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Posts from the ‘Portland Oregon’ Category

Living my life outside my windows


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.

WP_20130929_002This 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.

WP_20130308_001From 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.


Slowly pulling the tree out by its roots


The rain and gloom have returned to Portland–which fits my mood.

I have been feeling low the last two days. This usually means I’ve come upon an unhappy “anniversary date” of my life. This time I attribute my mood to a loss — some 10 springs ago — when my long marriage came to an abrupt end. It was a shock at the time, and for a good portion of the ten years following, it was an arduous journey for me and my children.

I like to think I am at peace with it now. I can see the gifts and am happily carrying on with the rest of my life. But it is days like today–when the anniversary sneaks up – that I am reminded of how terribly profound this loss still is for me.

Letting go has been an effort of slowly pulling a tree out by its roots — a tree with roots that are firmly anchored in the soil of every corner of my body.

In the past, I would have brushed it off.  Not taken myself seriously. Told myself I had a problem. I might have tried to yank the roots out by force, or been ashamed of my sentimentality. Now it is different. I take time. I move slowly. I light a candle to honor my loss. I let my tears flow. It is only me and my loss. I have nothing to prove to anyone.

I am not sure how many more times I will need to do this – how many more times I will need to loosen the soil and gently tug at those roots, until they suddenly and finally release their hold.

Maybe forever. Maybe never. Maybe it is enough to just keep trying.

As my friend says, and I believe it is true for me now, “I am not wise enough to know.”

Introducing pLaNeT PoRtLaNd

The Violin Shop on pLaNeT PoRtLaNd

The Violin Shop on pLaNeT PoRtLaNd

Working almost full time in the wake of losing my pension has put a severe cramp on my artistic output. Introspection-wise I am still functioning but not putting much of it into writing. The Portland Nine writing group, which meets once a week, has been my only expressive outlet.

However, just as my head was about to explode from the log jam of my creative ideas, I discovered phone photography. It has allowed me to squeeze some creativity into my busy days. I usually take a walk each day anyway, so now I am bringing my phone/camera along with me and snapping shots along the way. (I’ve programmed the camera to make that gratifying shutter click noise too.)

Me on the hunt as the intrepid phone photographer

Me on the hunt as the intrepid phone photographer

Later, I art-ify (my word) the images — once again quickly and right on my phone. I’ve set up a Tumblr blog — just for posting these images — with minimal words. I can also do the posting from my phone which saves time. Oh, the wonders of modern technology!

I’ve called my new photo blog “My Year on pLaNeT PoRtLaNd.” It is at: Give it a visit if your like. If you have a Tumblr account you can follow it too.

I have been on my walkabout now for nine months – the perfect gestation time. Lots of lessons learned. I am currently crafting a bulleted list (for speed and ease of reading ) of walkabout pointers to be published here soon. I also signed a lease for one more year at  the apartment in Portland, Oregon. There is a lot I have yet to experience and learn from this very quirky and inspiring place I call pLaNeT PoRtLaNd.

I still have some Walkabout Woman portraits I am working on, albeit slowly . . . on real paper and with real art supplies!

That’s it for now. I hope everyone is enjoying Spring — in whatever form it is emerging in your life! Here’s one last phone/camera image:

My place of work, aka the poetry corner, on pLaNeT PoRtLaNd

My place of work, aka the poetry corner, on pLaNeT PoRtLaNd

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