Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Change Is Gonna Come

Guitar shop in the process of moving to new location, with reflection - SE Division St
Happy Saturday, friends.  I’m checking in with my “bio” entry for the week—an entry which has undergone several significant revisions since I first wrote it on Friday morning!

This week seemed to be ending in a welter of negative emotion—I'd already been feeling some significant discouragement, & then I got back today in the late afternoon to find a letter from one of the management companies that handles subsidized housing units here.

The letter informed me that I am qualified for a particular subsidized housing unit & that I was being put officially on the waiting list—so far so good.  But the letter concluded by stating that there would probably be an opening by 2016.

OK, I was in shock.  When I moved to Portland, my friends Sue & Jay generously opened their home to me.  I have a large room of my own & am treated like "one of the family."  The rent I pay them is more than fair, especially given what they could get for this room on the open housing market—believe me, I know that well, as I've been examining that market quite closely.   Still, when we'd originally discussed the arrangement, we'd spoken about my being here for a matter of months.  Now I realize the 2016 date is intended as a more-or-less worse case scenario, but still, even taking half that & we're talking between two to three years.  

So I briefly went into disaster management mode.  It seemed unlikely that I could generate enough income in a relatively short space of time to be able to afford a more permanent situation (& again, this would be a roommate situation, essentially the same as what I have here.)  Although I've been taking some positive steps toward getting a guitar teaching practice started, I realize this is going to take time.

So at this point I was really second guessing the move to Portland.  I questioned the wisdom of moving to a place where subsidized housing was my only option, & wondered if I'd painted myself into a corner.  I began considering my options, & was actually entertaining some fairly radical ideas.

Two things happened: first, I found a new site associated with the Portland Housing Authority that has quite a few more listings than the ones I'd used previously.  At the very least, I hope this will lead to getting my name on a few more waiting lists.  But more importantly, Sue & Jay & I had an open & upbeat discussion about my situation (over a very tasty dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, I might add!) & we all came away with the feeling that this agreement is working well for everyone, & if it's going to take longer than we all expected, well, so be it.

I feel the best tonight I've felt in a while; I can concentrate on what I need to do, what is in front of me, while resting assured that in the normal course of events I will have a place to call home while I wait for the eventual "place of my own."  This is a good feeling.  It's been a long time coming, but I believe a change is going to come.

Speaking of which: hope you enjoy John Boutté’s take of the great Sam Cooke song “A Change is Gonna Come.”  Is there a better vocalist on the scene right now than Boutté?  Wow!  There have been great versions of this by Otis Redding, Tina Turner, Al Green & many others, but in my opinion Boutté’s version is just sublime.


  1. 2016? Woah! You are right, even a reasonable estimate split in half is still a long ways away. I really hope you find a place of your own soon!

  2. Hi Raquelle: I'll be ok. The place I'm staying is pretty nice. Yes, I'd love to have a place all my own, but the main thing is I have a comfortable place until that comes along. But thanks for the good wishes & support :)

  3. I'm glad you feel more comfortable now and can concentrate more on what you need to do. It's hard to get anything done when the mind is on many different worries. And this way you're more open to new opportunities. I hope the changes will keep being positive.

  4. I'm going to keep my eyes open for you!
    I was surprised to see my neighborhood hardware store at the top of this blog.

  5. Hi HKatz & Christine

    HKatz: Yes, I am breathing sighs of relief ever since Friday evening--after a tough week leading up to that & some real panic on Friday afternoon! There's no way to go thru this many major life changes without some rough spots tho--overall, I'm staying positive. Thanks so much for your support!

    Christine: OK, you are in inner SE too it sounds! Hey, if you ever want to grab a cup of joe, drop me an email! Thanks for stopping by--I've been enjoying the Daily Postcard, but haven't commented yet.

  6. The worst thing in these situations is to find you're totally on your own - and fortunately you're not. Things will sort themselves out, one way or another. If you keep trying doors, finally one will open. It might be a really lucky break and you might even end up looking back and thinking "it's a good job the PHA didn't offer me a flat straight away otherwise I'd have never got this".

  7. Hi Dominic: Yes, that would unquestionably be the worst thing, & I am so grateful that I have support & wonderful friends! & you are right: none of us know how things will ultimately work out, & sometimes a "missed chance" does turn out to be a stroke of luck.


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