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Mark Ita – Switzerland

Dear All

This process is culminating, slowly moving
to the big moment – retreat in San Antonio and publication of the
book that is the fruit of decades of relentless hardiness to which
you, we, all contributed in some way or other. I had planned to
follow this process within this group regularly and get in touch
with you more intimately, Jackie, Jim, Tim, Herb, Rachel, Eric &

Hélas, my elephant carried me down another
path – an exciting one, I dare say, looking back on my last year.
It took me (working now in the aid industry) to Pakistan, to the
Himalayas, to India and since this summer to western Africa – a
life appealing to my sense of fun. So in the end I was never on
the call and hardly able to keep up with all the lectures and
discussions on this list.

Yet FLOW kept steadily popping into my
days, even if only as mails to be deleted (a time consuming task
in itself J) – reminders to my unconscious self to keep kindling
the fire within me. I have a notebook (paper, not apple). I have
it lying on my desk. I use it to keep track of daily business, to
jot down ideas, observations and frustrations (with a pen). On its
cover I have drawn the cycle of “awareness”, “purpose”,
“competence” and “wellth” and around this spiral I arranged the 12
FLOW elements. It’s a faithful companion, sometimes giving rise to
interested questions. When meeting people I always think of my
first lessons in coach2 – just keep quiet. Connect, clarify and
commit is a helpful triad.

I am off to Ghana tomorrow where I going to
spend two weeks working with our team there engaged in preventing
and treating blindness. I am then spending another week in Mali
getting a new project under way together with a young Malian
ophthalmologist (he takes his mobile clinic in a Landcruiser out
into the sticks and operates 50 cataracts a day (!) – makes you
very humble). I won’ t be on the call again L, I am afraid.

I had seriously considered coming to San
Antonio (my dad use to work for a Texan rice company and I heard a
lot of stories about San Anton). If it were on this side of the
planet I would have been the first to come. I believe this process
to be very significant – I learnt a great deal in these last six
years with you, Mike (your warned me, this will be a lifelong
relation, hehe). I would have liked to touch base with you all in
person (some again) – the only way to really connect.

But the idea of coming home and then a
fortnight later, rushing across the ocean for a short week-end is
too much of a good and pricy thing to do. So I will not come,
knowing I will no doubt miss out on something. Let alone bearing
the frown on my wife’s forehead (I am high acceptance).

This morning I went to my boss to say good
bye and we got talking for about an hour, about my work over the
past year, about the state of the world. Somehow we got round
talking about our organization, about burn-out cases, stress,
productivity, the tension between ideality and reality in this
kind of work. Requisite organization jumped to my lips. I told him
about my American friend who tried to bring happiness and success
together and was on the verge on publishing a groundbreaking
oeuvre. He was very, very interested and suggested I give a talk
on it sometimes after I am back … (no, he didn’t have any funds
for a ticket to San Antonio, very sorry – I had the cheek to

Well, I’ll be with you in my heart. And
this venture is only at its prenatal state. So I wish you all a
very fruitful workshop and a lot of fun. Take care

Best Mark


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