Day 1 of An Hour In The City and the weather is better than it has been all month & I’m shook. This has got to be a good omen, right? Or maybe I’m just setting myself up for failure as the weather gets worse. We’ll see! The first place I decided to walk is the cemetery that is actually a 15 minute walk from our place. I can (and did) easily spend hours in there just strolling and looking at the tombstones.
Lone Fir cemetery was founded in 1855, and is Portland’s longest established cemetery. It was named for the once solitary tree in its northwest corner, which is still standing. Containing the illustrious graves of the founder of Portland, a well known prostitute and several of the leading figures of Portland…it’s a historical haven. One of the first things I always notice upon entering the cemetery is just how peaceful it is. I know there’s a joke in there somewhere about the people being dead, but it seriously just fills me with calm and I love to come here a lot to gather my thoughts and just be.
Here in Portland we’re coming off Fall, and the ground is scattered with brightly colored leaves. It’s like walking on a brightly colored mush river. Also, I can’t even begin to describe the weather right now. The sun is shining and the skies are blue and full of big fluffy clouds….yet it’s lightly sprinkling and about 60. It’s very bizarre and I love it! The weather and crows are one of my favorite parts of Portland! My friends will tell you that I really love birds (and they’ll probably mention that it’s weird), but there are so many crows here and they’re so smart! I love their spooky little caws. A lot of them live in the cemetery and seem take joy in haunting this place.
Spooky graveyards really fit my spooky soul. Most of the time I want to be left alone like the dead, although I guess they’re not really left alone because here I am talking in their place of rest. When I die I don’t want to be buried, but I do have a very long list of things that I tell Chris I want. To name a few of them… a statue, I want him to wear my ashes around his neck and snort them occasionally, I would like a bench somewhere, I want a tree named after me and honestly the list keeps going! Chris says that his life work will be memorializing my death and that his life will finally have a purpose.
Walking this cemetery has made me really think about why I do this. The original An Hour In the City was not only a way to learn San Francisco, but also a way to help with the crippling anxiety I was facing. This time around I’m not really faced with the same anxiety. While I do still struggle, it’s not really affecting my life in the same way. I would like to continue to work on committing to myself. I want to use this as a way to commit to a healthier me! I also love the chance to explore my brand new city and write about it. What better way to do it than on foot? It’s also a fun bonding time for Chris and I. Today he taught me how to make a whistle out of the top of a acorn,it was really loud and annoying, but now I know what to do if I ever get lost in the forest. Except only kinda because I didn’t firmly grasp it.
I mostly love the random things one will see when paying attention to their surroundings. Today we saw two old people making out the graveyard! It was kind of weird, but we nicknamed Lone Fir, The Sexy Graveyard….so something good came out of it! The last thing we noticed is a group of tombstones with pictures of young adults. There’s a culture that puts actual pictures on their gravestone. We always stare at these tombstones, and just today we realized that they all died on the same day in 2006 and were siblings in their 20s, it’s kind of spooky and sad. Graveyards, man….
Founder of Portland