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  • Writer's picturejdc

Tone & Tenor

It’s about 3 pm on a lovely fall day. I’m walking along the Bay and it seems it is time to write. I know that to be true because I stopped in my tracks and the words arrived as if waiting for when I was ready, enough. This is one of a series of three started simultaneously October 20, 2022 and completed November 8, 2022 in bed - all on iPhone.


As I mentioned earlier much of 2022 was about adulting. One aspect of that is trying to figure out the tone and tenor of my communications, all expressions. My writing reflects my verbal conversational style. I wish to bring you close so we might explore points of commonality and community within the context we find ourselves.

That last sentence is tricky as it is predicated on deep self-awareness, humility and humor - a trifecta.

I find myself constantly or perhaps more mindfully navigating the tension between personal and professional as the latter includes a set of norms not set by me or for me, that I shall not perpetuate.

It’s all in process…or perhaps better stated, I am in practice.

Two themes continue to surface around tone and tenor shared below to make transparent my aspiration and intention as well as to keep me honest:

  • Naming - to understand how we got here, origin stories and etymology

  • Normalizing* - to offer language and/or experiences that move us beyond fear, guilt and shame to opportunity, recognition and responsibility

I wish to spark curiosity and conversation that not only frees us from limiting beliefs but perhaps more importantly moves us towards what might be possible for us.

This exercise keeps me as close to the edge as I can be, acknowledging that my preferred state is in the center of the infinity pool looking across the ocean towards the horizon.


Partially cloudy sky above the aquamarine gulf of Mexico with the sun reflecting on both
Partially cloudy sky above the aquamarine Gulf of Mexico with the sun reflecting on both. • Cabo Bello, MX, 2021 Photo by jdc

* On "Normalizing" - I struggled with word choice here. I did not wish to convey or align with prevailing beliefs and attitudes that other. Landed here with the guidance of Nicole Amri as it is a term used in the fields of community arts ed, youth development, mental health….and has meaning. It also let me keep to my alliteration affliction (see what I did there) which aides learning and recall.

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