Portland, Oregon

I received the thoughts shared below from a friend in Calgary, who received them from her cousin Tricia in Portland. Her words, and those of Maya Angelou speak for themselves . . .

We are experiencing some challenges out here and moving forward as best we can. Looking for brighter days ahead—literally!!

Last night I looked up the current the air quality and it was/is off the charts in Portland as “ hazardous” 511, while San Francisco is “unhealthy” at 164 and Davis, CA “unhealthy” at 184. At Seaside, Oregon the level is “very unhealthy” at 225 but measures less than half what it is here in Portland. It is actually quite scary because where to really escape, and for how long to escape?

We have considered leaving the area but where to go is the question. I feel it in my eyes, nose, lungs even though we don’t actually smell anything inside our home. I slept with my mask with filter last night and that seemed good. The air smells quite clean in our house but if I open the front door or into the garage it smacks you in the face as toxic.

We were actually supposed to go to Bend, Oregon ( a lovely forested high desert area about 3 hours drive away) on Friday for our first tiny trip away. There are no fires right in Bend but last night the air quality in Bend was higher than Portland at 526 and some of the roads to get there are closed ! The owner of the Air B&B just offered us a full refund. We will go another time. Are the locusts coming next???

Through of all of this the donations and volunteers in the area to help related to the fires are so amazing and abundant! The winds are changing in a direction that will be positive for the fires and for the air. Rains are predicted early in the week!

I do not believe in conspiracy theories as such.

I wonder what enlightenment and wisdom and opening of our hearts we human beings all over the world are supposed to finally learn? And who to become, resulting from all these events (Coronavirus, unrest, and west coast fires) of this time?

Maybe we will lift up what is important and implement new ways to protect us and save ourselves and each other and this world?


Maya Angelou – 1928-2014

(Tricia only included the first two sections of this poem in her email to her friends and family. I have included the whole poem because of it’s powerful prophetic quality.)

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.


Thank you, Tricia, so much!

Courage to you and all your neighbours!


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  1. Wonderful and timely. Thank you and Hang in there, Portland. We’re at 186 today in the Pasadena area and have friends nearby in the 500 range – so crazy. Take care

  2. John

    Inspiring moment of reflection on the inter-connection of everything and the hope expressed in our ability to reach out to one another.