Struggling with seasonal gloom as the rain returns


I’ve been back here in Portland for the past week. I departed Eugene last Tuesday, in the smoke and fading warmth.

For most of the time since then, I’ve been house/cat sitting for my friend Deanna’s feline companion Mimi, as the rain and cooler temps (highs in the 50s) have returned.

I’m back here to take care of some dental work, which will take a few more weeks.

That presents an emotional challenge for me. I find it quite difficult to be in this weather. A huge part of why I embarked on this journey in the first place was to avoid rain, and any temperatures lower than about 50 overnight and mid-high 60s during the day. I find that my mood has become mildly depressed since this traditional fall weather has set in.

But there are some benefits to the downtime. I have errands to catch up on, such as studying my ballot and preparing to vote. Tonight I even attended a Zoom session led by my friend Albert to help familiarize a few dozen of us with some of the candidates and local ballot measures on the ballot, which was very informative.

I’ve also decided to spend a good chunk of time and effort this coming year on editing the draft of my book about helping my then-partner Johnny to build a Japanese healing garden inside the maximum-security prison in which he remains incarcerated. I began drafting the book more than eight years ago, and I now have nearly 1,000 pages to sift through. It is a daunting task, on multiple levels, but how cool would it be if I could actually complete that this year? What if I could actually publish the book? I think I would feel very proud of myself if I could accomplish such a thing. It is a compelling story that I hope and believe would inspire readers.

I’ve also managed to get outside on a few occasions, for dental visits, a flu shot, and various walks around the neighborhood. October is beautiful around here, and the rain does enhance the magic of the colors, especially during the sun breaks.

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