Let me clarify: By lazy, I don’t mean that I refused to work, collected unemployment benefits, and used food stamps to purchase an abundant supply of the Northwest’s finest IPA. To the contrary, I worked my tail off at a stressful job in order to enjoy those hoppy, bitter beverages.
The laziness to which I refer is in creative terms. Well, creative and physical fitness terms. Admittedly, I did gain an average of 1.56 lbs per month- yes, an astounding 25 pounds during my 16-month stay in Portland. The majority of the weight crept on during those cozy fall and winter seasons when I would wrap myself in a thick blanket, sink into my sofa, and lose myself in Rushdie while listening to the rain bounce against the window panes.
When I first moved to Oregon, I mistakenly assumed I would feel inspired to pen myriad screenplays and complete my novel while frolicking in paradise. I mean, who wouldn’t feel creative stirrings within when you have views like these every single day?
I’m well aware that inspiration is not so much “inspiration” as it is commitment: strapping yourself to your chair and getting black on white. However, I frequently fell into a dreamy state when my fingers tapped the keyboard. I began my session focused and determined, my creative plan in motion, but at some point my eyes shifted to the misty world outside my patio doors and daydreams would seize control of my brain. The muted tones of life lulled me into complacency, and I often allowed myself to settle, to think “tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow.” After numerous attempts to self-motivate, I did manage a creative reset of sorts in February when I wrote nearly every day, and since then I write on (more or less) a regular basis. Terrible prose, sometimes only a simple paragraph or two, but what am I to expect after taking an extended leave of absence?
Now here I sit and write as I roast in the desert once again. I think I am one of the many victims of the brutal rent increase in Portland (my rent in a suburb of Portland increased nearly $300/month during my stay). Although this return to Nevada wasn’t in my life plan, I can’t help but to feel there’s some reason beyond my understanding as to why I’m here once again.
Or maybe that feeling is a mere coping mechanism. I’m not yet sure.
I do know that I left not but two weeks ago and I already find myself wanting to write and actually sitting every single day to get it done. I’m in the process of developing a new blog platform for myself and restructuring creative projects. And I’ve dropped some weight. Mostly because it’s too freaking hot here to want to eat anything and I have zero immediate access to excellent grub and brews.
As in our favorite cozy spot, a terrific gathering place (as you will see) with great happy hour food and craft beer, just a mere two and a half blocks from our home:
Portland was my paradise and in a few ways my ruination. I didn’t accomplish much this past year, but I met and befriended incredible people: coworkers who became my close friends, musicians, artists, writers, a vintner, brewers, friends who took us boating and (!) crabbing on the coast, and a professor at Reed- the dearest of all. I had fantastic, hilarious, and some downright crappy experiences that I’ll share in time along with many more pictures.
While I no longer have paradise at my fingertips, I once again have something infinitely more valuable: a fire within.