Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Work in Progress


Leaning Tower of Pisa (oh and me)
Most people will recognize the structure in the background of this picture as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, located in Pisa, Italy.

The Tower began its slow "lean" into notoriety only a few years after the completion of the first floor construction began in 1173.  

The soft subsoil was unable to adequately support the weight of the structure when the second floor was added some five years later; the only thing saving it from toppling over was the 200 years of war that followed.  

The earth was able to shift and compress enough to support the foundation for future building.

Various strategies were employed to correct the lean prior to the project's completion some 200 years later, including building walls on some levels taller on one side than the other, but the tower continued its precarious list.  


It was eventually closed to the public in 1990 while a multinational task force of engineers, mathematicians, and historians met to discuss how to  preserve the newly designate UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

In 2008, scientist and engineers finally extracted soil from under one side which preserved the tilt but brought the tower to a stable condition. Today, it remains at an almost 4 degree angle, the top some 13 feet off centre.  Experts have pronounced it stable for the next 200 years-should conditions remain the same.  
                
What most people will not recognize in this picture is the small figure in the foreground. 

That is me...circa 1970.  

The reason I chose this photo to launch my blog is that like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I too am a "work in progress".  

I have spent years building on a foundation I thought was strong enough to keep me upright.  When I started to notice I was loosing my footing,  heading off balance, I tried a variety of strategies --moving--going back to school--career changes--frantically calling in experts for advice.

When the problem is your foundation...it is not an easy fix.   

Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I have had to "close down" for repairs.  

Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I am consulting experts, doing research --all to help me explore what might be going on and how I can safely "open up" again, retaining the uniqueness that makes me, me while being more stable. 

I am collecting the tools I need.  I am the engineer of my own future.  I have to dig and extract a lot of muck that may not be pretty to get myself back to where I am on stable ground.  

The work is mine to do...and so here is where I start. 




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