Time well wasted

Thursday, November 1, 2007
The city that works
Honestly I don't think I want to live in a city whose slogan is "the city that works" it just doesn't sound very relaxing. Other than that, Portland is really quite nice.

This is a view from Council Crest - an old Indian meeting ground. Just one more thing we stole from Blake's people. I had some time to kill between meetings and I wanted to see the sights. It is the highest point in Portland with views of Mt. Ranier, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Saint Helens. It was, however, 5.2 miles from my hotel. This presented a problem as the train would only help me for about the first 6 blocks. So I walked - all 5.2 miles - and it was worth it, all 3 hours (round trip) of walking/hiking.

This is the view off the other side - the 'burbs of portland. While standing on the top of this mountain (or really high hill, I don't know) I had a revelation. I started to wonder why people (including me at times) fear death so much. Even if heaven was only as cool as earth theres still so much more to look forward to there. No sickness, no money troubles, no homeless people, no working - and I'll bet a view like this is nothing compared to those there. I think some people fear death because they're not totally convinced that heaven exists or maybe they believe it exists but they're not sure they'll end up there. How can it even make sense to fear something unimaginably better than your current situation?

The city of Portland itself is quite nice as well. Fall here is amazing - high 50's with a cool breeze - it's perfect. The trees are an amazing shade of orange.

There are parks everywhere here, scattered throughout the city. This is one I found while wondering around the city at night.

While taking this picture I managed to make some new homeless friends. Steven here offered to sell me one of his "magical pendants" I politely refused. He then suggested I take a picture and I agreed but only if he was in the picture. I had to tell him to not smile because of the seriousness of the pendants - he agreed it was no joking matter.

Steven traveled with a group of other young homeless people. One of the guys was currently making a pendant and showed me what he used and how he did it. I commented on it's intricate nature and complimented his hobby, he said it gives him something to do. He then asked why I was taking a picture of honest Abe. I said I found it odd that there was a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Oregon. He thought that since Oregon is in the north they probably sided with the north - while I believed that Oregon was not a state at the time of the war. Turns out he was right actually, it became a state 2 years before the war started. Who knew. I talked with them for a while longer about a wide variety of topics including facial tattoos, Portland, California, and Theodore Roosevelt before moving on.

All joking aside, notice the girl on the left of the picture. That is the look of sadness if I've ever seen it. It wasn't just a look in the picture, that's how a lot of these people just looked. While the circumstances of this situation was funny - theirs is not. I've been absolutely blown away by the number of young homeless people in this city. It really makes you thankful for what you have.

More to come...
posted by Brian @ 10:59 PM  
  • At November 2, 2007 at 6:46 AM, Blogger Cal said…

    Very awesome Brian. I think this may be the most you have ever blogged.

  • At November 2, 2007 at 8:15 AM, Blogger Wes said…

    Great post Brian, glad you are getting to make the most of your time. Can't wait to hear all about it when you get home!

  • At November 5, 2007 at 3:32 PM, Blogger taylorius said…

    You touched on a lot in that post. The topic of death seems fitting after the sundown post - kinda strange you and Wes both talked about it in your blogs. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts.

    Looking forward to a Chicago post!

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