Gerard Sarnat






Deliberations Begin: To Be Continued

S: Guys, we’re on tonight at my place.
I think R, C, D and I are attending
but I can’t remember exactly.
My brother, R, also plans to come.
We should discuss his potential membership.
I’m not pushing, but it would be good to do this
with most/all of the group present and without him.
We have had a cohesive well as long-lasting group,
which I value more than most things in my life,
thus I don’t think we should change
without an open, thorough discussion.
Thoughts are welcome by email,
though I think in-person eventually’s necessary.
I am feeling non-defensive about this.
My bro and I have a close relationship
that will be positive with or without joining us.
Plus on second thought I have somewhat mixed feelings.
95% positive but some resistance I don’t understand. Love, S.

C: I’m up for R’s membership provided G, our oldest dude,
who’s been in Group a quarter century,
continues to feel up for introducing a new and youngest guy.

G: This feels satisfying.
When we frame decisions in a process — which can either be explicit
or even better as between S and C up to now in this thread implicit
— wise results often flow. Thanks!
Just finishing dinner at one daughter’s.
L’s feeling good just in time to fly to NYC with a friend early in the AM.
Y did his first one-move-crawl earlier today.
E was so tickled she let me and her husband smoke a little
for the first time since Y arrived!
Back to frisbee, scootering and spinning the click-clacking wheels
to a mounted racing bike with his mesmerized older brother L.
Have a good Group tonight, xo.

C: nice!
My bottom-line: this potential addition – our 1st in 15 years –
only works if it works for everyone.
Any dissenting feeling is valid by definition, even without explanation.
That said: I hope we add him. I like him, and I think he will be a generative
plus to our roster and attendance.

G: So, after happily serving as her personal assistant for the last 24 hours, L just put in Lyft to SFO.
Looks like Sat or Sunday will work for a playdate.
Let me know, so I can optimize my free-as-a-bird sched…
C, “your” Bengals looked more wasted in hometown humidity than Niners in an offensively anemic and defensively porous generally inelegant sloppy 41-10 game until SF called off the dogs in last minute. With an opener win against hapless Tampa Bay, 49ers aren’t a very good 2-0 team. Plan to watch a lot more football with wifey away!

C: If we’re indulging, I’ll vote for Saturday morning, to allow prior fasting and later rest.
If otherwise, anytime is fine with me.
(Cincinnati is dismal.)

S: Hi guys –
Finding myself upset after group last night, I’ve been trying to sort out why.
I wanted to share my thoughts in the hope of sparking future discussions.
I have tried to be clear that I’m hoping that the decision on whether or not my brother joins
the group be a deliberate process, which includes the entire group,
and at least one meeting without my brother.
I have said this so that we can hear and understand G’s concerns
and to process my feelings about the transition.
Yet, at last night’s group C invited R to our annual retreat
and requested his contact information to include him in weekly meetings.
This was after my email indicating that I had some hesitance
about R joining the group and multiple requests to not ignore input from G and others.
I’m glad you all like my brother.
He is my closest friend and in many ways I am excited about having him in the group.
But having him there is a big change.
Much of what he brings is replay for me,
and I now realize that I very much appreciate
the dynamic I have with a group of men that does not include my three brothers.
As stated in my previous email, I am mostly positive and open about his joining,
but I would like to have a discussion about it.
Treating this as done deal has ignored my requests — this was upsetting.
Could we please talk about this at the Oct 2 meeting?
I’ll miss next week which might be a time to talk about the possible transition without me if you want, S.

E: I hear you, S.
It is important that you, in particular, clarify your thoughts and concerns,
as this is a complex and potentially loaded issue
given our group commitment
and R being your actual bro.
I agree that a deliberate process is our path to success,
allowing the outcome to be what it will be.
Looking forward to continuing our process as a group.
Respect, E.

C: S, thx for this.
One clarification is that I meant for R to try to keep his calendar clear for our weekend in case all goes well.
I didn’t mean to invite him.
That said, I’ll plead guilty to having been presumptively optimistic about his chances.
I particularly underestimated your hesitancy and your desire for a full process.
My earlier email stated my thoughts and feelings. Going forward, I’ll rein in my presumptive behavior.

S: Glad we are having the discussion. Thank you.

D: Thanks for raising your concerns, S.
It also feels good to me to see your fierce heart to stand for the interests of G as well.
Hmmm, I am noticing that this feels like a much deeper denser process
than the time which has been allowed for each person’s expression.
I propose a session not constrained by time to allow for completion.

G: All comments appreciated.
Haven’t heard from B yet.
To clarify my still evolving and open-minded position:
1. After meeting once, R seems like a great guy, no question.
2. If we were to add someone and he were not S’s brother, R as a person appears to be a good fit.
3. But I’ve had concerns about the complexity of adding a relative of any existing member.
4. S now voices “minority-opinion” concerns too.
5. In fact, I would also not elect to add a current member’s friend.
6. Given the universe of possibilities, why bring in a relative or friend who may introduce distracting complications?
7. Perhaps others find those scenarios intriguing.
8. I don’t find going down those rabbit holes particularly central to my/our basic work.
9. I would choose not to change what S characterized as our “cohesive and long-lasting group.”
10. As the oldest by a good margin, my POV is to stay the course.
11. However, I do understand others’ reasons for bringing in new blood as it were.
12. So if S decides bringing R in is of significant potential benefit to him,
I wouldn’t exercise the effective veto inherent
in Craig’s “For me, it only works if it works for everyone.
Any dissenting feeling is valid by definition, even without explanation.”
13. I agree we all need to be in the same room at the same time to delve further.
14. My feeling/hope’s that this is a deeply constructive process which’ll sort itself out with everybody eventually agreeing.
Love, G.

S: Thanks G… I appreciate your thoughts and I am also appreciating the process.

E: ditto xo

G: I sense a thawing on my end with E: since our tiff, you are making me a better person. xo

E: Thanks for sharing this G, look forward to continuing the process. XO