Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I took the weekend off, then spent Monday in meetings and on teleconferences. Since then, my home office has been cleaned pretty thoroughly, with stuff from my other office either integrated or stored away for now. I have tamped down the number of meetings or teleconferences significantly. All that's done so that I can spend time with family this week. My son, James, arrived today from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. He'll be with us until Saturday afternoon. What a treat!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Peter Donnelly.

The first group of people I got to know when we moved to Seattle in the late 70s were, not surprisingly, connected with my work at the Seattle Art Museum -- other arts leaders focused on collaboration and advocacy on behalf of all the arts. Peter Donnelly created and drove the Arts Alliance of Seattle for many years, in conjunction with his work for the Seattle Rep. He went on from the Rep to lead the Corporate Council for the Arts, now called Arts Fund, until 2005. He was what we call a big leader, with passion and enthusiasm and guts. He shared everything he knew with others. He had a great sense of humor. And he died Saturday at the age of 70, of complications from pancreatic cancer. His death leaves a very large hole in this community and in myheart.

4:30pm: "Peter F. Donnelly, member of the Foundation and Emeritus boards passed away on Saturday. Along with his well documented legacy in the arts community, he also played an instrumental role in shaping the Library through the Foundation. Peter joined the foundation board in 1994....He was a committed supporter ...[whose] memory lives on at the Central Library....a group of major campaign donors recognized Peter’s contributions to the arts community by naming the Peter F. Donnelly Arts and Literature Collection in his honor. "

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flowers make the world go round...

These arrived yesterday morning, from Ruth, with a note that said "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."

These were waiting for me when I arrived home from work on Friday, from Pia and Ben.

These have been here since Wednesday, to remind me that now it is truly spring.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Meet Washington Mutual's senior technology leadership team. Many of us on the team have worked together for five years, under the leadership of the blond on the right in the second row. When you work with such stars, you can finish one another's sentences. And it is hard to let go.

This week has mostly been saying goodbye to other folks who have been with me at some point over the past ten years. Looking back is often as important as looking forward, at least this week. Tomorrow I host my managers for lunch. On Friday, the remainder of the team in the picture hosts me for lunch. Tears maybe. Laughter, for sure. And optimism about what the future will bring.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The 2009 team is growing.

Over 30 walkers, many of them new and apprehensive, showed up in Everett last Saturday morning for a shoe fitting clinic followed by a 4 mile walk. Penny Kellam (front right in light green jacket) has led the Kindred Spirits team for more years than I can count. She manages humor and thoughtfulness both in building each year's team. These first walks are at 4 miles and before the end of April, folks will be walking 6 miles as a team. At the beginning of the six months of training, we walk together on Saturdays. Later she will add a Sunday walk to get us used to the idea of back-to-back longer walks. On Saturday, the sun shone for the whole walk that followed -- it felt good to peel off my jacket and lift my face up for that Vitamin D. I'll be doing daily walks around Green Lake soon to complement the other training I'm now doing on my own.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sudden Death.

The circumstances surrounding Natasha Richardson's death reverberate with all of us. We are reminded that no one can know with certitude how long they will live -- or what will be the conditions under which they die. I understand better now why the ambulance crew checked my head injuries so carefully all the way to the emergency room last June when I did my downtown face plant.

Sudden death is exactly that. Not obvious.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"May the road rise up to meet you..."

The Ring of Kerry Coastline.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat
Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl
Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d'aghaidh
Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna
Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís,
Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú.

Ireland is a place you can't visit too often.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Know how my heart went with them..."

To Ireland in the Coming Times

Know, that I would accounted be
True brother of a company
That sang, to sweeten Ireland's wrong,
Ballad and story, rann and song;
Nor be I any less of them,
Because the red-rose-bordered hem
Of her, whose history began
Before God made the angelic clan,
Trails all about the written page.
When Time began to rant and rage
The measure of her flying feet
Made Ireland's heart hegin to beat;
And Time bade all his candles flare
To light a measure here and there;
And may the thoughts of Ireland brood
Upon a measured quietude.

Nor may I less be counted one
With Davis, Mangan, Ferguson,
Because, to him who ponders well,
My rhymes more than their rhyming tell
Of things discovered in the deep,
Where only body's laid asleep.
For the elemental creatures go
About my table to and fro,
That hurry from unmeasured mind
To rant and rage in flood and wind;
Yet he who treads in measured ways
May surely barter gaze for gaze.
Man ever journeys on with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.
Ah, faeries, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land, a Druid tune!

While still I may, I write for you
The love I lived, the dream I knew.
From our birthday, until we die,
Is but the winking of an eye;
And we, our singing and our love,
What measurer Time has lit above,
And all benighted things that go
About my table to and fro,
Are passing on to where may be,
In truth's consuming ecstasy,
No place for love and dream at all;
For God goes by with white footfall.
I cast my heart into my rhymes,
That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.

This is William Butler Yeats' poem, written many years ago. It seems especially appropriate after watching both North and South Ireland join together against the mad violence last week. Enough is enough. Tomorrow is a day to celebrate the Irish spirit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Emerson

Today's horoscope says "No one knows what to expect from you today because you are no longer interested in towing the party line. In fact, you are ready to cut your ties...."

Sometimes these generic horoscopes hit it right out of the park!

Jeremy and I did abs and gluts work, then mostly lower body this morning. He thinks I can use bands when I travel to get the same kind of machine-based workout I get otherwise.

Recently, I read that thighs don't really get much exercise when walking. The work is all done by the gluts and hamstrings. Jeremy pointed out that walking backward would be a way to get the quads more involved.

Walking backward is not on my calendar at this time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Full moon.

"May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door." -- Irish blessing

Shot this morning about 7am as I was getting into my car. The moon turned full last evening at 7:38pm, so this is full moon plus nearly 12 hours.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Nature is wont to hide herself." -- Heraclitis

Explain to me how crocuses are smiling up at us from the ground and how hydrangeas are starting to unfurl their buds and how winter daphne's smells perfume THE SNOW. Snow is wrong right now. Make it go away!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Birthday Gifts.

It's a good thing we have only one birthday a year. I think of them as celebrations in every way, occasions to stop and think about where I have been and where I am going. I got so many telephone calls and emails today that remind me to hold close both family and friends. Here's a quick sampling of some of my gifts, with thanks to everyone for making this a special day.

A remarkable bouquet from Sabrina and family from a European Florist at the Fairmont.

A Tivoli Audio Model Two AM/FM radio with stereo speaker from James & Lauren, because "we thought your home office could use a sonic upgrade."

Traci gave me a tall birthday sack full of exotic popcorns from a place called Dale and Thomas Popcorn. The flavor in the bag I am eating right now is Veneto, described as "smoked Provolla cheese accented with lightly toasted onions sprinkled with parsley and sea salt." I've only eaten two packages so far today, with four left for the future. Traci and I agree that a bag of this stuff is the same as a nutritious meal.

A beautiful clay mug from the Garden Show, filled with sweet peas ready to go in the ground up against the fence in the back garden, from my friend and fellow gardner Suzie. Everything I received was thoughtful and personally selected just for me -- including the trip to the Santa Fe think tank/retreat in April and an heirloom necklace from Leroy.

Me and Vivaldi.

From the morning's horoscope:

"Born today, you are a natural when it comes to any endeavor or line of work that requires confidence, certainty and quick thinking, for indeed you have these traits in abundance. .....You can be so creative at times that others may think that you are not tied down by any realistic thoughts, and that you build your castles in the air as a matter of course. This is merely a misunderstanding, however, for you never devise any plan that is ultimately impossible."

I share this birthday with the Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, football great Knute Rockne, and the glorious singer Miriam Makeba. The image above is a visual representation of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons."

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Well begun is half done." -- Aristotle

I am reading both Emerson and Aristotle to rebalance my thinker.

Usually I can read myself out of a funk, especially with a guy like Emerson, who is all exhortation.

My knees are swollen and feel like ill-fitting hinges, especially going down the stairs. I'm taking my ibuprophen and something stronger at night. And I'm trying to refrain from being angry that on such beautiful days I can't be walking three miles or so. The stiffness makes me feel incapable generally.

So in cases like this, you have to bring in the crisp, non-emotional Aristotle. And there he is at the top of the page. So, I ask myself, what do you have to complain about when:

-- you've already a pair of walking shoes that don't hurt you.
-- you've already raised over $2,700.
-- formal training walks don't start until later this month.
-- you don't have cancer.

I guess what Aristotle might be trying to tell me is "suck it up."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A good night's sleep.

You can't tell from looking at this picture, but this is our replacement new bed, a Sleep Number bed. It doesn't smell and it allows us each set a firmness level for our respective sides of the bed. Ahhhh. Anything is possible with sleep.