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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mantra, Motto and Motivation

Here's a quick question for you know our state motto? If not, let me save you the trouble of looking it up. Washingon's motto is, "Al-Ki," as in Alki Beach. It comes from the Chinook language, meaning "by and by" but also, "hope for the future." I love the dance between the two.

When we first arrived from New York City (back in the summer of '96) there was some serious gearing-down needed from the east coast overdrive. In N.Y. we were used to a diner experience that would see us seated, served and sent to the cashier inside fifteen minutes. For my husband, taking that long to get his coffee and menu was a painful, enforced meditation twelve years ago...but now he waits, enlightened, knowing it's all coming by and by.

When you stand at the foot of a mountain, you're the right size. When you live with the rhythm of tides you learn to give in the ebb and flow. When you walk through ancient forests, time becomes as playful as light and other senses come alive. It's my firm belief that it's the wildness, and our palpable relationship with it, that lets us transform the "by and by," into " hope for the future."

Now, I'm neither bouncy cheerleader (ooh-la, jumps or lifts!) nor am I preacher of the glass always half-fullish-ness. This is not an easy time. But, in the dozen years of moss growing on my back and silver growing in my hair, I've learned the groove of Al-Ki. We've got a ways to hike, dear readers, but we'll get there by and by. Have hope for the future with me. It's our motto!


JosephMcG said...

Meeting you through your writing gets me smiling, thinking, and feeling alive (attentive, loving, initiating, visioning, embracing)
You support me in choosing to make this moment a sweet, sacred moment...
hoping... (humble, open, persistent, estatic)
thank you

Kim Thompson said...


Excellent, excellent reminder!


M. Sugimura said...

Lorraine - you and your spouse may be amused to know (if you don't already) that the original name of the settlement that would eventually become the city to the north was "New York (as in the city of) Alki." As a grade school alum of the Seattle Public Schools, we were blessed to have local history (complete with a nice book) as part of our curriculum, and I remember reading about this and other adventures of the Denny Party from that era. So while you thought you'd come to the sticks, the truth is, you never left home! :)

Read some more about it. One site you can †urn to is:

Stephanie Frieze said...

Great post, Lorraine! Thanks for keeping us focused. This, too, shall pass.