Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The First Pale Green Shoot

Today was one of my precious days off, though I can't claim to have done much with it. I spent an hour soaking in a hot bath, reading and trying to relieve the aching in my back and shoulders (and knees and ankles and arches). I thought about going for a walk, but I've learned that too much walking during my down time leads to more discomfort during my shifts at work (does standing and bending for nine hours a day count as exercise?), so I went for a drive instead.

Oh, and also, I went and met the executive directors of a non-profit film organization which I've briefly mentioned on the blog before.

A mutual friend sent me there, though I already had a hunch it was a place where I should try to get involved (and indeed, I've already done a couple of volunteer shifts there, unrelated to any of this.) As always, I can't really explain it -- I saw it from the street shortly after I arrived in town and thought to myself, "I like that place, I think I should find out what's going on in there." My brief contact with the organization so far has already been really positive -- they're doing work very similar to that of the groups I've worked with in the past, though on a higher level, with more support and significantly more success. The work they're passionate about is the same work I'm passionate about. There were obvious resonances. Even before meeting with them, I was excited: my people, I've found them!

Anyway, the meeting today went really well. It was totally informal, with no set agenda whatsoever, just introducing ourselves and talking about what they were doing, what I've done, and so on. And I'm not going to say too much at this point, because that would be getting ahead of myself.

Suffice to say, I think there's a very good chance that I have a future there -- a meaningful future, doing the work I love. And I think they think so, too. There was a strong correlation between what they need and what I have to offer, one of those rare moment when years of seemingly aimless experience come together to make me a very close fit for an unexpected opportunity. I don't think anything will happen immediately -- and maybe nothing will happen at all. But I just have this feeling that it will.

Portland is such a strange city. I struggle to put this into words, but it feels as if time doesn't behave in quite the same way here. Not that it moves faster or slower, but that it touches and crosses and meets up with itself at angles that you can't quite perceive except as echoes and reflections. This is still an entirely new place to me, but even in its unfamiliarity I catch hints of my past that are somehow present without being visible. I'm not suggesting, of course, that this exists anywhere outside my own head. But suddenly people whom I thought I'd lost forever are back in my life, and new people are arriving, some of whom seem so obviously to be somehow significant to my future. I know I keep making comparisons to places I've been before, but it's true: it does feel like London, it does feel like Vermont, and sometimes it even feels like Memphis.

I've only been here for ten weeks. But my whole life is here, present, in this city.

Maybe it would make more sense to compare this feeling to standing on a particularly high peak. I can see everything behind me -- the path that brought me here, the connections between the places I've been, and all the stops along the way -- but I can also see everything that's still ahead of me. I've got a huge amount of ground still to cover, but for the first time the vista of my life seems to be a cohesive whole rather than a series of unrelated episodes. It all fits together and makes a kind of sense. And from here, the way forward looks pretty clear, and all I have to do is keep going. I don't know exactly what's down there, but it's obvious that it's where I've been heading all along.

Or maybe I'm making too much of it. It's a startling view, at any rate.
8:43 PM ::
Amy :: permalink