I write to you from my too-short twin mattress in a 20-by-13 room with no overhead lighting, the glimmer of an orange sunset on a snow-capped mountain to the east only minutes ago replaced by shadows.
The past four weeks have been marked by a feeling of newness. New work, colleagues, city, friends, day trips, books, skills, streets. It’s invigorating, really.
I’m a month removed from graduation and three weeks into an internship with the Oregonian/OregonLive in Portland, where I’m living in a downtown dorm with a friend who’s also working for the publication.
My neighbors are budding architects, engineers, sports agents and accountants. It’s refreshing to meet people with a variety of ambitions. Conversation is lively.
This blog has been stagnant, which is really a shame, considering how often I posted early in my college days. It’s my intention to write here every month, posting about the best things I’ve read, seen, heard — you get the picture. I’ll include photographs I’ve taken and links to some my work, too.
This is a way for me to chronicle the highlights of each month and share them with you. It’s also a way for me to remember (and later chuckle about) what was on my mind at any given time.
I took trips to Multnomah Falls and Cannon Beach last month. The falls are 45 minutes north of Portland, and the coast is 90 minutes or more, depending on your destination. Cannon Beach is a picturesque two-hour drive from the city. I’ve posted more pictures from my iPhone here.
“James Crumbley passed away at the age of (blank) on (date). He was born in Cedartown, Georgia. He was the son of…”
— The Virginian-Pilot, on a man who sought to deliver his own obituary to the newspaper
“This is not the story you’re expecting on the second Sunday in May.
There’s no champagne brunch, no candy, no cards. Flowers don’t dot this Mother’s Day tale. There’s no happy ending, and no easy answers.”
— The Oregonian/OregonLive, on parenting and homelessness on Mother’s Day
“When the time did come, there were really no other thoughts. All the ideas Sandy might have wanted to express in writing — the sophisticated musings, the incisive arguments, the upending of conventional thinking — were already beyond her.”
— The New York Times, on Alzheimer’s and a woman who was intent on taking her own life before the disease did.
“The fighters ignore Jacob Beckmann. He’s 19, a man by age, but he looks out of place. He stands alone. He has Down Syndrome and reads at the level of a second grader. He struggles to find the right words to express himself. When he does speak, it’s often hard to understand what he’s saying and why.”
— The Oregonian/OregonLive, on a mixed martial artist with Down Syndrome
“Running is the synthesis of time and distance. It metabolizes empty space, dividing it into units — the next mile, the next lap, the next step — that the mind and body can digest.”
— The Register-Guard, on a prison running club with connections to the legendary runner Steve Prefontaine.
“ ‘I wonder if he’s a Christian sometimes,’ said Kristi Maas, 47, who owns a small hair salon in town. Just the thought was ‘scary’ to her, she said. ‘He wants to take prayer out of everything. . . . Isn’t this country supposed to be based on religion?’ Heads nodded around her.”
— The Washington Post, on President Obama’s visit to Watertown, South Dakota
You should listen to this This American Life story about Americans living in China.
I recently reported on how Amber Alerts work and profiled a recent college graduate who died in a cycling collision.
As always, thanks for reading.