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Several editorial colleagues in the publishing world regularly missed deadlines. The word deadline carries some negative baggage; however, deadline seems synonymous with milestone or marker. We like to mark special moments. Markers usually offer something of significance and thus we identify them as positives. In the publishing universe, deadlines keep the process on schedule and help the process grow in more efficient ways. We all live with a variety of deadlines.

My colleagues knew that their deadlines approached, but one would ponder the use of one word and whether one or another word communicated more effectively. Another would study the birds or the traffic outside his window and reflect on nature or on technology or on pollution, but those wonderful reflections did not help him meet his deadlines. Still another editorial friend hated to let go of material for fear that the material might still be improved.

My publishing colleagues winced or rolled their eyes when I quoted an appropriate and pithy statement made by the poet Paul Valery: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

I’ve remembered my former colleagues this week because I’ve missed a few deadlines during the last month.

Here’s my reason for missing some deadlines. Ms. Anne Thrope’s Coffee Club is moving and so goes all that it embraces in its virtual world. In addition to my work at Ms. Anne Thrope’s, I am an itinerant Methodist pastor and it’s time for a move. Boxes, bubble wrap, markers (the ones with ink and not milestones), and packing tape abound! I’m looking forward to a new assignment and a new start for ministry and mission, writing and conversation, backgammon and chess, art and theology, and Armenian coffee.

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