In past years, when Partners join the Board or Leadership Team, I have asked each of them to offer answers to a Proust Questionnaire as a way of introducing themselves to the partnership. I thought I would resurrect that practice for those who have taken leadership positions in the past year. This morning Brent Unrau offers his answers. Thank you, Brent, for this window into your life and thank you for serving on the board.
What gives you joy?
Free, casual time with my wife Denise, preparing and eating slow food, going for a walk or exploring culture. Play time with my grandchildren Emma (3.5 yrs old, and Felix 6 months)
What is your greatest fear?
Not being enough, relationally, financially, or wisdom and intelligence wise.
What inspires you?
Stories inspire me (in book form, movie from, play form, any form for that matter. Poems inspire me. Most recently the mycelium network beneath my feet inspires me, see https://fantasticfungi.com/trailer/
What is your favourite pastime?
Racquet sports (ping-pong right now), hiking (most recently Cornwall Coastal Path), enjoying movies and T.V. and engaging with them with heart and meaning, most recently a movie by Alice Wu, The Half of It (so good).
What living person do you most admire and a bit about why?
Let’s go with Wendell Berry, his integrity and authenticity moves me and then his life as a farmer, poet, writer, activist, satirist continues to move, challenge and touch me.
What qualities do you most value in your friends?
Enthusiasm, openness, vulnerability and willingness to have fun, be creative and take initiative. One last thing, a heart to work through conflict and still chose love in the messiness of life.
Who are your favourite writers? What is the next book you will read?
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine-so good), Wendell Berry of course (esp. Hannah Coulter), Richard Wagamese, Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War), Frederich Buechner (Telling Secrets), Anthony Doerr, David Adams Richards, Marilynne Robinson, Leif Enger and of course C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein. The last book I just finished yesterday was The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (so good) the next one, already started, is The Overstory by Richard Powers.
And to think I really never read until I met Denise in 1980. Thank you, Denise, for awaking my heart to the imaginative wonder of story.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Samwise Gamgee, who else?
If I gave you a medal right now what would it be for?
- A record setting number of hours on Zoom in the last month as I helped to co-facilitate two Living from the Heart Courses and then partook of a SoulStream board meeting.
- Continuing to be a learner and vulnerable participant in the long, deep, complex, life giving journey of living in intentional community on Kingfisher Farm.
- Being a supportive presence in the journey with SoulStream to see the renouncing of the Doctrine of Discovery come to fruition.
What is the greatest gift SoulStream has given you?
A contemplative awareness of LOVE as the fundamental ground of existence and interbeing. Real friends to journey with, laugh with, watch movies with, cry with, dance with, learn with and share in this wild and good contemplative life together.