Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Out on the Winding, Windy Moors, We'd Roll and Fall in Green
The last time I visited the Pacific Northwest, I was a child, first grade age, and we took a family trip up the coast and over into Portland from our home in Eugene, Oregon. Okay, so, I lived there as well, but my memories are vague.
I remember cramped, military barracks-style university housing whose walls wept moisture. I remember earthworms gathering by the handfuls in the puddles in our front yard, their flesh an irresistible, luminous pink. I remember learning to swim at the local YMCA, where, for graduation, I spent an hour atop the high dive until I mustered enough courage to jump down. This was a week or so after my first encounter with the ocean, when my father hoisted me off his shoulders to dip my virgin, heretofore earthbound feet into the teaming mass of surf that was the mighty Pacific and I felt the powerful tug of that massive body of water so strongly, I promptly screamed my head off.
Since then, I have learned to manage my fear of water, enough to have swam in the ocean, snorkeled the Caribbean, fished the Bitterroot, and paddled the Missouri. But I remain ever wary, ever respectful, of the power of water. I know when I'm outmatched. My feet seek terra firma whenever possible.
Today, the Pacific Northwest has evolved into a mythical spot in my imagination, a place shrouded in mist and curtained by ancient forests, like a scene in some Gothic novel where the hero and heroine meet up at midnight to vanquish a common foe, only she's driving a Prius and he's wearing mandals.
Tomorrow, I revisit in person this place of my imagination, along with three bloggie gal pals who many months ago suggested that, for grins and giggles, we should plan a meet up. Where we'll discuss such weighty matters as the Influence of Blogging on Sociological Structures in a Technologically Accelerated World, and then go do some shots and talk about American Idol. We'll also visit the Space Needle and eat some donuts. Mmmmmm . . . donuts.
Yes, I have to get on an airplane to do this. Y'all know how I feel about that. But like my fear of water, I keep this particular neurosis tamped down, too. After all, every hour is cocktail hour in the sky.