My work (and live) space is a modest 450 sq ft apartment on the 5th floor of a historic high-rise in rainy, quirky, PC (politically correct) Portland, Oregon.
It’s Friday, 6:15 p.m. TGIF. I have just consumed a hearty dinner, prepared in a compact kitchen a few short steps from the couch — where I am now reclining, feeling replete and grateful that it is the end of my work week.
This is, of course, only a fantasy. I am walkabout woman turned freelance consultant by necessity, and I know that early Saturday a.m. I will cross another few short steps from my bed to my ball chair/computer station and be back at work. My compensation is the luscious, fully leafed trees that grace this view and will soon be turning orange, red and yellow in profusion.
The best thing about my workspace is that it is surrounded, on its two longest sides, by large picture windows facing north and northeast, and when I lift my eyes up from my computer screen, I can view the bridges for which Portland is famous, long expanses of city laid out before me, the snow-clad peaks of Mount St. Helen and Mt. Washington at the horizon — AND the tortured rush hour traffic from which I have been spared.
From every part of my tiny space the sun rises and sets, weather rolls in, dark and angry skies turn clear and blue (and then back again within minutes), rainbows manifest, lightning strikes, and city lights twinkle on and on until dawn. When I see planes taking off, I tell myself that one day I too will set out on a worldly adventure by plane.
Sometimes my workspace holds me still, close and cozy for days — when the world outside is engulfed in a pounding rain or gray fog. Just as frequently, a special quality of light both expands and brings closer every detail of the view and I feel like I am hanging off the side of a cliff.
What it comes down to is this — although I am firmly planted in a little cubby hole on the side of a building in the confines of my workspace — I live my life outside of my windows. With no TV, it is entertainment enough, and knowing that I will be leaving Portland at the end of May 2014, makes it all the more precious.
If I survive to an enfeebled state of old age, I hope my children will set me up in front of a window. With that and my memories (or hallucinations as it may be), it may be all I need.