Sunday, February 20, 2011

Puttin' the zen on

Hawthorne Bridge
Takin' a walk on a gray winter Sunday in Portland.  Cool, but not cold.  A bit windy.

Between the noise of the traffic and the rush of the wind, the savory aromas of garlic and ginger coming out of the food courts and the smell of human shit under the freeway ramps where destitute vagrants unroll their tarps and their sleeping bags, between the quiet wisdom of the river, and the comically purposeful bustle of the walkers and bicyclists along her banks, a man can be held spellbound.

Mid-span, Morrison Bridge; looking south
In fact, can find himself wandering, drifting along, taking everything in, drawing it all to him.  And suddenly come upon a sad memorial on the south side of the Morrison Bridge.  It is a place where, in separate incidents some 7 years apart, two citizens died.  Both killed by drunk drivers.  You can read the story here.

So... Vikings... Has it been them all along, then?
Espying a flag atop the Spalding building confirms a long-held suspicion:  Vikings are established in Portland.  Their longboats no doubt slipped up the river, riding some inward flood of a moonlit night.  Fair enough.  Vikings these days run pretty tight ships.  Not bad folks to have around.

Havin' a walk in Portland, in the middle of winter.  Puttin' the zen on. 

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