Portland, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

Rainy Afternoon in Buenos Aires

This time of year, Portland and it's gray, rain-soaked days start to get to me.  My already neutral centered wardrobe shifts even more towards charcole and ash. My skin reaches new lows of zombie-status pallor.

It doesn't take long for all of it to seep into my insides too, and soon my mind is the same colorless, empty and vast stretch of january gloom. These days, I'm only safe company for Negative Nancy ... or Eeyore. 

It's not exactly something I'm proud of, being emotionally slave to the seasons. The cardinal rule of self help books is "Never rely on something you can't control to make you happy." So, it's a pretty amateur move for me to choose something that befuddles the man whose job it is to predict it.

I'm trying my hardest to take control - swallowing vitamin D by the fistful, and pressing my eyes against yellow post-it notes to conjure memories of the sun.

But this is my plea : June, please come soon.

[ (1) rainy day on film (Title) Allusion to the song from LCD Soundsystem. (p.s.) A similarly titled conceptual art piece {slide 12 at Sight Unseen}, from the dearly departed artist Tobias Wong]


  1. This is my first winter in Portland, and I'm longing for a patch of blue sky to last for more than two hours. But that lovely picture of peonies under your "raisons d'etre" certainly cheers me up :)

  2. I get down during winter as well. Luckily in St. Louis, we do get sunlight and random warm days to cheer us up, but those gloomy days really take a toll on me. I've been surrounding myself with summer photos and spring fashion to keep me somewhat cheerful!

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I've subconciously been wearing only blacks and greys and despite my OCD moisturizing habits, the skin on my hands it littered with tiny dry skin cuts.

    Not to mention the snow man on my balcony is drooping miserably.

  4. alyssa, sam and hannah : I think you all touched on something really important! The little things we do to help shift our moods in winter. Yesterday I put on sunscreen just for the smell, instead of lotion!

    does anyone else have anything to share?

  5. yes yes yes. I was born and raised in Portland, and the gray and rain has NEVER grown on me. There was a character in a book I was reading last fall, though, who continually made reference to the difference between those who let the weather affect them, and those who don't. I forget the way it was phrased, but every time I start to feel gloomy in the gloom, I remember that I am the only one stopping myself from having the same attitude in the Winter that I have in the Summer.

  6. rae : you are so right! Like the line from Albert Camus "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

  7. Hey, I really like your blog. I live in Edinburgh (Scotland) and I lie not when I tell you it gets grim. Especially in the winter. Im Greek, from Athens. I'm here finishing my degree on psychotherapy which is slowly but steadily killing me. I try to dream of beaches every night though! And sandy sunsets. My skin looks so much better when its dark...Im becoming so white people can almost see through me.

    Well...lets bite our tongues, close our eyes and walk through storm. you know that knot you get in your stomach because of winter?


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