Displacement

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Moving is soul-displacing. Familiar spaces and faces disappear and the heart wonders where they went. New streets, new habits, new patterns, have yet to begin, and you wander on the earth without leaving trails below your feet. Every person you see is a stranger. Every house a haven closed to you. Even the dogs and the cats, even the transitory folk who wander, even the raindrops that slide down your new windows–they all seem more at home than you.

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I recently moved to Portland, from the wild concrete jungle of Orange County. My SoCal experience was short, three months at the outside, but for this girl who was raised in a small country house surrounded by cornfields and forest, it was revelatory.

Familiarity takes a toll on us, but so does newness. Here in Portland, in the city of grit and protest, I am thankful for the network of shared purpose in coffeehouses. While I may not be known, my passion for learning about origin and extraction is recognized, and between the barista and myself there flashes a brief moment of fellowship.

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The beverage world is really about community–shared rituals, shared passion. Here in Portland, in the City of Craft Bev, I am learning that lesson all over again.

Portland, OR / early morning / photos from Broadway Cafe & Westport Rd. in Kansas City, MO

2 comments

  1. I moved frequently as a kid of an army parent. I loved the forever adventure of it, and I became really outgoing and quick to connect with new people and spaces. After staying in my college town a total of 8 odd years, we decided to move to the great little town of KCMO. I assumed I would relocate with the same ease as when I was young. It’s been a struggle, mainly in figuring out which parts of me to introduce to the new people around me. Finding new things and places is the adventure, meeting new people is now the challenge. I suppose it’s a blessing and a curse though, isn’t it? I have no shadows following me here, and I can be any versions of myself!

    Hope you’re enjoying your new canvas in Portland!

  2. Wow. I really get what you’re saying, though for me I only moved a few times as a kid. I’m finding that I’m so much more restrained here in my latest incarnation… I have friends, just not here, and though I often feel lonely or isolated, I don’t have the willingness to be quickly vulnerable to people here. It’s a strange thing. Guess I’m shielding myself more as I get older? Your KC adventure sounds both exhilarating and scary. Thanks for commenting and following!

    EWM

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