One Handed.

Preparing to leave Portland after living here for 8 ½ years is like watching a sun set for 13 days. I look at people that I love and think about how different things will be when I move. Most things won’t be that different for them. Everything will be different for me.

And I am still running around this town getting ready to leave, but the circles I’m making are getting smaller. Just like circles do. If you stay in one place too long you wear lines in the roads. You take the same streets to the same places at the same times. You start to figure out better ways to get there and you start taking those streets.

It’s like that with people too. In the beginning you are friends with the whole city. You go to everyone’s parties. The first friends you make fall away quickly and the second ones hang on a bit longer. Finally you settle into the best group, a group that feels familiar. With people that are complementary to you in age and taste and politics. You meet for brunch or happy hour or brunch. Sometimes you go to a movie.

The last few years I have met some people that I wish I had been friends with for much longer than is now possible. I finally found everyone I ever needed in this town but only when I was ready to leave. Or I became ready to leave because I met them. One of my oldest and dearest friends moved here right after I’d decided for real to leave. I found people that I can trust to love me honestly, and that I can love honestly. I found a mentor, and through her I found a grace and strength that I knew was there, but had worked hard to deny.

Everything I ever needed was always right in front of me, but I could not leave till I saw it, and I could not see it till I was ready to leave.

I am ready now.

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12 Responses to “One Handed.”


  1. 1 Trina March 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Noooooooo! Portland will not be the same without you! And even though I don’t ever see you, I think about ya and love reading your blogs! You are a natural born star!!!!!!!!

  2. 3 maryalice March 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    awwww. hugs buddy. I started to get a little teary-eyed there. I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

  3. 5 Brad March 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    This is ridiculously beautiful, Nathan. Especially “Preparing to leave Portland after living here for 8 ½ years is like watching a sun set for 13 days” and “If you stay in one place too long you wear lines in the roads”. That’s incredibly evocative and true. I wish this were about anything but your leaving (though I’m glad you are when I’m not being selfish about it). Sorry it took me so long to move here.

  4. 7 Dad March 2, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I love you son.

  5. 8 Dad March 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I truly believe that you will make the world a better place. I believe that is the journey you are on. If you are dreaming and aspiring, your mind is seeking, even while you are sleeping. Fate is not fate at all. Luck is not luck. Trust yourself and give credit where credit is due, to yourself for the the challenge you have presented to your being. It is all being arranged. There is no doubt. The journey for you will be over when you leave this word. You will never “arrive.” You will only climb to plateaus that you will embrace for a while. Your sojourn there will make it a better place.

  6. 9 Paula Webb March 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I am really going to miss you. You were always one of my favorites to work with, made a not so fun place a little brighter on the days you were there. It is time for you to brighten other peoples days. I know you will.

  7. 10 marlana March 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    “Everything I ever needed was always right in front of me, but I could not leave till I saw it, and I could not see it till I was ready to leave. ” Beautiful…and true of alot of things.

  8. 11 Sandy March 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Remember this Nathan
    The future is something we create. I know you can create yours.
    Best of everything to you.

  9. 12 Dad March 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    To change one’s life:
    1. Start immediately.
    2. Do it flamboyantly.
    3. No exceptions.

    – William James


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