April 1999 Archives

Another sighting

I saw him again today, the homeless poet who recently broke his harmonica.

He is a well-spoken, dark-skinned man with a clean but unkempt beard and a knit hat pulled over his black hair.

In one hand he was carrying the Burnside Cadillac, a paper filled with the rambling thoughts of the Portland homeless. In the other he was carrying a bag (contents unknown) and a single red rose.

He was speaking to no one in particular and though I did not hear the words he spoke, I could hear the rich meaning in his voice.


Yesterday I ran across a man playing harmonica. I took one look at him and I realized, "I owe him nine cents."

I paid him in tootsie rolls.


A warning: if you have a difficult time saying 'no,' and you insist on going wine tasting, limit the number of wineries you visit. At one bottle per winery (how can you taste all of that wine without purchasing at least one bottle?) and at $15 to $20 a bottle, it adds up quickly.

We bought a bottle of Pinot Noir Blanc (but not too sweet, this one) from Champoeg, Merlot from Henry Estates, and Pinot Noir from Tyee.

By the time we finished visiting wineries, we were in Roseburg, three hours outside of Portland. Amy fell in love with the Umpqua valley.


I have news! But you'll have to email me for it.


I had lunch today with Tom. It was excellent.


The sun is gone.

But the rain cleans the air, washes the streets, clears our minds and prepares us for the next dose of sun.


It is the beginning of the weekend and glorious things are afoot.

An early waking

I woke at 6am this morning--just sat right up in bed. I wandered around the house for a while and considered heading down to the waterfront to watch the sunrise.

But I haven't slept well in days, and somehow I just knew I should get back in bed.

The thing is, I have a very clear history when I wake up early: if I go back to sleep, I sleep through my alarm.

And that is exactly what I did. I woke again at 7:55am. The sun was beaming, the sky was blue, and I was late.

Next time, I'm going to stay up.

I haven't seen the sunrise in months.


One year ago today, I wrote my first journal entry. And in celebration, I created this new, very green design.

As of yet, there's no archive, so either you've got to a) click back through all of the entries one at a time, or b) go check out the old page, which has an archive in the writings section.

So bless you all on this day!

(And if you didn't see it while it was up, you should definitely mosey on over to the leaf.)

[Post script: the archive is finished!]

Bus 15

Bus 15 pulled up to the curb, ten feet from the path I was beating home. It is one of those "kneeling" busses, with the low floor and the ability to lower itself to the curb so folks with wheels can just wheel themselves right in.

The front door opened to let on this hooded sweatshirt guy.

The door opened and the lights went on inside the bus.

Earlier, I had been watching the Newshour with Jim Lehrer (today featuring the Macedonian Ambassador to the United States defending Macedonia's sudden displacement of Kosovar refugees).

The image of a hundred thousand Kosovars huddled together on a trash-filled field with no food and water was beating a path behind me.

I was walking quickly, and barely keeping ahead of it.

The door opened and the lights went on in the bus. I stopped beating my path home.

The image of the Kosovar refugees smacked me square in the back of the head.

I stared into Bus 15 and I couldn't tell the difference between its ragged passengers and the hundred thousand refugees huddled together in my memory.

And Ambassador Ljubica Acevska was somewhere in there--in my memory, with the refugees--saying, "when the number reached 50,000, that's when the international community started providing food... we are providing all humanitarian assistance to [the] refugees... but it's also a responsibility of the international community to help us..."

The door on Bus 15 began to close and one of the women sitting on the bus--she was wearing a plastic bag to keep the rain off of her--she looked up at me with her yellow face and stringy hair and I could swear that she said, "thank God for this bus. We may never stop moving but at least here we are warm and dry."

There never will be 50,000 passengers on Bus 15 on a cold and wet Wednesday night. They will never get attention from the national community, let alone the international one.

The door on the bus closed. The lights went out.

As I again began moving away from the memory of the ambassador and her refugees the sign on the back of Bus 15 blinked its destination: "Mt. Tabor."

And Ambassador Acevska leaned in close and whispered, "we certainly are keeping track of where everybody is going."

Everything in time

Spring has arrived.

Thankfully, some people of importance decided to give us back our hour of evening light as well. Last night, the sun set at 7:28pm (or so).

The sun is shining again today.

There are two trees directly outside my window. One is green with new leaves. One is still winterbarren. I think they're the same kind of tree, too. Everything in its own time, I guess.

My pictures from the trip to Smith Rock are back, though I did not bring them in for scanning today.

Sometime, I hope to tell you about that trip. Especially about the incredible shadows cast across the rock spires by the moonlight.

Everything in its own time.

One last thing: if you look in the archives, you'll see that my first journal entry was April 10, 1998.

I'm not sure what that means.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 1999 listed from newest to oldest.

March 1999 is the previous archive.

May 1999 is the next archive.

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