit went agin one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit--which he would naturally do, of course. Anybody would."
"What was the trouble about, Buck?--land?"
"I reckon maybe--I don't know."
"Well, who done the shooting? Was it a Grangerford or a Shepherdson?"
"Laws, how do I know? It was so long ago."
"Don't anybody know?"
"Oh, yes, pa knows, I reckon, and some of the other old people; but they don't know now what the row was about in the first place."

Thursday 25

Watching the Leaves. I was looking out the study window at the leaves blowing in the wind and read something here which I find "quite" interesting:

I have been working with my students on the notion that we, in the design process, are also recording instruments, and that we, then, are what provides for the transfer of a phenomenon from one surface to another. That there should be inevitable frictions that occur; a strong recording will register (carry back) the experience (the heart) to the surface and materials engaged in the recording act. That a drawing could be thought of as a recording, or a construction, of an idea, as opposed to a representation of an idea. This begins to explore how drawings and models can also be read through "multiple mirrors of reflexivity" allowing for the collapse of object and interpretation (drawing and concept).

Finished my contribution for Giselle's "To Publish or Not To Publish" project which she has been developing for the internet and will launch as part of the "Declarations" symposium which is being organized by the design department of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada (which is, according to Yahoo Maps, only 283 miles or 5 hours away from Birch Lane).


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Trees across the street.

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A tree in the yard.

Wednesday 24

Portraits of Grief. I have been reading these every day (far right column); glimpses of some of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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Nashawannuck Pond, Easthampton, Massachusetts, 10/24/01, 8:15 a.m. +

Here is one, of many, from today's paper:

A Maximum Mom

"Michele, it's 11 o'clock!" Dennis Eulau would shout. "Could you just come to bed?"

After all, her day had started at 5 a.m., with the NordicTrack workout, then the frenzy to roust, dress and feed their three little guys (ages 2, 5 and 7) and get herself to work, two days a week in the city and one at home, as a systems analyst at Marsh & McLennan. On city days, she arrived early so she could jam in a lot and leave on the dot.

Mrs. Coyle-Eulau, 38, would go home to Garden City, N.Y., dine on cereal, then supervise the boys' homework and bedtime rituals. Then she would plan weekends. A skier and snorkeler, she was the one who pushed everyone out the door for activities.

She was a to-the-max mom. A coach from an opposing soccer team asked her to tone down the cheering. Before school started, she would seek out teachers, demanding, "What can you do for my boys?"

Here is what the boys did for her: last Mother's Day, they cooked pancakes with red and blue food coloring. She even ate them.

What took her so long to get to bed? Packing lunches, making grocery lists, arranging play dates. "I never understood," her husband said. "Now I do."

Tuesday 23

The Last Home Game. (poem being written)

  • By many names you are called, tonight
  • You are called, you are being
  • Called Senior Captain Danielle Barone

Monday 22

A True Story. But first this; still trying to complete my contribution here (It is not yet completed; sigh--blame those damn Yankees!) and if this is your first time visiting Birch Lane, let me say, first, thank you for coming on over (or is it in?) and, second, you really owe it to youself to see this; and set aside some time to rest here and enjoy yourself  -- I think it is one of the most interesting things I have seen online in a long time, but, of course, that is only one opinion, but it is my opinion.  And, now, the true story: I was watching the Yankee game tonight and thought of a very silly monty python poem about the book I found in the church library yesterday.

In church the book calls
How did you find me
And do you believe
Her neighbor says I
Bet he found you through
Me, I believe in
Beauty, do you, too
Yes, take me, take me
Home says this book with
The light of sunshine
I know I am this
A young simple gift
See the butterfly
And in the second
Chapter we read, no
Not yet, please, let me
Did I ever tell
You I was raised
Not from the dead but
From the living word
Wrapped in ancient
Stories when all I
Want is to go home
Angels I hear
Come to protect me
I am being held
Lifted off the shelf
Where I have waited
Patiently for you
Or you or you to
Take me with you home
Read my sad story
Once upon a time
No it does not start
Quite like this, listen
I hear them singing
Do you hear singing
See under this book
A Garden for Rose

And this is how the book I found, Simple Gifts by June Sprigg, reads:

Whenever I have thought of my time with the Shakers, one image has always come to mind first and strongest, a single moment that seemed to epitomize the whole of that summer. That image is with me still. In my mind's eye on this dismal, gray Massachusetts day, I am again nineteen, rocking and gently perspiring on a summer-time porch in southern New Hampshire half my life ago. I can see us and hear us as if the scene were preserved in the smooth glow of amber......

We are four: Sister Lillian Phelps, ninety-six, Eldress Bertha Lindsay, seventy-four, Eldress Gertrude Soule, seventy-seven, and I, comfortably tipping to and fro in our chairs, every forward surge sending a delicate breeze to foreheads and cheeks. It is the end of a summer afternoon and we are all taking a breather before Bertha goes downstairs to start supper. The ladies are talking quietly of this and that. The words aren't clear in my memory, but that doesn't matter so much. What persists is the tone: gentle, serene, at ease. The sound of their voices is like music. Lillian's low chuckles are the bass notes to Bertha's fluty laugh, which sometimes ends in a sigh. Now Eldress Gertrude introduces the fugue in her reedy contralto.

Thirty knotted fingers rest for a while on summery, flowered laps. Ten young fingers fiddle with a look of frizzy hair. If the sheer goodness in which I feel bathed assumed substance, it would have the honeyed light of a mature afternoon and the faint scent of roses from Bertha's soap. This was Canterbury Shaker Village in 1972. In my memory, this moment lasts all summer long.

Sunday 21

By What We Give. In church this morning the minister quotes Winston Churchill:

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

When I return home, I discover the most amazing "gift" in the mail. Look.

And I cleaned the garage, continued to update "Declarations," and took a few photos at Birch Lane.

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Saturday 20

The Surprise Party. (more photos coming)

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Dad enjoying his suprise birthday party!

Friday 19

Go To Sleep. There was a time when I would sing Daryl (and Danielle) to sleep every night. First, we would say The Lord's Prayer and then I would sing Frere Jacques and Let's Go Fly a Kite; sometimes to Daryl I'd sing Have I  Told You Lately That I Love You. Last night, when I put Daryl to bed and tucked him in, he sang to me this sweet song.

Today I went to Paradise Copies in downtown Northampton and picked up my six new Birch Lane greeting cards; 20 cards each of six autumn scenes.

Want one? E-mail me something creative:

Thursday 18

Questions and Answers. Via Jouke, one of the significant inspirations for BirchLane and Birch Lane Press, I am participating in:

to publish or not to. publish is the title of an investigation by Giselle de Oliveira Macedo, at the occasion of the Declarations conference. Her questions below are at the disposal of anyone with a publishing habit, in any medium. Your collaboration will be very much appreciated. Copy the questions here or send an email to

To Publish or Not to Publish; Here.

Wednesday 17

Every Day Now. In today's New York Times, I read:

In her blacker moods, the writer Dorothy Parker would occasionally answer the telephone by demanding, "What fresh hell is this?" After September 11, that could be the appropriate line to utter every day upon opening the morning paper or turning on the network news.

Tuesday 16

I Love You. Years ago, when I took Daryl to the Montessori school in downtown Northampton, we drove past this view of the Mt. Holyoke Range, every morning; he would turn to me and say "Dad,

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Let's listen to Rod Stewart." And he would push the cassette tape in and on would come and we would sing along, together (This years before, of course, he would start to say "Dad, don't sing!"):

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
Fill my heart with gladness
take away all my sadness
ease my troubles that's what you do

For the morning sun in all it's glory
greets the day with hope and comfort too
You fill my life with laughter
and somehow you make it better
ease my troubles that's what you do
There's a love that's divine
and it's yours and it's mine like the sun
And at the end of the day
we should give thanks and pray
to the one, to the one

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
Fill my heart with gladness
take away all my sadness
ease my troubles that's what you do

There's a love that's divine
and it's yours and it's mine like the sun
And at the end of the day
we should give thanks and pray
to the one, to the one

And have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness
take away my sadness
ease my troubles that's what you do
Take away all my sadness
fill my life with gladness
ease my troubles that's what you do
Take away all my sadness
fill my life with gladness
ease my troubles that's what you do

Tonight, when I walk Daisy, she pulling me forward hard, I try to get her to slow down so I can try the flash:

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I started writing a new poem on Sunday at church; it begins:

In Pleasantville, New York
Where there too is sadness
With quiet words Mary
Says bring many names
Beautiful and good
Parable and story
Hail and Hosanna
Old, aching God
We hold hands and say
Peace be with you

Monday 15.

A Walk Around Birch Lane. When I take Daisy out for an early evening walk, I see my neighbor standing at the end of the driveway. I thought he might be crying but as I approached him I saw no tears; I saw a sadness in his tired eyes and I said "Hello neighbor. What are you doing?" He answered "I am out for a walk." And I asked "Can I join you?" And as we walked around Birch Lane he told me, as so many other people I have met recently, he had not been sleeping. "I wake up every night at two, sometimes three, sometimes I do not even fall to sleep. I lay in bed listening to the house creak in the night. The dog barking outside in the woods. The silence. I see smoke, fire, and devastation. I see uncertainty. Business is bad and I am scared. Worried. Frightened." I turn to him to say my dad tells me he is frightened, too; that he does not like to look out his window which gives him a perfect view of New York City because he is scared of what he might see. "I know we are fortunate to live here on Birch Lane," my neighbor says, "but the world is changed. I didn't even feel like running tonight. So I am walking. And then I'll watch the Yankee game."

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The Portal to Birch Lane, October 15, 2001

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Sunday 14.

A Walk in the Woods. After church this morning, I went for a walk.

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Friday 12

Three Days in New York City. Positive and productive appointments Consumers Union, Reader's Digest, Forbes Magazine, and Forest Laboratories. Also visits to Edwynn Houk Gallery to see new Lynn Davis exhibition and to MOMA to see Giacometti retrospective; and a haunting  dislocation: a few photos here:

Monday 08

b060901. I have no idea what this means: b060901. I found it in a notebook today when I was organizing for the week ahead; I will be in Boston on Tuesday and in New York City on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and I must be honest--I am frightened; not so much of what might happen, rather of what I will see. (My father tells me tonight he, too, is frightened. He says he is frightened to look out his apartment window in Fort Lee, New Jersey, out across the Hudson River, out to The Empire State Building--fearing it will be in flames.) So, no words today--only pictures:

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Sunday 07

The Voice of Sadness. After church this morning, I take Daryl to Starbucks to buy him a Caramel Macchiato (and myself a Tazo Chai). As we walk along Main Street in downtown Northampton, Daryl tells me how he buys a vanilla coffee evey morning at the school store before his advanced math class, and although I am trying to imagine Daryl in class, drinking his vanilla coffee, sweetened with two sweet and lows, I find I am thinking both about Daryl in class with students two and three years older than him and about what our minister said during his sermon. First, he thanked the celloist for his moving rendition of Bach's "Prelude from Suite in D Minor," and then he said we have the power to be "a person of healing, a person of hope." And for some reason I thought of this poem.

By the ocean the singer stood and she sang.
In the still waters of a volcanic lake
asphyxiating gases that had come
from as far as 1,000 years
ago, suddenly spewed into the air
a mysterious cloud of gas
swept across the remote mountain
valley; how without life
this town is where
a little girl died, peacefully
in her house, a horse
perhaps her favorite
playmate, tethered nearby
hopelessly entangled, telegraph
a message to off island
worshippers. Now from
the front porch I watch
the western breeeze under
the stormy sky the sea
and all that is green seems to stir.

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Saturday 06

In the Stop & Shop parking lot
In Northampton, Massachusetts
The girls stood, and I stood
With them, watching the approaching cold
Front, black and grey, swirling
In the Western sky, rain, visible
And what is invisible, I wish
I had a camera, said Arlen
And all the pretty girls, each
Pretty in her own way, agreed
Yes this sky would make a beautiful
Picture, one of the girls said the sky
Looked like God should now
Appear and reach out to us here
In the Stop & Shop parking lot
And she said you should know
That I dont live in a world where
People are flattered to know me
And I can't.  (to be continued)

Friday 05

This morning my brother, Dennis, author of the award-winning book, Echoes, sends me a link to an ArundhatiRoy story that appeared in The Guardian.

Some of my first pictures taken on Birch Lane with the new camera:

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Stranger in a Strange Land

Thursday 04

Reporting What I Heard. It is past midnight and I just returned home to Northampton, Massachusetts from a fast--and short--trip to a bar in Long Island City/Queens for a work-related cocktail party. One woman I met tells me she will not take the subways and wants to move to Connecticut. A division president tells me, with tears welling up in his eyes, about his trip to "ground zero." Another man, he too, with tears, tells me how he called his wife and child in another state after seeing ground zero. They all tell me how the city IS changed--no matter what you hear on the news. People are scared. People are on pins and needles. There are still small ground fires. There is smoke. And there is the odor. I couldn't see any of this from where we were, but I saw police stopping cars and trucks, police stationed at toll booths.

Wednesday 03

Thinking About The Weather. A friend writes, "there is only the weather," but this morning, as I drove out from Northampton through the Berkshires on my way to Guideposts in Carmel, New York, I was struck by the blaze from the mountains of trees and I wondered to what extent geography impacts a person's state of grace, happiness, goodness, purpose.

Tuesday 02

"Is this Hell?"


Monday 01

For Esme -- With Love and Squalor. I began to re-read Salinger's "Nine Stories" tonight. It was on the coffee table in the living room. Daryl has been reading it, but tonight he took his other book (Skywater; a book I greatly enjoyed) upstairs to bed, to read, to fall to sleep--listening to lately of all things; The Grateful Dead's "Workingman's Dead" (Life is full of suprises! God, now I hear him singing "Riding that train/high on cocaine"). So I read For Esme -- With Love and Squalor which seemed to me a perfect story for today. I think this is because today I was thinking of two things; no, make that three things--no, four:

1. Learning and Note-taking
2. Entrepreneurialism
3. Words
4. Poems about children

I have a terrible memory. Ask me what I've read and I can't tell you unless I've taken a few notes. I write to know. I write to remember. I think I will write twice; once to write it down, to record it; this the note-taking part and twice, to remember. For example, somewhere, sometime, long ago, in a so-called "great book" I can't remember, I read the following:

"A theory: life is composed of five appeals--to the touch, to the taste, to the nose, and to the eyes--all conferring their messages to the mind, and to the breast."

And then, later, I took my notes and copied them; well, typed them here in this journal called BirchLane and if I had not writen them down once, and then again, I would not have remembered; and I want to remember. And when I entered them on the computer they looked like this:

"A theory: life is composed of five appeals--to the touch, to the taste, to the nose, and to the eyes--all conferring their messages to the mind, and to the breast."

All this is a short introduction to my current dilemna; I 've read two hundred pages of Sophie's World, " a novel about the history of philosophy," but if you asked me to tell you all about Democritus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc, I'd be hard-pressed to give you a satisfactory and coherent answer. The problem; I was not taking notes. I am starting to read it again; starting, of course, on page one, Chapter One, "The Garden of Eden." And I am taking notes. I am pledged to take notes whenever I read--anything.

Item Two: The man I work for said "this is entrepreneurialism at its core." Yes! I have been thinking about this for the past six or seven days. What does this mean? My first appointment (at Guideposts) is on Wednesday--and I have a two, maybe three, next Wednesday and Thursday in New York City--my first trip to the city since August.

So the question:

"What am I really marketing?"

Well, let's think: LASON is a leading provider of integrated information management services and the position allows me to both utilize my extensive direct marketing experience coupled with exposure to worldwide technology centers performing data capture, document conversion, and internet solutions.


The simple answer would be:

  • Laser Print & Mail
  • Web-based Print-on-Demand
  • Variable Data Printing
  • High Volume Digital Color
  • On-line Document & Data Archiving/Scanning
  • Electronic Trade Confirmations
  • Internet Bill Presentment & Payment

But we are really and truly marketing solutions--solutions to problems and dilemmas they face; solutions that hopefully in someway help to improve their bottom-line. We’re marketing reassurance and support and peace of mind. Marketing effectively, I think, means paying central attention to delivering new value to customers. Before everything, comes the need to see customers clearly. Competing on technology and service means competing on information, but our equipment is not the center--it is the thread that connects people.

It is a people business. People buy from people! And, ultimately, we compete with no one but ourselves. So the questions loom: How do I make myself better? More knowledgeable? More likeable? Easier to do business with? How do I define and then promote our competitive advantage. What makes Bruce Barone better?

We all offer the basic set of services. But there is only one Bruce Barone. I am, in a sense, as Tom Peters would say, a brand. It is my brand that distinguishes me. It is the essay "All You Need Is Love." It is measured in the eyes of end-users; not what I send but what they receive—their perception of what they receive. Positioning is what I need to do in the minds of my prospects. I will not mimic but build a little shelf of my own through brand identity—the brand of one—the brand, Bruce Barone. There is only one Bruce Barone. Entrepreneurialism==Evangelism.

Point three (from way back when); words. I can't really remember what I was thinking about words. If it comes to me, I will note it. I think it had something to do with what I read here everyday.

All this is brings me back to Esme because as I glanced at the two or three hundred books of poems on my bookshelf, I found only a few that have as their theme children; the clay from which a poem or story was told. Oh, yes, Wordsworth lamented lost innocence, but I am talking here about children (or family)  appearing in poems in the way they might appear in a Salinger story. Or an old Henry Bromell story (he doesn't write short stories anymore). Or Ann Beattie. I find a few children appearing in the poems of Andrew Motion, and in the poems of Cathy Song; but today I find little that brings joy and understanding to me, and if not joy, at least a deeper understanding of life, life's purpose.

"I know this much, is all," Franny said. "If you're a poet, you do something beautiful. I mean you're supposed to leave something beautiful after you get off the page and everything."

--Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger

I am going to change this. I am going to write more poems about children. Stay tuned. Or be warned. Whatever.