Pretty Good Thursday
The big news from the pool at yesterday's early bird swim was frost on the windshield (scraping required before we arrived at 6:30, in the dark) and the beautiful sunrise (the sky lit up through the big windows in the corner). I swam thinking about the borough assembly meeting the night before. It went well, I think we are finally hitting our stride, especially since the election only changed the group by one person, so that says something for stability. I will miss Ron, who declined to seek re-election, but the new member, Brenda, will be an asset. We worked together on the planning commission, and while we disagree on some pretty fundamental issues, we agree on a lot of others, and more importantly, we respect each other. I think a lot of governing comes down to that. It's easier to disagree, or even have your mind changed, by someone you like. I thought about that as I swam my pre-dawn laps. That's what I love about swimming-- there are no distractions, the only sounds are breathing and splashing. After I run over the latest borough meeting in my head, or fuss over my current worry, or say a rosary praying for everyone I love, and some people I don't, but who need it, I settle into a meditation, and try to see how long I can last without glancing at the clock. I've heard 8 minutes will do wonders for you physically and emotionally. I'm up to 12. It's harder than it sounds is all I can say.
On the off days this time of year (the pool is only open MWF mornings), I pedal a stationary bike and listen to the radio. That is not as good for my soul, but again, the local news this morning was not as hard as it was, say, in July, so there's that. It was actually kind of hopeful. The assembly, the school board, the fish and game advisory board, all are making the right choices it seems for the most people. At least for today. I read more of Al Franken's book on governing, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate too. which I can't do in the pool. There are many parallels to his work in Washington and ours in Haines, so imagine how pleased I was with his advice for being an effective lawmaker: find ways to like people you disagree with, be polite, be prepared, and keep your sense of humor.
I also just finished Sherman Alexie's book about his mother, and her death, and grief-- and a lot of other things- You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. It was so good on so many levels-- poetry, grieving, family life, Spokane-area reservation life, modern life-- a writer's life-- memoir and memory. Native American issues. One lesson in it that he shared, which kind of echoed Franken, and can be applied to all sorts of situations in the world right now - and is hopeful, actually-- in a dark humor sort of way-- is: "Do you know why the Indian rain dances always worked? Because the Indians would keep dancing until it rained." We all need to keep dancing, don't we?
It really is going to rain later today and tomorrow. Hard. There are flood warnings and gale warnings. And if you want to try dancing with a pro, and friends, Stoli is teaching Zumba and Holly is teaching the little kids ballet and gymnastics in the dance studio on Main Street. You may want to check out the schedule on the door next time you're in town.
The Public Safety Commission meets at 5:30 today, in assembly chambers, and there's choir practice at 6:00 in the museum. The school book fair begins tomorrow, and at noon tomorrow is lunchtime yoga with Mandy in the Chilkat Center. There are a whole bunch of gatherings beginning this weekend for Halloween (I need to pick up my script for the library's literary haunted-house. It will be on Sunday afternoon and Monday and Tuesday evenings), and the Episcopal Bishop of Alaska will be in Haines for the Sunday Eucharist at St. Michael's in the Chilkat Center Lobby at 10:30 am. Everyone is welcome.