|MAX Green Line train crossing the Steel Bridge|
A reflective Rose City Wednesday—no adventures or outings to recount. Not that the past week was devoid of outings & even adventures in my modest understanding of the word, but rather that I’m taking this opportunity to commemorate a point in time. As of Sunday, I’ve lived in Portland for a year.
|Fountain & Roses - Peninsula Park|
As those of you who know me are aware, the move—tho a deep adventure in the strict sense of the word—wasn’t an adventure in the sense the word is often taken nowadays: something that’s fun. No, the move came from a certain necessity, as a long-term relationship sadly came to a close, & a future I’d never really anticipated suddenly became my reality.
|Fence Art SE Francis St|
Looking back on my first weekend here (August 5th was a Friday in 2011), everything that happened seemed a bit surreal—events in a dream, taking “dream” to be neither positive nor negative, but simply indicative of disorientation, presenting situations in which even the expected becomes novel & deracinating.
|Shops on N Mississippi Ave|
|Portland Aerial Tram seen from SW Moody|
My somewhat complicated medical needs are being addressed here; each Friday I make my trek by train & streetcar & aerial tram to Multnomah Pavillion at Oregon Health & Science University. I’ve not had as much success finding guitar students as I hoped, but fortunately I’m eligible for some assistance programs that make that much less critical. & I have had the chance to play out four times in the course of a year, all at the wonderful Bare Bones Café as part of their First Friday art & music series.
|Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms in June|
Portland is a beautiful & livable city: I love the public transit here, & I love the profusion of flowers & greenery; I love the many & diverse bridges & the walks by the Willamette. A friend who recently moved here noted that Portland reminds her of Charlottesville, Virginia, where we both went to graduate school. At first the remark surprised me, but yes, there is something of the college town in its funkiness & the quaintness & character of the various neighborhoods. But still, it has most of the big city amenities, & some of them in profusion: a major foodie scene, for instance, as well as a thriving music scene.
|Downtown skyline from the Broadway Bridge|
This is home now. It’s not what I expected, & there’s still much I need to do. The daily challenges are never put to rest—they are the very stuff of life. But this is the place where I’ll be meeting them.
|Iconic Portland Sign from the Burnside Bridge|
By the way, poetry lovers: stay tuned tomorrow as we introduce a new Poet in Residence to Robert Frost’s Banjo. I’m happy to let you know that poet Mairi Graham-Shaw will be joining the regular contributors here! Her poems will be appearing every other Thursday, starting tomorrow!