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Posts tagged ‘portland’

Heaven Adores You – a heartfelt tribute in film to Elliott Smith

It was three years ago I discovered the Kickstarter campaign of a filmmaker named Nickolas Rossi. He had a vision of creating a documentary film about singer/songwriter Elliott Smith that would be less drama about his life and more music focused; what came to be known as a “love letter” to Elliott Smith. And as I followed the path of creation that became the film Heaven Adores You, it was evident every step of the way that this project was being done with the utmost love, respect and admiration for Elliott and his family and friends as well.

And finally the time arrived for me to be able to view this film that I had literally been counting the days to see. The screenings have been at various film festivals literally all over the globe, which is a testament to the worldwide appeal of Elliott Smith’s music. But last night was a very special screening I attended, the showing of the film in Portland, Oregon, a city that is widely held as Elliott’s hometown.

The theatre was packed, a sold out show, and the energy of breath-holding anticipation for Heaven Adores You in Portland was palpable. After a lovely set of Elliott Smith songs performed by the Portland Cello Project it was time to see the film that so many have waited to see.

What I watched for 104 minutes was a very well crafted tribute to Elliott showcasing his music not just from his days of fame but also treating the viewer to some rare songs from his adolescence where it becomes obvious that he had the seeds of musical talent and genius ready to sprout.

Heaven Adores You is also well seasoned with snippets of commentary and memories from Elliott’s dear ones that shared in his lifetime. I found myself in more moments of laughter than tears as I watched this film, not being awash in the usual drama and darkness that is often attached to the telling of Elliott Smith’s lifetime.

And then there is also the visually stunning cinematography that adds to the breath and depth of Elliott’s journey in the various places he lived and created and played his lovely music.

Heaven Adores You is the ultimate gift of tribute to this lovely troubadour who left us all too soon; it is a fitting homage of love to a man who was really just all about love himself.

http://heavenadoresyou.com/

heaven-adores-you_low-res_041714

 

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Changes in regard to coffee

Yes it’s true, we Portlanders love our coffee, and there are a plethora of coffeehouses all around town to drive home that truth. I myself have a list of favorites in my neighborhood, but what a joy it is to discover a new treasure outside of the Alphabet District, the quaint and quirky name of the area in which I live.

And yes it’s true, shortly after moving here I dared to get rid of my coffeepot and the monkey on my back habit of half a pot of coffee in the morning. I had started to feel like a coffee junkie, so I quit cold turkey, suffered the pangs of caffeine withdrawal and stayed away for a time. Well, a short time that is, until I found myself tiptoeing back to instant coffee, only one cup a day. And hey, that’s not really an addiction, only one cup of instant coffee in the morning, is it? And I can quit anytime! But today was different, I just needed more – and here is my story…

Two Cup Day

I had relegated myself

To a self-imposed limit

Only one cup of coffee

To start my day

But today felt different

A cool breeze

Gray clouds in the skylight

The flickering candle I had lit

To stave off the dim daylight

One last swallow of the first cup

And off to the kitchen

Marching triumphantly

To celebrate my new holiday

Behold the inauguration of

Two Cup Day

tiny coffee

Home and community – It’s all a matter of perspective

Home is where the heart is -Yes, it is a common, kitschy phrase often seen on pieces of arts and crafts that we display in our homes, where our hearts are. But moving past the overused phrase that it is, and really thinking about it, the place we call “home” and the place that brings a sense of community are just that – places on this earth that we resonate with and come to see with the eyes of our heart and soul.

I have often heard the lament of those who live in a small town that city dwellers live in a cold atmosphere of indifference; we pass each other on the street, strangers with our heads down,  lacking acknowledgment of one another. But I beg to differ. This morning I bypassed my usual routine of tea at home in my pajamas, and headed out in the cool morning air to one of my favorite coffeehouse haunts, the Fehrenbacher Hof, located in a delightful neighborhood of Portland called Goose Hollow. Just the fact that Portland is comprised of delightful neighborhoods like Goose Hollow within the confines of a big city tells me that a sense of community can be established anywhere, not just in a small town or less populated city.

As I sat on the porch outside “The Hof”, as it is affectionately called, I felt such a sense of belonging, even with the cacophony of the city sounds; cars, trains and a helicopter flying incredibly low overhead. And that small event, the helicopter buzzing the treetops, spurred on a conversation with a stranger and others around us, as we wondered what that was all about. Sitting there as I sipped my coffee, I began to feel like a greeter at Wal-Mart, saying “good morning” to just about every person who came in and out. We do make friendly connections in this urban setting!

Even my apartment building fosters a sense of community; a lovely circle of interactions and connections with the other tenants, pride taken in our building and even the apartment management. One of the tenants took it upon herself to thoroughly clean up the laundry room one day, lending a helping hand to our overworked manager/building maintenance man, taking pride in this place we call home. Another tenant has been so kind as to leave a bucket full of cut flowers in the foyer; leftovers from her job at a flower shop, as she shares with her fellow neighbors. And one morning we were treated to boxes of doughnuts in the foyer; a gift from the management company, to show appreciation for having such lovely tenants.

For many years the place I called home was a place I found myself in because of family ties, friends and familiarity. But life can be changeable and malleable, and we may find that home is a place that has been buried but now is ready to be uncovered. For me I unearthed my love of the city, and that city for me is Portland. Now I fully understand what the word home means, and it is here that I truly feel as if I am part of a community.

Home sweet home

Winter words, and remembering Minnesota winters

I spent 52 cold and snowy winters in Minnesota, until I finally decided I had enough and moved to a more temperate but rainy clime of Portland, Oregon six months ago. They tell me it snows here, but not much. And I have heard that even a few inches is enough to prompt the mayor into issuing a warning for all Portlanders to avoid travel and stay home! For someone who is accustomed to driving through literally feet and not just inches of snow, my first Portland snowfall should provide much amusement. Although I will concede that the snow removal equipment here is nothing like what Minnesota has. Even though I came to truly hate the frigid and snowy monotony of eternally long Minnesota winters, I found myself outside one day after a snowstorm, admiring the beauty of the snow on the trees and taking picture after picture. And when I began writing, the snow also became inspiration for me – who would have thought?! But even so, I can’t say that I will miss the Midwestern landscape at winter – I find rain is so much more manageable!

Winter Canvas

 

Snow becomes a canvas

Blinding white

Sunlight creates

Tiny sparkling prisms

Shadow of the bench

Wavy and distorted

Soft reflections from glass

Paint white on white

Tree shadows

Are gray

Undefined

An impression

The artist in winter

Is the sun

The artist’s canvas

Is the pristine snow

Is

Snow sprinkled like

Powdered sugar on the trees

Birds’ nests are cupcakes

Frosted with snow

Beads of water

Frozen into hanging sculpture

Trunks and branches

Become monuments

The stillness

Makes you

Want to hold your breath

Winter is

A time of rest

Winter is

A simple time

Winter is

Snowflakes

Catching them

On my tongue

Gentle, tiny miracles

Melting into me

An angel’s sieve

Sprinkles gifts over me

Coated with love

I fall down

An angel in the snow

A shadow of my soul

Remains as I rise

Imprint in the earth

Settling in, and inspiration pays a visit

I moved to Portland on Memorial Day weekend, and the summer was perfection! No appearance was made of the rain that everyone so kindly warned me about – “it rains there all the time you know” is the comment I heard from well meaning friends and family. But for the summer months, I was able to scoff at their claims, and offer them condolences as they suffered through a Minnesota summer of heat, humidity and yes, lots of rain. But alas, their words ring true now in the winter months, and I listen to the continuous sound of rain on my skylight. Good thing I have lots to read, and the coffeehouse is right around the corner. So I settle into my home, in the city I have come to love so dearly. And between the words I find from others on their blogs to the fact that I am hunkered down in my home, trying to stay warm and dry, I found the words to a poem coming back to me. I haven’t really written anything for a couple months, but I just sat back and waited for the muse to come – and it has. So here is the poem I found inside of me yesterday, and another one I had written previously about my lovely Rose City of Portland –

Hibernation

 

Winter comes

And we hibernate

In our people way

Like the animals do

The temperature drops

The rain falls

The snow drifts down

We wrap up in blankets

Hands wrapped around a coffee cup

Reading our way through a pile of books

Listening in silence

To the rhythmic sound

Of knitting needles

Clacking together

Streets are empty

We are huddled together

In our people dens

Hibernating

Rose City Love

This city and I are like lovers

Affections can shift

From the deepest passion

To feigned indifference

From a shared knowing of each other’s needs

To a monotony of sameness

But then oh, a new secret discovered

Endearment strikes the heart

The rose of true love blooms once more

Words of adoration gush out

A torrent of rushing affections

Like the river she holds close to her bosom

A rainy day can signal disappointment

Yet she still woos me

With places that sparkle

Along her many city streets

No matter what the weather

We continue the love affair

And I learn to savor her many moods

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