The wind whistles howling, this blustery Canal Park morning, 7:20 AM. The water churns brown, surface licking little whitecaps, tinted iron ore agitated by waves. There’s going to be snow south of us along the Shores of Lake Superior today, hazardous travel they say. It’s about 43 degrees Fahrenheit outside but I’m good.
Each year it takes about a week of around-freezing weather to acclimate a soul and I’m there. Really, I got up and went to the store pre-dawn this morning wearing shorts, sandals and my Marshall School blaze-orange down vest. I’m good because Duluth makes you hardy in deep & handy ways. The seats in the Jeep are heated. Bring it.
It’s quiet in our office as I’m the first one here. I never turn on the lights in the morning, because darkness is such an elegant lady. This is such a wonderful place. My sweet baby grand looks delightfully warm and inviting in the back left corner of Lift Bridge & Lake. It would be so cool to take about 5 weeks and make a record. I’d remember what to do.
A sweeping look down a row of waiting workstations reminds me that aimClear will light up like a candle in about 13 minutes, as our crew arrives. You never know what will be on their mind. There’s a ton to do today! Welcome to aimClear, fire of the northern lights, an underground Canal Park beacon of American energy. aimClear is regional economic development of the actual kind.
Our business has exploded in a starburst of brilliant clients, stimulating tasks, new friends, old values, exciting opportunities and for-the-most-part-peace. The family’s good, so very good.
There are staffing decisions, budgets, killer-brew coffee, Harmon Killebrew talk, contract proofing, SEO spoofing, authentic social and ad copy writing to push the limits. Accountants meetings, lawyers, agencies, brand, friends, the most amazing daughters, good wine and 1 day (Saturday) to plant bulbs before the ground freezes under.
Keep things in perspective, stay focused, and don’t distract others or myself. How good do I want to be? Dare to lead by example, push the limits, take only prudent risks, gravitate towards freshness, pursue life-affirming associations, don’t be afraid of feelings, embrace pain and joy equally and responsibly shed relationships that for any reason don’t fulfill either or both parties. Often such things are not personal, rather life having it’s way.
Give more than I take, take unselfishly, go last in the food line, focus on my breathing, be quiet and listen. Say no to work, sing out loud, stand on the chair and shout, look in people’s eyes as we speak. Savor the movement, don’t fear death, remember that having both of my parents alive is an incredible blessing.
Manny, Matt & Merry are here. Someone’s singing in falsetto. Really, they’re such exciting people to be around and work with. In about 8 minutes someone will put a warm cup of Caribou on my desk. They know I’d make coffee, breakfast or blue cheese Pinot’ Gris for them. They just know if brings me pleasure to be focused and have someone hand me coffee. I am SO lucky.
Bring the singing northern wind Duluth. It’s warm in here.