Friday, March 27, 2009

The Curious City

How do activities and terms like clean & trendy, open-lofts, morning-lattes, happy-hours, and fashion seasons get into our system?

Do we choose these investments?
Are they all good? Are they bad? Do we ask ourselves 'why'?

Urban Thoughts:

I will always enjoy the sight of my future in a large condo with clean walls and open space all while happily entertaining the thought of my slippers, bean bag, and art-deco sky chair. This would also include frequent visits to the local art galleries to fill my artistic voids in hopes to become increasingly inspired to extpress my own line of artwork. The small bakeries and coffee shops would strangle my senses and remind me to briefly slow down to have a small treat. This pause in my routine would have me glancing at others with strange arousal in the sight of a reciprocated enjoyment of coffee and pastries, thus feeding my daily stock of unspoken local community.

Is this it though? Is the potential idol of routine the point to why I need my coffee break? My work-out? My new outfit?


Can we get to the place where the things we purchase and the possessions we hoard become a part of the greater community?... as well as embracing and finding joy in the fruit and purchase of prized goods as a result of hard-work and investment?

This collection of thoughts is the product of a short 4 day trip to Portland, Oregon. I enjoyed this place and the people I connected with. I hope to explore much more of what I call 'The Curious City' sooner than later. There is an unspoken mystery to Portland, and any city for that matter... that I can't articulate. What Portland offers is growing and special to those fortunate to be closely involved. With what seemed to be a haze following many of the locals, I also felt an emerging generation of optimism and creativity. I left inspired.

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.”


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"to the Irish"

Ah, a wee bit conflicted on this great day...

I am challenged with the task of balancing the great "American" celebration of St. Patrick into my rich memory of my time living in Ireland.

Ireland not only taught me about St. Patrick's incredible faith and path in seeing freedom for the Irish, but I experienced the warmth and community from the Irish families at levels that can never be touched.

I miss the long nights of traditional Irish music, laughter, and story telling in the living room of the Donnelly house.

I crave to watch the young Irish students run around town in their uniforms and jumpers.

I hold onto the rich green colors that consumed my attention in our windy travels on the beaten paths.

The soft but radiant chant of Emma and the deep searching in the hearts of my Galway youth group fly with me today more than usual.

I miss you Ireland and I recommend to anyone and everyone that when/if they get to see this great country: slow down and learn as much as you can from the Irish and the way they choose to live. It will change you!

Happy St. Patrick's day!

"So here's to you and yours and mine and ours. If mine and ours ever come across you and yours, I pray that you and yours will be as kind to mine and ours as mine and ours have been to you and yours!"

Monday, March 2, 2009


To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson