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Agents of Ourselves: Part Twenty

As promised, the members of our writing workshop, Finding Your Voice (Laura Staley, Maribel Cardez, Yvonne Jones, Tom Dietzler, and yours truly) were joined by the venerable Dennis Pitocco last week. We all tried (but not too hard) to explain or to describe the magic we’ve discovered with and through each other — the trust, the vulnerability, the sincere sharing of truths and emotions, the creativity, the joy, and the laughter. We didn’t do very well.

All of us acknowledged that our sessions have, indeed, been enabled, in part, by our individual senses of agency. We’ve achieved what we continue to achieve by the comfort we feel in our respective skins and with each other, by the ways in which that comfort enables us to listen, to suspend judgment, to love even as we’re listening, to love because we’re listening.

In the end, the hour we spent trying to explain all that to Dennis left me thinking of what Louis Armstrong said when he was asked, “What is jazz?”

Louis is reputed to have said, “If you don’t know, I can’t tell you.”

Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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