Functional style

My daughter K.C. and I are on the road, now, taking her back to college. Privilege is the chance to discover my children as adults I can communicate with and respect, as well as love more than air. We’ll credit their mother.

K.C. is more of a city girl than her sister. She likes the ambience, the lights, the cuisine, though she was a bit taken back touring the Portland of my hard-spent youth. But it’s part of “city,” and my goal has always been that she will walk with care but not fear, anywhere in the world. She does, and we’ll credit her father.

There’s a building I see from the hotel while I wait for her to wake so we can hit the road. It’s new since I left town, with a flat roof that cantilevers over tall windows. I like it mostly, and think how I like design that works with natural forces, rather than forcing itself.

We can air condition a solar oven, but why would we if overhangs and trees can shade, relate us to where we are, if a quieter place can grace with humidity rather than assault with an icy chill from vents along the wall of a too-bright room?

But the energy wasted is only the price of a latte or two here in PDX, and that’s a choice, a value, far from absolute. On the hill is a concrete cube with glass corners: different, dramatic, a place to launch the imagination over city lights at night, and I’m sure it gives its owners a smile every time they enter that room.

This post is not as incoherent as it seems, I hope. Maybe it has to do with gratitude, how we take “here” where ever we go, how diffuse that can be.

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About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

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