Portland is a pretty mossy place. Moss needs three things to grow in abundance:

  • Lots of water
  • Little sunshine
  • No movement

As a city, and an ecology, Portland is filled with abundance. Things don’t just grow here; they proliferate here.

With that abundant proliferation, there is little incentive to chase after life lustily, because it is everywhere.

Looking back on my time in Portland, which will not be for much longer, I realize that I did not do nearly as much as I could have in a city that has so much to offer. Why? Because with so much to do, there is no incentive to do anything in particular.

I am steadily working through my Portland Bucket List. Things I wish to do before I leave Portland, because I will not be able to do them if I live in a place much less populous and very far away. I saw the need to do this when Gary Vaynerchuk came to town, and my first thought was, “Eh. I don’t think I’ll go.”

A strange thought, considering I really like what GaryVee does, and how he does it, and I have studied him for years to learn how to emulate his success. Here was a chance to meet him, downtown, in Powells, and get a signed copy of his book, and a photograph, and meet him in person…and I didn’t feel like going?

I was being stagnant.

Its easy to mirror the energy of your surroundings, and moss grows very well here in Portland. I have taken on the stagnant quality of moss while I have lived here, and this has kept me from doing, from learning, from growing.

Moss, it must be noted, does not reach across forests like ivy does. It does not reach for the sky as a redwood tree. It stays where it is, and spreads like a slow virus, seeping into surrounding patches. But it never gets very tall, or majestic; at best, it can be called squishy.

Here in the Willamette Valley, which urban legend states has the meaning of ‘Death and Decay,’ I find that my predilection to languish on the cold stones is only cured moderately by sunshine. In the brief summers the moss recedes, never to completely fade, but to hide in the shadows, until the winter returns.

I tire of the stagnation, and I look forward to the energy of living in a different environment.