Portland is inundated in a Biblical way. I half expect to return home to a truly Floating World. Apparently some poor mortal pissed off one of those Sky Deities, and here we are, rubber duckies and boathouse garages floating down the Willamette floodplain. The trees, if you can imagine, are lush in that barren sort of way they are in the middle of winter, where you can feel their exuberance in the torrents of sheet-rain, their branches and twigs cast high into the air like outstretched fingers, so many Lears cavilling in the mist.
At the moment I’m wandering Idaho again, plying puppets and letters and endless cups of coffee. Motels and hostels, duffel bags and carefully thumb-worn files crammed into so many portable units. I have a grade-school folder purchased at a dollar store, with paintings of elephants gazing impassively from the cover. I use this folder as the latest incarnation of my Go-To File, or, Where Papers of Present and Overriding Importance Go to Die. These elephants, with their knowing, inscrutable stares and their fabled memories, stopped me somehow somewhere back a month or two ago, and here they still are, herding my unfinished and yet-to-be-replied-to letters.
There is snow on the freeways, mist pouring off the rivers, drizzling rain bearding the trees and the hillsides. The skies are glancing with searing light and tumbling weatherfronts. The mountains are deeply hidden.
On our way here, we were waylaid in Pendleton for a night, waiting for sunlight to clear up the ice on the Meacham summit. Here in Boise, the high hills surrounding the city are splendidly frosted, and flurries of exuberant snow whistle down every morning, only to stipple the windshields and nothing more.