It's funny how I ended up taking zero pictures of the city even though I was really excited to photograph Portland. The pressure to look like a native instead of like a tourist was overwhelming (so many hipsters!), I guess, but that's unusual for me. I guess it was that and the fact that I was in bed sick for a whole day of the trip. That is how trips go, I suppose!
And now back to working on my senior project. Here's the abstract for it (awkwardly in present tense even though it's not done yet; story subject to change without notice!):
“Blinds” uses poetry and short prose to explore the relationship of a pair of lovers, one whimsical, one practical, who, because of the outside world’s demands on their time, are rarely together. Their interactions are complicated by a large rainstorm raging outside which threatens to flood their home. The setting is limited to the bedroom, of which the focal point is the titular blinds over the room’s single window, the patterns of light and shadow that they project into the room and the thoughts that the couple projects onto them. The confusion of the worlds within and without the room permeates the dreams of the characters, and they come to understand each other and society through these dreams.
The form of the piece is unique. It consists essentially of two parts: the central short story of the pair of lovers above and a series of poems, prose poems, and flash fiction pieces that tell the couple’s dreams. Together the two parts will form a sort of frame story in which the telling of dreams and real life will alternate. As the story progresses, the characters increasingly incorporate into their waking life themes and ideas from their imaginings until all or nearly all of their interactions with the ‘real’ world are illuminated by their dreams.
This project is inspired by several fiction traditions, including magical realism, folklore and myth, and paranoid and speculative fiction. The project places these elements in a modern context and updates them for a post-9/11, digital, and ever-idealistically-divided world. To reinterpret Mexican literary critic Luis Leal, “Blinds” not only “suggest[s] the magical in our world,” but also suggests the magical in our world as an alternative to the black and white thinking that threatens society.