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These days

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy, and good. I am feeling relieved of the weight of too much responsibility and am so grateful. The other day I found myself walking across town after a trip to the museum. I was alone and relishing that freedom…no one knew where I was, I didn’t have to be anywhere, no one was expecting me or needing me, I wasn’t rushing to do anything…it was sweet… It doesn’t get much better…


the girl on the bicycle wore a vintage green dress

moving on

There have been times in my life when I have been acutely aware of the end of “an age” and the beginning of another. I remember in high school feeling this as I saw my younger peers take over the reigns of high school hierarchy. And again after I graduated college and quit my job at the bar that had been my hub for three years. There comes this knowing that it is time to move on and staying will only be foolish and even pathetic.

I have this knowing now. I have spent the last three years on a spiritual journey that has been powerful and life changing. And while I believed it would be the last path I would take, I find myself, stepping off. I don’t believe there is a path anymore or that there is any place to be going. I am confident in that for as much as I can be, and yet I have a small need to be reassured. Reassured that I will feel a little peace at last.
I need to create a space for that peace and I will only do so when I listen to my own voice.

The match

By Richard

It’s pretty simple

You’re walking in a park, or in a field,

some open place

a big view of the sky

You see two people in the distance

As you get closer you begin to recognize them

maybe a couple of friends,

maybe one lights a cigarette,

The sky, the expanse

The lit match of course doesn’t burn you

You see it, but you’re not touched by the flame

There’s the sky, two friends.

Folded Cranes in Cardboard

“Origami was invented in China around 100AD. The word origami simply means “paper folding”. Japan was in the habit of adopting interesting parts of the Chinese culture, and took on the craft of origami around 600AD. It is Japanese origami which has become a world famous cultural emblem.”As in many societies, paper was a luxury item, created by hand and used only for important, long lasting purposes. When origami was first brought to Japan, only the rich practiced the art of folding paper into shapes. The shape creation was a way of adding special meaning to what the paper held on it or in it.

“For love notes, origami was doubly special. First, the origami shape itself could represent a message. The selection of color and shape help conveyed the true emotions of the writer. Second, origami is an intricate art. If the love note was intercepted, it would be unlikely that the reader could perfectly refold the shape. So the origami love note was very secure – it could not be read by the wrong person without the recipient knowing it.

“For thousands of years the Japanese culture has treasured the crane as a symbol of honor and loyalty. The crane is a majestic bird which mates for life and is extremely loyal to its partner. The bird is strong, graceful and beautiful. Because of the great importance of the crane, the Japanese people feel that a person who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted his or her greatest wish.”


The first images are from The Pagoda Chinese restaurant on NE Broadway and39th. The Pagoda was a fixture in the Hollywood District of Portland for more than 70 years. It closed its doors December 31st, 2008. I chose this spot for several reason…first, the orange and red tiles provide a lovely backdrop to the white cranes. Second, I was saddened that a place with such a long tradition would succumb to tagging and general disrespect. Where is the loyalty and honor in that?

These next shots were taken at the corner of NE Oregon and NE &th. The statue is by Muriel Castanis and is titled Ideals. Seemed appropriate for birds who represent honor and loyalty. I think they look a bit like pigeons…

These frames were taken down by the water front…SE Esplanade, right near the Hawthorne Bridge.
The landscape and the River seemed fitting.
Taken at the Fred Meyer parking lot between Sandy Blvd. and NE Broadway. Selling out…

Artists Who Walk

Went for a walk with my housemates and Luka today as part of an assignment for my art class. The task called for me to map a walk. We also created rules for the walk. They were as follows…

1. Luka would lead the walk.
2. We had to stop and smell five things.
3. We could not smell squirrels, raccoons, or Luka….Trout made up this rule.
4. If we came across a swing, we had to swing on it.
5. Liss would be called “Princess” for the duration of walk.
The walk was fabulous. We stopped and smelled rosemary, blue spruce, a pinecone, a rose, and a beautiful round blossom from a garlic plant. We met the neighborhood kids selling lemonade in the hopes of raising $250 for a big bouncy room at the block party in September. They’ve had several weekend stands already and have made $200 so far.
The most curious part of the walk was Luka’s attitude. She was so confused. She’d stop at every corner, waiting for direction, and we in turn would wait for her. I never realized before that in all the walks I have been dragged on, I was truly leading. Luka is a follower. She seemed a little distressed at times. Poor girl! We helped her a bit to return home, and she did so with relief.
It was a great walk. No real agenda, just a walk with every opportunity to take in whatever was along the path. I could make this a habit!