Monday, May 13, 2013

Back in the saddle again

We're back from picking up Max from Lewis and Clark, a liberal arts college just south of Portland, OR. A cool place. It's a wonderfully walkable city. (I'll try to patch in a few pictures as I think of it.) Max has decided that although he liked it there, and did very well, he'll pursue the next phase of his education in Colorado. We packed him up in a couple of hours, and everything he had fit into the back of a rented Tahoe. After a three day trip back, we UNloaded last night in about fifteen minutes. It reminds me of my hitchhiking days. Everything I owned weighted 14 pounds -- the last time in my life I knew where everything was.

I still have a couple of days off, although I had lunch with my astute board chair today, and will head to a couple of state library functions late this afternoon. Here's a truth about the administrative life: you're never really off. You have one life, not several. And it's a good life.

It's been interesting, and a little sad, seeing the ongoing effects of the County Commissioners' intrusion into library operations. My board and our own track record have earned some respect, more, I believe, than we have gotten. But I found myself thinking, as I drove across the gorgeous Western landscape (Columbia River Gorge, Coeur d'Alene, Montana, northwest Wyoming) that there are so many beautiful places, so many wonderful communities. As noted elsewhere on this blog, the Taoist perspective is about finding the right focus: close in when there are crucial details to be managed (or particular beauty to be appreciated), panned out when there is a larger context to be considered (or a panorama of magnificence).

Life is all about change and attention.

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