Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ashland, Portland, and the Coast

I departed Reno on September 17th, bound for the Northwest. My mom and I packed into the forest green Subaru. As a side note, Subaru means the Pleides (sp?) in Japanese. The Pleides are the group of seven sister stars. If you look closely at the Subaru logo, you'll find them.

The trip from Reno to Ashland is charming, especially in early fall. I've been contemplating the various speeds of my life-- sleeping, standing, walking, skating, biking, driving, flying. A daily constitutional in at least two of these forms is absolutely necessary t0 my mental and physical health. This drive is simply stunning. We passed out of Reno, zipping past Sun Valley and Boomtown. Next, we wandered through the woods where shallow lakes shone and eagles perched. Susanville is the landmark of the Elks Lodge and the Bear Family Restaurant. We veered left at the Elks Lodge, diving into the peaks and wrinkles of land covered by pines, curving around vistas. Shasta when viewed on I-5 is impressing. It feels as if the rocks are pressing on my chest. Into Oregon, over the pass, and into Ashland.

We return annually to this charming college town. OSU wakes and bakes in the morning sun. The high school mascot is the Grizzlies, just like my high school. Here are some pictures from Lithia Park, which wanders briskly into the hills.

We saw Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Tempest in the outdoor Globulin Theater. In the picture frame theater, we saw my favorite production of the year: Gem of the Ocean, part of August Wildon's decade series. He wrote one play on African American life for ever decade of the 20th century. This is the first in the series, set in 1904. The swaying and hip gyrations of the actors was scintillating, the emotional crescendo of the play thrilling. The crisis was resolved at the last possible moment, and I saw my own tears mirrored on the cheeks of the actress who played Black Mary. Her face was contorted in what I interpret as sadness and hopeful pride during the curtain call. Quite life-altering.

My sister and I climbed into her zippy red Jetta for the drive from Ashland to Portland. As my Portland friends know, this was one of the most successful visits of my traveling career. I saw most of my dear friends, I stayed with Alejandro and my sister and Linsel, ate very well, and even met with an editor. Most importantly, I learned how to bike. I loved biking the wet streets at night, yodeling out a duet from Greece in the currents flowing off of Alex's wild Latifro.

Over the second weekend in Portland, I took the bus from Portland to Tilamook for the screaming low price of $15 round trip. Ben picked me up from the depot, and I spent a delightful weekend ensconced in the Kacy's parents' woodland cabin. Kacy and Ben and I played with their six-month old munchkin, Miles. Here are some pictures of Ben, Miles, and Kacy in the low light of the living room.
On Saturday, we journeyed to the beach, baby bag, camera, and my laptop in tow. Miles ate a lot of sand. See?

I love that the tag on his cap is showing. I also love that Kacy is crouched above, the eternal maternal presence.

Here,too are some pictures of me. I can't resist a good disco on the beach. And me and Kacy. Oh, Italian roommate, Prospe Host, I wish you every happiness in the world. I'm so happy for you.

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