It brought us into summer and it can very well take us out. This Wednesday I leave back for LA to work on a few projects that have been hanging out in the back of my imagination for some time now. This is a critical time to leave Portland, but it is the natural way of life here. It's the last few weeks of summer and those that have come to experience its surreal summer life of love are now fleeing back to their realities as though the miserable ten months of cold rain doesn't exist in Portland. And so, there is an explosion of feeling to do everything you can before the opportunity is gone. Living everyday in the sun as though it were your last, which brings everyone together under that common understanding. But I wont be here for that experience. I will be down in LA where it is miserably hot and the people their don't share the same appreciation for the simple fact that they have the warmth of the sun everyday. If I were the sun in LA I'd feel under appreciated. In Portland, the sun is worshiped. When something that brings life and happiness is constantly there, it becomes a problem. When such a gift uncontrollably comes and goes with the changing of the seasons, it becomes appreciated.
This past weekend we said our goodbyes to summer. A large group of us young adventurers drove down to a secluded river in Central Oregon to appreciated what will not always be there. After spending time in the river, half of our group decided to go pay our respects to a place that brought us into this amazing summer. A place where, upon gazing up at the milky way, I realized how small I am in the vast universe but also how small everything that say's "you can't" in my personal infinite universe is a joke in comparison. The moment I decided to pursue all those ideas I day dream about and to not fear those ideas my mind manifests in order to prevent me from actually living them out. The free mind versus the institutionalized mind.
My entail idea was to go up there to make a video of my friend Ted reading a short story during sunset to add onto the already existing series we have made by the river... the idea was simple. There was one problem, we became lotus eaters. We had spent too much time at the river enjoying ourselves that we ended up leaving late. It was now a race against the sun to make it to the top of the peak. A race to say goodbye before it disappeared beyond the horizon into twilight. This was important to us, we had "great expectations." The faster we hiked, the faster the sun went down. We were neck and neck as we zig zagged our way along the side of the mountain up the slippery trail. We could feel progress every time we crossed the shadow of the horizon casted onto our mountain into the golden rays of the setting sun, but somehow the shadow always managed to overcome us once again as though it were rising flood waters. As we hiked faster up the exponentially slopping trail, discouragement started to fill my veins. I could feel our opportunity slipping away. FUCK THAT! Already tired, we began to set a pace just short of running. We made it with minutes to spare. The sun shined on us for a little over five minute on the peak as we stood there in silence breathing the fresh air, cooling off in our own sweat. We were out of breath and at the same time... breathless. The experience of seeing that sunset from atop that peak for the last time was just like I had originally imagined it, as a dream.
My first year living in East Portland, I lived with a roommate who was and is still a poet. Years ago he wrote a poem on Portland Summer's. I interpret it's meaning of summer in parallel to the relation of girls wearing a sun dress. Actually, I am cheating because I lived with the man and I know exactly what the poem was inspired by, but I will let you make your own interpretation. I hope you enjoy the added bonus of this post with a poem by Nick Bernard.