Don't Forget the Margins

Tag: Portland

My Life on the Couch #7

In three weeks, I will have lived in the spaces of others for an entire year. I will be off the couch so to speak when I settle into the house with a pool and roommates and a lease. In the last two weeks, I’ve slept and stored my things in Ventura, Oakland and Humboldt County, California. I’ve shared a friend’s bed, I’ve slept on a couch with a grumpy cat between my legs, I’ve slept under the Redwoods in still damp shorts after failing to dry by sundown from a dip in the nearby creek.

Bull Creek, Humboldt Redwoods State Park

I’ve landed in Portland, Oregon with a room with a door. I didn’t realize until two days ago that I had not slept or occupied space in a room with a door this entire time. Dang. I am more grounded than I have ever been. More comfortable with looking like a fool. More at ease, really, with people looking at me in the first place. Every hour is so exposed, I’ve learned to go internal.

I guess the point I’ve come to in the near end of all this is that there’s no point at all, especially in the geographical sense. I continue to not land. Maybe this has been the truth all along (I mean, I know it is)—the only real thing is whatever is right in front of me…and that can change too.

My Life on a Couch, 6

My interim has an interim. I’m two weeks out from leaving this soon-to-be-baking desert city and I’m spending those two weeks at my Mom’s house. One never wants to go back to Mom’s house. Especially when one imagines themselves to be “real adult”. But given the reality that I am not currently being “mothered” I suppose it’s more of a long visit. I’m visiting Mom. I like who I’ve become since the last time we shared significant space together—10 years ago.

Where I’m headed—Portland, Oregon— had always, until now, seemed like a land of promise to me. Consequently, a lot of broken things were once initially rooted there. Promise is a tricky thought depending on the way you hold it. I guess there’s promise and there’s intention. Promise seems a bit one-dimensional and closed in. A perfect square of a thought about what could happen, bordered by a certain idea of how it might happen. A glass structure in a hard world.

Intention, well, I guess the difference is is the way you hold it. It’s both in and out of my hands. Intention has to be thrown to the wind to be useful. You have to let it go.

Last trip to Portland: the privilege of witnessing and holding gorgeous and vivacious intention for my best friend and his wonderful wife. This trip, I’ll hold it for myself too—I’ll also be staying with them, a final leg in this vagabond journey.