05 June 2011


The Vacation
by Wendell Berry

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.

I'm not sure what it is that has settled into my traveler's heart and mind for the past few days. Inspiration deficit? Rebellion? Distraction? Laziness? Apathy? I don't think it's any of those, more like a similar sense to the one set forth in the above poem by one of my favorite men on the earth, Wendell Berry. Striking a balance between sharing/documenting and experiencing/absorbing is a tricky job, and full-time. This time around, I feel unable (unwilling?) to keep up with the detailed recording of every thing, every moment, every bite. I don't think anyone expects that of me, except for me. So self, quit that.

Evie got on the MAX headed North and learned the ins and outs of that flippy feature on the iPhone camera where you can turn it around on your own tired mug. Wondered if it's wise.

Evie walked a-ways down a street called Interstate, which isn't actually an interstate. It runs along one, a couple of streets over, which I suppose several people thought was a good enough reason to name it thusly. I think that's absurd.

Evie ate (most of) a plate of the best chilaquiles I've.......ever had. Had to think about that one, but yep -- these were the best of the cream of the highest ranking. crunchy, chewy, saucy, meaty, eggy. Heaven-y. Awesome place called Por Que No on North Mississippi. Fine folks, fine eats.

Here is the saddest, most adorable kitty cat in Northeast Portland. He resides in a dear little shop called Flutter. You can't really see it here but he had a weepy wound on his rear haunch and a mean-looking, kinda cleft palate sort of situation. He blinked slowly and tried to meow. I feel sad for his apparent misfortune, but happy that he found this perfectly sunny spot on the beautifully corroded, paint-chipped cement floor of a stylish locale. People do care.

En route to Sauvie Island, we passed through a diggish little spot called St. John's. Full of spunk and soul, gritty and friendly and hilarious and poignant at once. These are the types of places and people my storyteller's gut is craving.

Sauvie Island. Purity.

I sat in a rusty metal chair on the porch of this little country store to eat my 99-cent coconut popsicle. This mysterious man next to me looked to be possibly KGB, so I thought it'd be okay to sneak a photo of him. He didn't pull a gun, but he did offer me a ride to the beach then sang me a song on the way back. (the above is mostly true, except the part about him being in the KGB.)

The prettiest bridge in Portland, maybe the world. Vantage point: Cathedral Park.

Careful, tiger.