Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Daylight Savings Magic

It’s like magic: we move the arbitrary clock hands one hour ahead, and suddenly I can see the other people who bike through Washington Park at the same time as me in the evenings. I recognize these people only by their blinky headlights and the way their voices sound when they say “hello” in the dark; now that I have all these other visual cues–smile, colorful clothes, type of bike, way of waggling the fingers in salute–I have no idea who I’m seeing. With the brash and beautiful tumble into spring, I get to re-learn a whole new set of commute buddies.

I know that right now it’s only a matter of rearranging when daylight happens, but every new day it’s perceptibly brighter, a little more enticing to stay out.

Daylight savings: a whole new perspective on the people I share a commute with, and officially the season of taking the looooooong way home. I’m psyched:)

A day in 2007: Blast from the past:)

I’ve been reading over some stuff in an old journal–yeah, a real live paper journal that I keep–and I found some awesome, bike-love scribbles from February 27 of 2007, back when I was in grad school and student teaching.

Biking to my student teaching gig was a ride over Council Crest and through the West Hills every morning, and that day in February, it snowed on me.

“I mention this because by the time I got home from [student teaching] at 1, I was a soggy, dripping, muddy mess. And the thought of putting my sopping tights back on an hour later to get to class at Lewis and Clark was enough to make me leap at [my roommate's] offer of a ride.

“But it turned out to be really, really weird for me to be somewhere without having used my own power to get there and back. It’s almost like by getting dropped off and picked up, I hadn’t earned the right to be there–and I love that I feel that way. I love that biking is such an ingrained part of my life that it feels wrong when I don’t do it. I love that I am self-propelled and self-sufficient; I love that I rely on something I can (mostly) fix myself for transportation; I love that life and exercise are so inextricably linked.

“Though I was glad for the ride, it ultimately only served to remind me of this: I love my carless lifestyle, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Even when it snows.”

How fricken awesome is that? I still feel like this now, a hundredfold, and it’s awesome to see an old version of me setting these thoughts in motion. Thanks, journal-keeping, bike-loving stasia-of-the-past! :)

Coming down off the adventure

It’s always hard to come back from adventure to normal life.

When I travel, when I bike, when I run, I feel so alive to everything. Part of that is seeing new things and pushing old, tired boundaries. But part of it is simply the act of being in the world, being outside, feeling part of something amazing and large and beautiful. Traveling or being in new places always reminds me how much I love life, how lucky I am to be part of this world.

Of course, I do often feel that way at home: an excellent run through Forest Park, say, or a bike ride snatched from the clutches of daily routine, or hanging out with a dear friend do wonders for being excited about life.

Often I come home from adventure to these kinds of things–to my Portland community–and am so very excited to be back.

Right now, though, I’m having a hard time. Perhaps that’s in part because this is my grumpy time at work, the time where there’s just enough work just poorly enough paid to make me wonder why I bother. (Of course, come summer, I’ll hardly be able to believe that I have such an awesome job:) The darkness in the mornings and evenings, too, is getting better every day now but makes me a little sad when it’s still dark at 7 and already feeling like evening at 2. (Good thing I don’t live in Alaska right now!)

Perhaps there are many things conspiring to stick me in my grass-is-greener adventure mode, where I wonder why life needs to be settled or what it would be like to be constantly in motion. Of course, I know enough to know that this is mostly a matter of the grass seeming greener–it sounds good in theory, but it turns out that I sure like Portland and my friends too. How long would it take before I missed normal life?

If there’s anything I learned last year, it’s that many small trips help me feel sane in the face of routine (yes, I’m aware that sane for me may at times sound fairly insane for others;) So I’m heading out for a mini trip this weekend, just a small nod to spontaneity to help me get back into things here. Ironic, I suppose, that to feel better about Portland I’m going to leave it for a few days, but I think it’ll help.

Into the shitty weather I go! :)

Love letter

Wow. I’ve been all over the place lately, it seems. Not physically, although I have been all over Portland, but mentally. My brother’s been here; my mom came up for a while; the Portland-Corvallis cultural exchange continued; we hosted a massive number of awesome people for a vegan post-Thanksgiving feast. It’s continued to be mostly sunny. I spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone to distant people I love. I’ve run and biked all over this city.

I’ve been so in love with life and Portland and friends and family, and so concurrently scattered all over, so bursting with enthusiasm and energy and so clueless as to how to let it all out in any productive way other than periodically erupting into cartwheels or song or hula hooping (really!) or enthusastic letter-writing or a random run down the block like an un-self-conscious little kid.

In a few short days, James and I make our way to Bangkok and then Laos for three weeks.

Life is so lovely and I am so, so thankful.