On sunshine and transitions

by Kim on October 23, 2011 · 12 comments

On sunshine and transitions

The rain is slowly returning to Portland and with it the dark days and low clouds that make me feel like I’m trapped beneath a snow-globe.  My micro-climate?  Drizzle.  Seven months of drizzle under the little plastic dome.  But this time, when the skies clear, Brian and I will be off to see the world.

In Portland the meteorologists always predict one future-day of sun, plopping it down on day 10 of the 10-day forecast.  By the time day 10 rolls around the outlook has changed:  It’ll be rain today in the valley.  But look ahead!  We just might see some sun late next week.

The sun will always be here next week. So we put our rain boots on and trudge forward through the puddles.

Photo from flickr creative commons by Kables

Every year around this time I sink, somewhat, into a darker place.  Like a waning moon touched only by a fraction of the light it saw before.  But it is my last rainy winter in this beautiful city, so I say to myself: Enjoy it.  When the rain stops life will not look the same.  

I want to share with you one of my favorite poems.  It’s been in my collection for years but I’ve never related to it more than I do now.

totally- by tony hoagland

i’m raking leaves and singing in my off-key voice

a mangled version of madonna’s “like a virgin,”

a song i thought i hated;


that’s how it goes when your head and heart

are in different time zones-

you often don’t find out ’till tomorrow

what you felt today.


i know i do not understand the principles 

of leaf removal; i pile them up

in glowing heaps of cadmium and orange,

but i identify so much more

with the entropic gusts of wind

that knock them all apart again.

is it natural to be scattered?


when i look into the sky i am often dreaming

of a television program that i saw some months ago; 

when i walk into a dinner party


i am thinking of a book i mean to read

when i get home- you might say

my here is disconnected from my now,

so never am i entirely anywhere,


or anyone, but i don’t speak cruelly

of myself: this dividedness is just what

makes our species great: possible for darwin


to figure out his theory of selection

while playing five-card stud, 

for surgeon keats to find a perfect rhyme

wrist-deep in the disorder

of an open abdomen.


for example, it is autumn here.

the defoliated trees look frightened

at the edge of town,


as if the train they missed

had taken all their clothes.

the whole world in unison is turning

toward a zone of nakedness and cold.


but me, i have this strange conviction

that i am going to be born.  



{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan Ross October 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

Oh! We just spent an entirely miserable day in Portland, Maine on our cruise. We were drenched through on our walking foodie tour and our sail in the afternoon was cancelled – not a good first impression of Portland! But I think you are in Portland, Oregon and getting just as much rain, it looks like!


Kim October 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Yes, Portland, Oregon. Though to be fair, being drenched is no fun no matter which coast you are on!


Gillian @OneGiantStep October 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Kim…you are going to make me a poetry loving convert! Perfection.


Kim October 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Is it great or what? I have some other good ones tucked away that I will share with you some day!


sarah October 24, 2011 at 4:24 am

Thanks for sharing this Kim, to be honest, I don’t really ‘get’ poetry that doesn’t rhyme (I know, I know!) but I enjoyed this piece, it’s kind of…comforting. 🙂


Kim October 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Yes, I love this one. I swear I have some others that would make you get/like poetry!


Deborah October 24, 2011 at 8:33 am

Kim, thank you for adding such loveliness to my days! I am so glad I found you here in cyberspace and am convinced that one day we’ll drink wine and break bread (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) together. ‘Til then, I am holding you in my heart and wishing you well! xo, Deborah


Kim October 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thank you Deb. Yes, one day we will meet and have a glass of wine. It will be fantastic. 🙂


Matthew Karsten October 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

I´ve been stuck in rainy season down here in Panama for a few months, and it does wear down on you after a while. Here´s to sunny days in the future! 🙂


Kim October 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Many, many sunny days!


Jason October 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Time for another nuclear winter. The really sad part is that it seems summer just began and then it ended.


Kim October 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Ah yes, isn’t that always the case. I went for a run today in the rain and it was kind of enjoyable… had the whole waterfront to myself. I’m going to try to enjoy the rain (wish me luck).


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