was, is, and shall be

05/18/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

When I was in Portland I had the opportunity – sometimes with others, sometimes by myself – to spend what was surely sacred time at a cottage about three hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean in a little section of the Oregon coast called Tierra del Mar. The place was nothing fancy, there was a large back room in which I mostly hung out, windows, a slider out to a wooden deck, a fabulous long table for a while which got replaced with a not-quite-as-fabulous-or-long table after a few years. The owners considered it an improvement. There was a sweet kitchen too, lit up through lots of windows – funky and functional and welcoming.

Tierra del Mar was a mile or so area of alphabetically-named streets, a few miles north of Pacific City. In Pacific City there was a restaurant named Grateful Bread – with tie-died t-shirts and inferred homage to that San Francisco band – and it had really good food with great prices, and marionberry scones that brought the “heaven on earth” metaphor to a crazy yummy reality. Even keto-d me, toward the end of my time there, joyfully said “Nah” to all that and loved the ongoing joy of those scones and coffee.

Things change, right? I stopped being invited to spend time at that wonderful place, and more recently the restaurant changed hands. Just how it is. My heart will always know the gratitude of how it was. My excursions off to exotic places are different now, something like 1000 miles south. And still wonderful beyond any written and spoken language I can come up with. But, Sly and the Family Stone have a song called “Life”, with this line – “Life. Life. Tell it like it is.”

Which is this.