Before we left Portland yesterday we took the scenic route through the Columbia Gorge – the border between the states of Oregon and Washington and visited several waterfalls. We had to hike about a half mile to see one of them, the Bridal Veil, but it was worth it. Still cold, but not raining, we didn't mind the hilly and rocky canyon road . We also visited the Vista Point but couldn’t stand to be outside there – the wind chill made the temperature less than 10 degrees.
However, the highlight of the trip for me was seeing my friend, Kitty, who I write with at Esalen. It was such a treat to see how she lives. She has chosen to work only 16 hours a week so she can spend the rest of her time writing, painting, going to Esalen, seeing her grandchildren, gardening. Her lifestyle is a huge inspiration to me. Perhaps I can arrange my work life like that – not quit completely but work much fewer hours so I’ll have time to do my creative projects and see friends outside of work, and travel, and and and.....
From the big round window of her art barn
I can see dense green foliage
and almost blinding rays of light
not usual for Oregon in late Fall.
Her home sits on 10 acres of forest.
I can't relate. That could mean 10 or even
100 miles to me, we live so smack close
to people and houses
on all sides.
My friend truly lives in the country –
her directions say, go past the tavern
and the old fashioned white church,
down a hill and up a little hill
and down a steep
and narrow paved drive
to my house that
you can't see from the road.
Inside the views and the art compete.
Do the pieces by Calder and Dali
and Picasso and Whistler,
sculptures of angels
and monkeys and turkeys,
rugs from China and India and Persia,
a buxom totem in the entryway,
and orchids that re-bloom larger
and larger each year
No, I don't think so.
Most spectacular are the
views of trees and lush greens
and the quiet haven
to write and paint in peace.