I Sit, and I Am
Please sit down for these three stories.
I bought this pink recliner when I first moved to Portland, Oregon in January of 2009. I bought it directly off Craigslist for $40, and that price included a father and son delivering it into the living room of my apartment. It stayed with me there, then moved with me to my next apartment, and 8 years ago moved into my wife Susan’s living room. Every morning after meditating in a straight-back chair I make two cups of coffee and sit in the pink recliner and read books and write notes and try to become a better human. Fun Fact – The books I read there this morning were “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki, “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell, and “Tools of the Titans” by Tim Ferriss.
The Brown Recliner you see by the back stairs was captured off the sidewalk by my son Spenser and I early one morning after it had been left for trash pickup and my wife had seen it and texted me of its existence. Spenser and I hauled it from that spot into the van, and from the van back against the house and under the under-
hang. I have made it a kind of home away from (the inside) home. I’m out in it all the time with coffee, usually in the mid-to-late afternoon, sometimes after dinner, and I read and brainstorm and write down my ideas. Second Fun Fact – As we scrounged it from the sidewalk directly in front of the local Catholic church, it kind of feels like a gift from some higher power, especially since I had off-handedly mentioned to Susan a week before it would be cool to have a chair outside. Third Fun Fact – I’ve come up with many Blog posts and secret Zine project ideas out in this funky brown chair. Lots and lots. And that doesn’t even count the sunsets.
The blue recliner sits on the second floor in a little nook where I usually sit late in the evenings before going to bed, looking at my phone or writing some last-of-the-day notes. It’s actually a great place to read during the day time because the sun floods in through the southwestern facing windows – that is when we get sun in Portland, though in fairness we’re getting lots of it these last few days. This blue recliner belonged to my mother, and she told me many times before she died she wanted it to be mine. My mother passed away in 2005, and I received help with a truck and serious muscle from a guy I barely knew who drove all the way from Medford down to my mother’s house in Harwich (which is far), where my sisters and I were collecting her things. When we brought the chair back to my 3rd floor apartment in Medford it only made it up to the second floor landing, where the hallway became too thin for it to fit. My landlord happened to come upon this roadblock and used some tools to disassemble the leg part of the recliner so we could turn it sideways and carry it up the stairs to my apartment. Then he put it back together. Fourth Fun Fact – I spent some time in this chair watching the seventh game the Red Sox played against the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, winning to move on to the World Series, then beating Colorado four straight to win their first championship in 86 years. Many, many people throughout New England went over the next couple of weeks to cemeteries with newspaper copies of the Red Sox championship, which they left on the graves of parents and grandparents. When I left that Medford, MA apartment in January of 2006 to move to California and take a job at Walden House in San Francisco we had to take the chair apart again to get it out of the building. Movers I had hired from Boston picked it up and stored it until eventually I found a place in Berkeley, where they delivered my mom’s recliner along with the rest of my stuff three weeks late, resulting in a $1000 discount. (Which is sort of another Fun Fact) From there more movers took it to a better apartment in Oakland three months later, and from there it moved a year later across the country again via new movers, all the way back to a storage facility in my home town of Wareham Massachusetts. A little more than a year after that brand new movers moved it back across the country to Portland. It’s tethered to the west coast now.
I put some miles on that recliner. I think my mom would approve. Hmmm. Maybe not.
Last Fun Fact – Elite mathematicians among you may have deducted that these three pieces of furniture which I so love and use like crazy, and for which I feel unending gratitude, cost me a grand total of forty bucks. My pal and spiritual mentor Keith A. is always reminding me of the unending abundance in life. Here it is – the proof is in the cushion.