June 2012

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I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.

E.E. Cummings

Happy Birthday, darlin’ Maren!

Have I ever written of my love of Wes Anderson? I don’t remember, but it really seems like I should have, for the man can do no wrong in my eyes, at least in all things cinematic and concerning the wearing of suits. I know not a whit about his personal life, which suits me fine. However, should he ever invite me to tea or whiskey to find out, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be there, with bells ON. The king of corduroy has a new movie out, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival since I saw the trailer months ago, which seemed more like ages. I don’t know that I’ve ever anticipated a film’s arrival more than this. Proof, perhaps, that this gal needs to get out more often, or that, as previously stated, I am a rather big fan of his fil-ums. Moonrise Kingdom finally came to Portland two weeks ago, but we were ever so busy doing a whole weekend’s worth of yard work that made me far too tired to go, which made me a bit sad, too, but I recovered. I am an adult and can survive disappointments.

This past weekend, however, there were no projects on the books and stellar weather, so we headed out for a long and leisurely day. We started at Pacific Pie CO for lunch, our first and definitely not our last time there. It has swell decor, very good service, and the aforementioned pie. I love pie, sweet or savory. They have both, but we only partook of the savory because our bellies were full up. Tooting my own horn here, they have the best pie crust I’ve ever had next to my own, which is damn good. It is light and buttery and super tender. I had the beef and mushroom with a side of broccoli (did you get that Mom? I ordered broccoli. What is happening to me?!) and the hubster had the lamb with spicy coleslaw. Both were happily devoured in short order and promises made to come back for the cherry and the creamy chicken. In that order, I think. Why the hell not?

Oh, I am sassy today! After the pie, we crossed the river and loafed around before show time, taking in the Oregon History Museum on free day, because everything is better when it is free. It is an interesting assortment of curiosities, as you can see, though I was certainly most jazzed by the architectural models on display, this one being Pietro Belluschi’s house (he also designed the Portland Art Museum and the Commonwealth Building, in which I once worked) and the letter from Ansel Adams. Shazam, that is pretty awesome letterhead, which made the hubster and I decide that we need our own. One day, when we have more time, we’ll head up to the fourth floor and see if our house has any interesting history of its own, present occupants excluded, of course.

The fil-um did not disappoint, though I never had a doubt. It was Wes Anderson, through and through, with a nod or two to Francis Ford Coppola (his son Roman was co-writer), with wounded oddballs and misfit characters occupying idyllic homes (ah, the Bishop house!) in picturesque landscapes. They stumble through life, encountering both the vicious and the tender kind, searching for people with whom to share their pain and great capacity for love. They are impeccably dressed and coiffed, a bit wild, and make this viewer cry, though not nearly half as much as they make me laugh out loud.

We’re at the Central Library now. Isn’t it beautiful? We roamed the stacks a bit and checked out a couple of neat-o architecture books with great pictures. I don’t suppose we ever outgrow a good picture book, do we? I sure haven’t.

More downtown gorgeousness before we get back to the car. I love the clouds in this one.

When we got home, we hung out on the patio, talked about the movie, perused our books, and the hubster and cats took a nap while I watched and occupied my mind with random thoughts.

It got cool, and the mosquitoes started buzzing, so we came inside and cuddled on the sofa before doing some more reading. We’ve started The Game of Thrones, taking turns reading aloud to each other, which is fun, and we are both enjoying, for the most part. I am definitely not the primary audience for this series, as I am neither a fan of explicit sex or graphic violence. This has both, but not too much, for now, at least.

A perfect day in our own little Moonrise Kingdom.



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When I was in Denver, after every single visit with a friend or family member, in that very private place that was my rental car, I would cry. Sometimes they were tiny tears, stopped with a widening of the eyes and a deep sigh. Others were trickier, that salty-sweet spill on my lap and hands as I drove and sang to Radiohead or Iron & Wine. Worst, or best, actually, in hindsight, were the variety that came in a torrent, and I pulled the car to the side of the road while they did their work. I just saw someone special to me! They were right there and we hugged and laughed and talked until my throat was sore! So very many cough drops, my friends.

Then there were the times when the tears could not wait, like with Kelli when she was driving, or during lunch with Hef, and with my parents and grandparents, and when I caught my first glimpse of Wendy in the distance, the very first time since high school (that’s twenty-three years, math lovers).

Then I got home, standing at the curb at the airport, and the hubster pulled up with this light in his eyes, so happy to see me, and we hugged for the longest time before taking the long way home, so I could see the city I love a bit more slowly.

And the other day, to celebrate another year of Colleen Sohn on this marvelous planet circling the sun, I had friends over. We ate and drank and talked and talked. And they humbled me with straight from the heart kindness and thoughtful gifts, but mostly their warm presence in my life.

So the title. All of this makes me think of that story, and how there was enough and more from impossibly little. My life is like that. Every time I think there couldn’t be more kindness or love, someone shows me. Every time I think life couldn’t be more beautiful, flowers bloom. A friend calls. A bird sings. A cat purrs. The hubster smiles. Music plays. I round the bend and there is the Saint John’s Bridge.

Shining examples of how good it all is.


If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.

Alfred Tennyson

For my grandparents, on their Sixty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary.

Oh, how I love you both!




Last week, I stumbled upon a very cool skateboarding video, Altered Route with Kilian Martin. Did you know that about me? That I love watching skateboarders? And surfers? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Dogtown and Z-Boys or YouTube videos on loops (Laird Hamilton, you slay me!), truth be told. The mesmerizing click and roll of wheels on pavement, hands skimming air and water, the ceaseless rolling of waves, I am dazzled and awed at what bodies can do, so much and so beautifully, against gravity and odds and nature.  Anyhoo, the video had the sweetest song playing, very atypical of what most would consider skateboarding music. Patrick Watson, “Adventures in Your Own Backyard.” I couldn’t get it out of my head, this stirring sound, so I bought the album and a couple of other songs and started playing them on a loop while I wrote.

Then, when that was not enough, I went to Patrick Watson’s website and clicked around, pushing the concert button to find the band would be in town in four short days. Tickets still available. Click-boom! The hubster and I were go-ing. Yup, yup.

We arrived at The Mission Theater to very little fanfare, hardly a line, a table steps from the small stage. The opening band, Cat Martino, was sweet, her voice very fine, with a slight eighties vibe, and Cat’s band mate Sven (who totally reminded us of Zach, Maren!) with some of the coolest tattoos I’ve ever seen – small birds flying all over the right side of his body. I love that kind of thought.

Then it was time for the main attraction. The theater went completely dark and Patrick Watson came out, each with two or three small lights attached to their fingers. They played “Lighthouse” (pretty sure), which starts with Patrick playing softly on the piano and singing before being joined by the rest of the band – a violin (Melanie Blair), a guitar (Simon Angell), a bass (Mishka Stein), and drums (Robbie Kuster), building and building to this marvelous explosion of sound.

And that was only the beginning.

I’ve seen a lot of shows in my time, many in venues like this one, two hundred people gathered around a stage. But those small spaces had nothing to do with the intimacy of the show. Last night, we were part of something, transported elsewhere, our collective souls stirred into one. It was tender, silly, raucous, rakish, and laugh out loud funny, and we were all in it together. Dazzlingly simple, too, a string of patio lights and long shadows cast, minstrel-style, upon the ceiling and walls.

Then there was the singing. The hypnotizing guitar and bass. The haunting violin. The dynamic drumming. A whole song, “Into Giants,” I think, when the band came into the audience, no amplification, standing single file, Patrick right in front of me, Mishka’s tattoo peeking from his t-shirted arm while he strummed the guitar, so close I could have lifted the sleeve and revealed its secret. They sang and stomped so powerfully that Robbie might as well have been playing the drums.

M A G I C A L. Really and truly. The best show of my life, and I yelled it out the window of the Mini as we zoomed home, Patrick smoking a cigarette on the corner. Yeah, that was me. And since the band hails from Montreal, I gotta say, “Merci mille fois!”



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