Standing behind the falls

Last night I wished fervently for a instantaneous transportation device that could take me from Philadelphia to Portland, OR in the time it would take to walk down a flight of stairs. My parents spent the late afternoon and early evening picnicking at La Tourelle Falls, a smallish water fall about a half hour outside of Portland, in the Columbia Gorge. I spent most of the day simmering in a slow burning funk, neither able to take action to get myself unfunked or really settle into a good wallow. I remained, stranded on a strip of emotional wasteland, wandering from bedroom to living room to kitchen and back. I would have given many things to trade my well-worn path in the carpet to be with them at the water fall.

I talked to my parents in the evening after they got back. I listened as my mom described the perfection of the day. She had stood knee-deep in the pool of water at the base of the falls, never feeling chilled due to the 100+ degree weather. The dog swam and played. My dad investigated the blackberry brambles, looking for signs of the berries that will be abundant in just a few weeks. She said that at one point, she went and stood in the space between the drape of falling water and the stone side of the cliff. As she described that moment I imagined myself standing next to her back there, watching the muffled world through a wet, warped mirror.

I walked over a friend’s house tonight to return a book, feeling not much like myself. As I walked home again, I felt like my ability to perceive the world had increased, my field of vision spanning my head from temple to temple. Everything looked familiar, but not quite right, as if the city had been run through Photoshop, gently altering the curve of a path and the height of a building*.

When I got home, I spent an hour on the phone, talking to Una about change. About how often we comment that things changed in an instant, but frequently the changes are happening in tiny, invisible increments. Only after days or weeks or months of those slow moving changes can you see how altered your reality actually is.

What does all this mean? I admit, I don’t really know. My microscopic changes haven’t focused into their bigger picture yet, but there’s been enough movement for me to notice that’s it’s taken place. This noticing has led to both the funk and shift in perception.  Neither have been particularly helpful in their own right.  I’m looking forward to the moment when it all snaps into sharper relief. Hopefully it will happen towards the end of this week.

*I swear, I’m not taking drugs.

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