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Day hikes

I’ve been taking some day hikes, clearing my head, getting out of the house, etc. And what strikes me about this pandemic is that, while I or others will step far to the side to let each other pass (six-foot rule), it’s all very pleasant. There’s no sense of discomfort or fear. It’s just caution and a shared understanding of the experience.

As the Nation’s leaders try to sort out this mess, we on the ground just have to keep on any way we can.

Weekly Rundown

All about Ketchikan, Volume Two.

The history of Ketchikan is closely tied to fishing. As I mentioned last week, the Kadjuck Tlingits made summer fishing camps along the coast of this island at the Tongass Narrows. But it was in 1883 that a salmon saltery (fish packaging operation) was established. This saltery, started by Mike Martin, was the first such business in place.

In 1885, Loring cannery opened its doors; in 1887, the Tongass Packing Company built its cannery; other immigrants began to open businesses, and in 1900, on August the 25th, the City of Ketchikan was incorporated with a population of 459 residents.

Southeast Alaska is one of the great breeding grounds for all species of the Pacific Salmon. There are about 1,100 islands that make up the Alexander Archipelago, which themselves have steep inland ranges and streams (aided by the about 150 inches of rainfall each year). All these factors contribute to the returning salmon runs, some with upwards of one million fish!

During the mid-to-late summer, salmon can be seen running over the falls and fish ladder at Creek Street, right through Downtown Ketchikan.

Creek Street

Track the positivity

There’s some terrible stuff out there. This virus is just the latest in a string of negatives that link throughout history. At the same time, there are a number of voices railing against the negativity, offering positivity, an upbeat message, and even, if you’re open to it, hope.

Find the positive messages in the world. Take control of your emotion, and be hopeful. It’ll get better. And just maybe, we’ll have a better frame of reference for the next downswing we experience.

No new updates

There’s not a lot of information moving around in rural communities. Perhaps that’s why the concern doesn’t seem as heightened regarding the virus. But to others, like those living in New York, the concern is real enough.

Everything about the news cycle has become coronavirus, or coronavirus-related. Yet, there’s no substantial change in the day-to-day. It’s back and forth, as indicated below:

C.D.C. Officials Warn of Coronavirus Outbreaks in the U.S.” —“Trump Names Mike Pence to Lead Coronavirus Response” — “Trump Accuses Media of Exaggerating Coronavirus Threat” — “Trump is ignoring the lessons of 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions, historian says” — “Rush Limbaugh on coronavirus: ‘The common cold’ that’s being ‘weaponized’ against Trump” — “Criticisms of Trump’s coronavirus response are sickening” — “‘It’s going to get bad’: As outbreak surges, nation faces tough start to a grim week” —“President Trump wants the U.S. ‘opened’ by April 12”

“Coolin consumer spending, inflation put spotlight on Fed amid coronavirus” — “China’s exports and imports plummet on virus impact” — “Coronavirus crash is a true ‘Black Swan’ as Goldman thought the economy was nearly recession-proof” — “Hotels face drop in occupancy, revenue amid coronavirus outbreak” — “Coronavirus Stimulus Package Spurs a Lobbying Gold Rush” — “Stimulus Check: What We Know” — “Stimulus Plans to Battle  Coronavirus Could Cost the World $10 Trillion” — “Senate falls far short of votes needed to advance coronavirus bill” — “Stimulus package stalls in Senate” — “The Senate is ‘very close’ to reaching a deal” — “In the Most Vulnerable Countries, the Pandemic Rivals the 2008 Crisis” — “Stocks Rally on Hopes for Stimulus Deal”

“New coronavirus cases in mainland China fall to lowest since January” — “Coronavirus may have been in Italy for weeks before it was detected” — “U.S. Olympic Committee says more ‘clarity’ needed for decision on 2020 games” — “A 2020 Olympics Delay Seems Inevitable. Is a 4-Week Decision Needed to Get There?” — “U.S. Olympic Committee says poll shows postponing Olympics is best path” —“Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed”

Opposing views

I was making my way through Dalio’s book Principles, and a passage stuck out to me:

When two people believe opposite things, chances are that one of them is wrong.

Principles, Ray Dalio, pg. 190

This led me down a rabbit hole of thought, and I’m not convinced of the premise. For every belief I have, there is someone who will disagree with me. But it’s because belief isn’t a statement of factual information, and maybe I’m just caught up in the wording.

Facts can be proved and disproved. Beliefs are much harder to handle in that regard, and while Dalio suggests a doctrine of thoughtful disagreement to get to the bottom of a problem, to “find out which view is true”, I can’t help but think that every belief is true, while at the same time it may not be.

This duality of truth/untruth in belief causes many disagreements. The book is about business principles, and I can see where this methodology of thoughtful disagreement can work exceptionally well for deciding matters where differing viewpoints may crop up – marketing practices, manufacturing, product development, and investment strategies. Beliefs in that sense will have some form of comparable quantitative data to support or contradict them.

But beliefs that revolve around more fundamental human conditions – religion, politics, life purpose, etc. – these are much more difficult to quantify. Likely that Dalio intended to avoid that train of thought in this section, but I felt like getting my head around it anyway.

 

The Generation Defined

Each generation has a crisis it must face. (While honestly, it seems more like each decade has an accompanying crisis, and at times it’s even more frequent than that…)

It was twenty years ago this September when I understood the heartache of a Nation for the first time. I watched as the conversation changed from one of grief and confusion to that of unity and retaliation. I didn’t fully understand the terrorist attack, much as I believe no American could truly understand it. But I could grasp the pain of Americans. We all could.

The great crisis of the present moment isn’t one of hijackings or explosives. It’s an assault on the human condition, and it defies borders or boundaries. Again, terror grips the Nation, but we are not alone in our discomfort.

While most will say the response was slow to take root, and others still pronounce fearmongering, the truth is that in suffering we pull together more than in prosperity.

As true among any of the species, we find strength in our unity and comfort in our shared experience.

Give yourself time

For some of us, now is a perfect time to, well, take our time. Perhaps rather than binging another show, and even in lieu of reading (but not all day – just for a bit), listen to an album. I’m a long way from my record player, but I have albums on my computer. There’s also YouTube, where you can find just about anything.

In The Artist’s Way, this was one of the tasks in a later chapter of the book. Julia Cameron recommended doodling while you listen. Let your mind wander. Listen, relax, and consume the album from start to finish.