Here is something to try that may help you deal with situations that are less than ideal that I learned from my hostess this weekend in Fairbanks. She said her Lenten practice is to remind herself that she is in these places-- these sick rooms, these contentious meetings, the grocery store, the borough office, a yoga session, a classroom, a daycare, the senior center, the post office, the trail, the cab of a snow plow, the clinic, a police car,the library, the cafe, the grocery store or the gas station-- at this moment-- for a reason. She can do some good.
I really wanted to show you the incredible ice sculptures from Fairbanks-- there are so many-- but I forgot my good camera, and I only had my phone with me in the ice park and my hands froze trying to swipe and press the right buttons, plus I am such a Luddite I cannot figure out how the heck to get the few good shots I managed to capture to this page upright instead of sideways. I have a moment right now between soaking in the Chena Hot Springs, walks at 18 below, church-- At St.
I recently read a little book of great advice titled Steal Like an Artist by a guy who makes art by blacking out words in newspapers-- and more-- but that type of work, named Austin Kleon. It's a quick, simple, but good read. It gave me a lot to think about and jump started me a bit when I was in a low patch creatively. We are not alone in this endeavor. Anyway, taking the advice of the title, I am stealing the heart of today's note from Nancy DeCherney in Juneau, the head of the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (who is also a daughter of Haines).
Here is my dog walking companion in her wind-chill burka. (Yes, she can see out of it. And she says it works really well!) It's actually a gauzy scarf.
Here are a few things to know for Tuesday: Wear your ice grippers, I know they may be a pain to get on and off your boots, but they are better than a broken elbow and we are not out of the woods at all, ice wise. it looks like spring, but at 10 degrees and blowing 25 it's really cold, and while there are bare patches of road and sidewalks, enough even for Chip and I to ride bikes-- as long we go back and forth on the same 3 mile stretch and wear a lot of warm clothes-- the most hazardous parts of each outing are those icy places closest to the doors you want to go in and out of.
"I like to think of myself as a person who catches these pieces. That I reach out and grab the songs that are coming out of my mouth."-- Bobby McFerrin
Chip is watching the news, and sees the rusty cans of gold coins worth about ten million dollars a woman walking her dog found in her backyard. She's been walking by the same tree they were buried under for years, apparently. He's also reading The Luminaries, a big historical novel that takes place during the New Zealand Gold Rush era in the nineteenth century.
I just took the KHNS radio survey-- I love surveys-- especially opinion surveys. I even like those calls at dinnertime asking me about Alaska politics, which was why I was disappointed a few minutes ago when someone who called asking for my husband Chip, but called him "Phillip" and pronounced our last name as if it rhymes with blend, said I could answer their five questions in his place, and the first question was my political affiliation (which is different than my husband's), and I answered " Democratic " and the surveyor said "thank you very much" and hung up.
February really is the month of love this year-- The sun! The snow! The wins and grins! Skiing at Chilkoot is so great we keep going back out across the lake-- and we are not the only ones-- Everyone who has been has gone back. I mean, honestly, I have to pinch myself and ask, do I really live here? Is this really just ten miles from home?