portland rain

‘Rain brings thoughts of retreat’

That statement seems familiar. Perhaps it is childhood memory of a parent talking to a child. This would be a late night conversation and the reference would refer to the soothing effects of the acoustical pattern of rain showers. 

Yet it is today, about 5.00 o’clock in the morning and as the rain is sliding down the sides of automobiles, condos, houses, trees, and my moving figure, I am as still reminded of that soothing and pacifying effect. This effect is frequently punctuated by the shrill echoes of interstate traffic that is elevated though slightly beyond this neighborhood. This is a hilly area and the interstate towers, above & due west, of us.

The very early morning drive to North Portland, for work, begins with the cautious but fast entry onto that specific interstate & continues onto one of bridges over the river & through a gleaming downtown landscape & amidst an edgy dance pattern, in & out, with large freight trucks.

North Portland is rimmed by several massive industrial parks that are adjacent to the north/south Willamette river or the east/west Columbia river. Once thru the security gates, of my industrial park destination, the speed limit is 10 miles. At this speed it is easy to appreciate and awe at the out-sized manufacturing structures and their orchestra of thrashing sounds in concert with the hypnotic rain.


industrial park

the strident forms of noise produced by factories,

the handsome atonalities, are not unmusical,

merely outside our generally accepted idea

of harmonic substance, that is to say,

these are multiple lines of tone

that we have as yet to recognize