Ode to Irvington Park

8 Jan

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Portland has 37,000 acres of city parks and one of these parks is Irvington Park. I’ve been lucky enough to live near its towering maples for seven years now. Both my sons foraged on their first leaves there. Both have taken spills off the teeter totters, rolling in the wood chips and gawking at the swaying branches. Big Head, the lab from down under, marks every tree when we visit–grass flying behind his charging legs. The park also served as the setting for a short video I shot. Lori recited a poem and watched late autumn leaves, her fitted red jeans marrying the yellows. In the summer, Lori and I can  be found savoring every minute of our rare dates. Young couples grope and kiss , kids run through fountains, and basketball games rage. We are parents of two boys under three so all we do is melt into the ground, our eyes closed, shoulders touching. Our alarms sound and we rush home to toddlers and tantrums. Sleeping in parks is not just for the homeless. It’s for tired parents too. I’m grateful to have Irvington Park in Portland, the city within a park.

My Wait is Weightless. Shot in 2005 as part of a one minute film contest.

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Ryan Chin is the author of Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows, a multimedia memoir about his teaching experience in New Zealand. He likes to call it a pet and teacher memoir sandwiched into an overseas  adventure. The book is available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and locally at Powell’s Books. He tries to keep a stack on his dashboard for random giveaways so if you see a Chinese guy driving a big white van, throw a piece of fruit (preferably something soft like a banana) at his windshield; he might stop and give you a book. In between standing at the kitchen sink, changing diapers and napping with ear plugs, he can be found playing with sticks and stones in his yard and writing in his garage. In between all that stuff, he swings a hammer as a licensed remodel contractor (Gin Fu’s Home Improvement LLC). Give him a shout if you need some windows. And in between all the above, he helps Lori operate a preschool out of their newly remodeled basement (Little Green School House).

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