Every once in a while I am late for an appointment, or rushing to get to a store before it closes. I’m driving too fast down Dock Grade, or through the Heights, or over to The Dalles, when I suddenly look up and see the Gorge as if for the first time. My jaw drops just as it did in 1995, when a friend brought me to Multnomah Falls after I moved to Portland from Minnesota. The irony of living in this fantastic place is that everyday life can cause it to disappear before our very eyes. It sometimes requires conscious looking in order to see it.
Which is why I love the Plein Air Writing Exhibition. In its fourth year, this event gives anyone who expresses him/herself with words a chance to do just that, with a community of like-minded writers (and painters) who gather to celebrate the beauty that surrounds us. With the words in Pears Like Copper Buddhas, this year’s participants help others see the Gorge as they see it—with trained eyes made fresh again.
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—Kristy Athens, program coordinator and editor