June 2020


I miss downtown Portland.  I used to go there every couple of days, for work or for socializing or just my own entertainment, but haven’t been there in a while for the obvious reasons–I’m working from home full-time now, and haven’t been going out to do anything beyond the bare minimum since the lockdown started.

I miss my favorite places–our own, much smaller version of Broadway, the huge Powell’s bookstore, the Central Library, my favorite hangout Case Study Coffee, and of course, all those bridges.

Don’t get me wrong, my neighborhood is very nice.  But being in the suburbs all day long can…drive you a little nuts.

It’s been a few weeks since the last time I drove through downtown, so I have no idea what it looks like right now.  From what I hear, it’s been bruised and battered a bit.  First the pandemic closed down businesses, and then it got hit a second time by the social unrest.  Some fires were set and some windows were broken, and there is quite a lot of plywood up.

But that’s okay.  Change and turmoil happens to everyone and everything, and that includes cities.  Portland is still my city and our city, and we will clean it up and open it back up someday.  Except that, hopefully, we will not bring it back to what “normal” used to be–we will make it even better, a more beautiful and more caring and more creative place than it was before.

See you soon, PDX.

Downtown Pics BroadwayDowntown Pics SunnyDowntown Pics Wells Fargo

 

We’ve been in lockdown for a couple months now.  Being in quarantine has pushed me to reflect on what it means to have space.  What does it mean to feel trapped?

I’ve had a few moments in my life when I’ve felt genuinely trapped, and they always came when I was surrounded by lots of open space.  Feeling trapped while looking out at the farm fields of Poland…the endless parking lots of Missouri…a mountain range in Idaho.

On the other hand, I have been in tiny hotel rooms and apartments, and never felt more free–the world at my fingertips.  I have been squeezed into crowds of people marching in the rain, and felt liberated.

So the space I have seems to stretch or shrink as my soul is able to stretch or shrink.  I’m glad to say that the place I am now is home to me, so I do not feel trapped here, even though I’m not free to move.

I hope none of you feel trapped either, and I wish all of you plenty of space, both inside and out.