Rendered Fat Content


The Planet Mercury as a Doctor on Horseback,
Miscellany: Anatomical-Physiological Description of Men;
Liber Synonimorum; Descriptions of Planets, Zodiac, and Comets;
Treatises on Divination from Names, etc., German (shortly after 1464, Ms. Ludwig XII 8)
" … apparently finished ReImprinting upon our new home."

Portland's not my town anymore. Oh, I still know my way around the East side, but now only as a vaguely interested visitor rather than as a resident booster. I began as a booster. I found it quaint, more accessible than Seattle had been, more a large rather than a full-blown BIG city. I limited my experience of it to immediate necessity, only very rarely leaving the downtown and Central East Side, bounded by Lloyd Center and Sellwood, the West Hills and Mt. Tabor. Most of the West side of the place never existed for me and I scrupulously avoided it as confusing. I worked downtown. I lived just across the river. I never in nearly thirty years there, ever commuted by car. I proudly rode the bus. I treasured the libraries and the bookstores. I casually shopped the big downtown department stores as if they were mine. I had come from a much smaller city, but I'd ReImprinted upon that larger one. I'd retreat back to my hometown some weekends, but without seriously considering moving back there where opportunity seemed to have passed it by. Maybe a great place to retire or to have come from, but no place for a career.

Sunday afternoons, I'd head back to West of the Mountains without very often checking my rear view mirror.
I'd be ready by then, after a long weekend, to resume inhabiting my spot. My compass pointed me straight homeward, two hundred and forty-five miles to the West. In my time, I've recalibrated that internal compass only a spare few times, and always after an uncomfortably long period feeling as if I was heading in some wrong direction or had no home to point it toward. Quietly, usually without my noticing, I'd start gravitating in that new direction which through repetition came to seem like a downhill passage, just where gravity would have pointed me had she been in charge.

I yesterday noticed on our short four hour drive back from Portland that I didn't feel as though we were fleeing from that city, that we didn't seem to need it as we once had, or it to need our presence. When we first relocated out to Walla Walla, we found it necessary to flee back to the city for a few necessities. I could not find decent bread in Walla Walla, the wine selection thin, the options for buying clothes and books were narrower than we'd grown accustomed to. We'd return with car overloaded to live like pirates on the plunder until we'd return to raid again. Portland pretty much still had us then. We'd opened a satellite extension of that great city with no real intention of ever gaining liberation from its grasp. Our internal compass seemed schizophrenic. It could point in either direction at first and only very gradually did it come to settle on The Villa as its first preferred destination. The exile jumbled everything.

Back home now and actively HomeMaking, I've noticed no real urge to wander very far from what we now call our home. Every excursion seems a circular side trip, the destination of which always seems back where we started it. We wander through some of the old Portland favorites, but with less conviction now. We more appreciate old familiars than seriously consider stocking up on them. I feel reassured that Sheridan's still stocks eleventy-hundred varieties of dry beans and it's still the only place I can find my revered four mesh ground pepper, but my heart belongs to Andy's Market now and I don't really need the old heartthrob in my life. I stopped by more to secure a bag poem bag, since Sheridan's gives away the highest quality brown paper grocery bags on the planet, even double-bagging so I have one for stuff and another to write my granddaughter's birthday poem upon. Sure, their meat counter looks great and I even remembered to bring the ice chest, but I frankly could not be bothered to plunder Portland this trip. I tried to plunder some jeans and found the once-reliable store no longer stocking my style. I might just as well order online and have them delivered since my once plundering pilgrimages increasingly seem to yield disappointment, nostalgia sprinkled with arsenic. I've found adequate replacements for everything we used to travel to Portland to secure. We've been actively ReImprinting on here, I guess.

When I'd fully imprinted upon Portland as my place, I pitied those who had to travel there to round out their more rural lifestyles. I could walk to places they had to drive hundreds of miles to visit. I knew my way around without making a Federal case out of contested traffic. I knew, almost by instinct then, where to secure the absolutely perfect dinner reservation and I knew shortcuts to almost every place I ever visited. Even now, on this latest trip, I pulled from deep memory the perfect place for supper, our first inside sit-down supper in eighteen months. A table awaited us in that alcove in the front window separated from all the other patrons, adjacent to the open front door. Supper was served inside al fresco. The food, spiced by someone other than us, tasted absolutely marvelous, the service, attentive and warming. The next morning, I quickly calculated how we could run essential errands in the hour we had available. Parking spots appeared as if they'd been reserved for us. We found precisely what we'd been seeking. I experienced a deep draught of what I'd long ago been daily drinking, back when I was an authentic insider. Later, I asked The Muse if there was anything else she absolutely needed before we left. She quickly conceded that there was not. We left with ample excess capacity in The Schooner, driving almost empty back along the Columbia Gorge passage, apparently finished ReImprinting upon our new home.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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