Sunday, April 29, 2012

Where I Live and Write

I like where I live: Portland, Oregon. I've thought of living other places, but Oregon is home. Oregonians take pride in being Native Oregonians, though I think those numbers are dwindling, or at the least the ratio of natives to non-natives is lower. I can't claim being a pure Native Oregonian; but I"m close. The first four years of my life were spent in a nearby state; but I've lived in Oregon since that time. Most of the time has been in Portland and there were a couple of interspersed chunks of time in Salem.
Sometimes I wish I would have been braver and lived somewhere else. Or wonder what opportunities I missed or how I would be different if I had lived in other cities. And if I would have come back.
A number of years ago my partner and I considered New York City. Probably Brooklyn. We loved it there. Loved going into Manhattan, walking around Brooklyn. I spent nearly four weeks there a few years ago, working, staying at a friend's place in Brooklyn, taking the train into Manhattan to work, to see plays, to see dance performances. I went to Prospect Park to see Philip Glass perform with the Kronos Quartet; and if you've followed my posts for long, you know I love Philip Glass' music.
We could see ourselves living in New York City/Brooklyn. It's so very different than here and yet there was something very familiar and comfortable.
In New York City I'd be at the heart of theater and publishing. I'd be in the city that never sleeps. I'd have an amazing list of performances to see year-round. We'd be able to fly to European countries so much cheaper and in so much less time. So much creativity and possibility and energy.
I could also see myself living in Taos, New Mexico. Sort of. Our first trip there we fell in love. I understand that there are more famous people and other people with money buying up properties and that things are changing. But I hope the downtown/oldtown plaza is still there. Still the same. It touched both of us and we talked about moving there. It really was pretty unrealistic for me as a sign language interpreter: there is a School for the Deaf in Santa Fe, which is a couple of hours away through the mesas and which, in winter, would be a challenge though I know I'd get used to it and adapt. But two hours in good weather would make it longer or impossible in the winter. And another option is a work place I know in Albuquerque, which is even farther away. So as much as we loved Taos and it touched our hearts and creative spirits, it was not practical.
So here I am - we are - still in Portland. I've been here many years and suppose this is where I will stay until I"m not living on the earth any longer. And that's okay.
This is Home. And this is where I sleep and walk, swim, work, write. There is more to explore here and I am so fortunate to have the options of beach, mountains, forests, desert all within short drives. And a bigger city experience a few hours north in Seattle. It's beautiful and I'm not sorry I've landed here, that I live here, that I haven't left.
I read a story about how this video was made (on KATU) and then I watched the video. Beautiful.