Dumbed Down Redemption

I’ll be honest, I have a real love/hate relationship with where I live. Oregon is…. Oregon. It’s just weird here sometimes.

In Oregon, there’s an ample supply of tie-dye here, yet an ever-lacking supply of bras for those who are amply endowed… Or so seems obvious by merely venturing out and mingling with the locals. We have great communities here, and plenty of communes. I admit, I really know nothing of the local commune lifestyle, except which areas to avoid because they’re also nudist colonies… (I’m not much of a prude, but I prefer to avoid close encounters with aging, au naturel, former hippies…understandable, right?)

I really shouldn’t complain too much. The air here is usually refreshingly clear and rarely smog-filled, but it’s often excessively full of pollen. And lots of other interesting scents (think 4:20). The most common aroma isn’t that of lilacs politely adding their fragrance to a spring breeze, or of fresh blackberries growing alongside the river in August, though. The state’s official fragrance (What your state doesn’t have an official fragrance?), the scent that is ever-prevalent and ever-pervasive, is the all-powerful, all-pungent patchouli… Of which I’m just. Not. A. Fan.

Yet, with as many complaint-worthy quirks as this state has, it has its moments of redemption. After spending an afternoon in a zoo of people, coincidentally in a location a lot like a zoo (a wildlife game reserve), I was a weary from the culture that is Oregon. I can’t quite put into words what this Oregon culture exactly is by definition, but I can invite you to come visit the state to understand better. Or just watch Portlandia. It’s quite accurate… I wish I was kidding.

After the fatigue from the chaos of crowds, wild animals and other people’s unrestrained (read: wild) children, I couldn’t help but think of the movie Dumb & Dumber when I arrived at my next location. Were there pet birds with their heads falling off? Thankfully, no. It was a moment that, after struggling with the ever pressing question of, “Why am I here?” I had a moment where a line from that movie spoke my thoughts maybe almost better than I could myself…

“Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!”

Redemption was found in one moment. As I neared the top of the hill and approached the outlook, I knew that I had to forgive the state for all of its trivial problems I take personally. After all, it endures my presence. And not only did I have to forgive, I needed to write it a formal thank you. For its beauty, for its inspiration, for it being my home.


To Oregon, I say thank you.

Tell me, what’s your state like? Is it crazier than Oregon?

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