Last week, waiting for a flight out of LaGuardia, I turned my laptop on, which I immediately regretted because then I would have to power down again before takeoff, and isn't that supposed to be bad for your computer? (Says who? This is one of a thousand received nuggets that I want some sourcing on.) I changed my desktop picture for the first time in months, replacing a black and white photo of my son (sorry, kid) with a color one from last summer, taken at Cannon Beach, a place familiar to Portlanders. I don't know why I picked this photo, but there's a lot going on: The three humans (self, wife, sister-in-law) in the mid-range echo the looming rocks in the water beyond, and also act as a measuring stick; the image is crisp enough that you can see dozens of birds studding the slope of the biggest rock, and a small cloud of them just above its tip.
The point is that I wasn't conscious of any reason behind the change in desktop image. Later that week, a friend of mine e-mailed and said she saw that I was going to be blogging at Powell's.
Eh? Powell's? Blogging ? right!
In the midst of book-release preparation (my novel, Personal Days, is out tomorrow) and new-fatherhood distractability, I hadn't realized I was on deck.
But maybe I did know: The highlight of my first trip to Portland was, indeed, visiting Powell's. Not once. Not twice. But five times over the course of a week (this includes a stop at the Hawthorne branch, and the one in the airport). I can't imagine living in Portland, because how would I get anything done? I would just go to the bookstore every day.
Mysteries of the mind! My brain was secretly reaching for a photo from that Portland trip, to prepare me for this stint of bloggery for one of my favorite bookstores in the world.