This Room: An Untold Story of Portland Oregon

This is a short story. It’s my dedication to the city of Portland, Oregon. Not only that, it’s a reminder that everything (yes, everything) has some degree of awareness. Enjoy.

– Stevie P

hotel room

I have seen a lot.

Though I haven’t moved – physically moved that is – I have experienced more than the average human being.

In the spring of 1971 (human time), construction workers birthed me. I became a hotel room, 325 square feet, on the sixth floor of a ten floor building.

The construction of the building, and by extension myself, was a kind of gestation period. It was a slow emergence of awareness. A bare room is akin to an infant, a clean slate. As I was equipped with more and more – carpeting, wall paper, electricity and finally furniture – I matured into full awareness.

During the construction process, my newly forming self experienced the daily visitations of workers. Some were gruff, tough men who lived hard lives. Their demeanor reflected that. They would come in, do their work and leave abruptly. There were other construction workers, however, who were like artists. They carried with them a more peaceful demeanor. When they worked, it was art. The way they wielded hammers was like Picasso with a paint brush. Their art was more practical than beautiful, but art nonetheless.

The birth of me, as this room, was an interesting mix of these different character types. And this eclectic mix would energetically coat the room until the very end.

My door, sturdy and steadfast, was my link to the building as a whole. But my window, a wide eye facing east, was my portal to the world at large. The river was right below me, with bridges on either side of it. Beyond that were more buildings, filled with my kinfolk. Further still, the buildings became consumed by green. Rolling hills with giant trees occupied the vast majority of the landscape. And standing proudly among all of it was the most majestic mountain. Its white cap stood atop a commanding base like the very pinnacle of existence.

Eventually, I was decorated with creature comforts. The carpet, a sturdy short gray skin, was laid out. It was a christening. Black lines decorated the carpet, making it look almost like a map to anyone who really paid attention.

Then came the wallpaper, which was golden and filled the geometric patterning. The shapes were mostly squares, layered angular patterns which gave the room an elegant yet royal feel. It was, of course, a microcosm of the luxury hotel as a whole.

Then came the furniture; a bed, a dresser, a night stand, a desk, a coffee table and so on. A character was beginning to emerge. The blanket on top of the bed matched the style of the wall paper, golden geometry. But on the bed, the shapes were rounder, more feminine. This was a reflection of the women who were coming into my awareness now, decorating and adding feminine touches.

I was now a full-fledged individual. And ready to accept guests.

The first guest I received was a business man. Names don’t matter much to me so I never knew his (or anyone else’s for that matter). Anyway, this man was on a business trip from New York City. Yes, the big city, which makes Portland look like a small village comparatively (so I’ve heard).

The first sign of him was the stomping of shoes in the hall, followed by a half-sigh, half-grunt of frustration when he reached the door. Key jingled and then went into the door with a click. The business man aggressively unlocked the door and through it open. The energy of the room instantly changed. He was stressed, in a rush. I could see the tension in his face as he neurotically combed his black hair to the side.

The man proceeded to drop his suitcase on the gray floor and rush to the bathroom. Then, as quickly as he came in, he was out. And I fell back into quiet peace.

That’s my default mode: quiet peace. It’s almost like waiting, but the patient, tranquil kind of waiting, as opposed to nervous, anxious waiting. It’s the kind of waiting that a lake does – one of those still lakes in the middle of the wilderness.

Later, well after the sun had set, the man stormed back in, drunk but less stressed.

He flung his clothes off onto the floor and belly-flopped into bed. His snoring was almost as peaceful as my default mode.

The next morning, he awoke like a whirlwind, flinging clothing and shaving equipment around. He took a shower, and then the whirlwind was gone again, as quickly as he came, this time for good. The storm had passed over. But I soon figured out that most business men had this whirlwind-ness about them.

There was one exception, many years later. He was a young business man. And quite different from every other person I would consider a “business person.” He had the attire of a business person, the black pants, button up shirt and so on. Yet he was relaxed and generally pleasant. The other interesting thing about him was his morning routines. Each morning of his 4-day stay, he would wake up, meditate and then stretch his body. This was honestly the only person I’ve seen do this kind of stuff, and it made me feel at peace too.

Actually there was another one who meditated. She was a writer, who actually stayed in the room more than anyone else. She would sit at the desk in the room and meditate before writing. And wow, she would write for hours on end. She only stayed here for two nights, but she produced almost a full-length book in the process. This woman was an expert at channeling emotions, as well as all kinds of human concepts, into words.

Every person who stayed in the room – stayed in me, if you want to look at it that way – added to and shaped my character. There were even a few dogs too, which was always a nice surprise.

As you can imagine, I’ve seen all kinds of human beings coming and going. My very being was designed to be a temporary home, a short-term sanctuary, for any humans who were willing to exchange currency to have that.

I would say that I’ve seen it all, but that’s a lie. No one being could see it all. But I’ve seen a lot. Like I’ve already said, I’ve even seen more than the average human.

And speaking of the average human, there are plenty of those. One who stayed with me in 1991, was impeccably average. So impeccably average that I’m inclined to discuss it now. He was of average height, weight and looks. His routine was the average of all of the other people I have seen. He would wake up at the impeccably average time of 7:00am and go to sleep at the impeccably average time of 10:00pm. Even halves of the hour were too far from average for him. And so were his emotions. There was no happiness, no sadness, just a dull mix of everything. I would never have even remembered him if I didn’t have the inclination to make him my reference point for an average person.

In order to even be aware of this average, I had to see a wide variety. I’ve experienced the full range of human emotion, which is an incredibly vast. I’ve witnessed sadness, joy, anger, happiness, resentment, bliss, depression, anxiety and excitement (among others). I’ve also witnessed the best and the worst of humanity, both of which become amplified behind closed doors. I’ve witnessed celebration, violence, people crying themselves to sleep, people having sex until they sleep, people drugging themselves to sleep (one resulting in permanent sleep), dance parties, sex parties, children playing games and adults acting like children (among other things).

It seems humans are both angelic and devilish, the ratio of each depending on the individual and the moment.

Although there is such a wide range, I still see some predictable trends. People, more or less, exhibited the same archetypal behaviors. Of course, each had individual quirks, yet most fit into a similar mold. That’s what culture does, right? Just as this room has the same decorations as the other rooms, people exhibit the same decorations, both physically and emotionally.

Yet some individuals, for some reason, really stand out. The extremes of each archetype, for example, generally stand out. Along with those people who are oddly unique. One oddball was a woman who dressed and acted like a cat. She was pure entertainment. In terms of extremes, there was the couple who had sex 7 times in 14 hours. That was extreme. There was also the couple who never even touched each other, and barely spoke a word. That was also extreme. There were the two fraternity brothers who nearly destroyed me with their reckless antics. The silver lining of that one was that I got new silver lining (wallpaper).

When I had the golden wallpaper, I saw different trends than I do now. The styles were different – the clothing, hairstyles, suitcases, ways of talking…etc. – just as the style of me, the room, was different.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because everything has a story. Everything is aware.

Every room, every building, every restaurant, every café, every bar, every shop, every bridge, every road, every sidewalk, every chair, every table, every rock, every blade of grass, every tree, every mountain, every river, every lake, every ocean… You get the point. It’s all aware. It’s all an aspect of All That Is.

The city itself is a living entity. I know because I’m a part of it. Everyone and everything plays a role in shaping the city; just as everyone who entered my space has shaped me. It’s the same phenomenon from micro to macro. Intentions ripple infinitely across space and time, creating and creating and creating…

Oh, and you know the mountain? THE mountain? That majestic titan of strength that watches over the city? That is The Guardian. There is no shaping The Guardian (not on this plane of existence, at least). But if you venture there, you will find that it has much to give.

The Guardian is the force that holds the city and its people together. And in that supreme guardianship, all intents – good or evil – are given free will to form. Yes, it’s a co-creative, conglomeration of artistry through manifested intention.

So, whoever you may be, reading this account, I ask you this…

How are you shaping the soul of the city?

portland oregon
 

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2

The River (A Short Story)

river

I was dead set on scouring the Earth, desperately searching… For what? I wasn’t quite sure.

All I knew was that I was alone. I yearned for meaning, for connection, for something to wake me up out of my shallow pursuits. Though at the time, these yearnings felt like vague apparitions on the outer boundaries of my consciousness.

I had glimpsed what I was looking for, yet it was fleeting; too fleeting to understand. The glimpses in some way involved the river.

The river was mysterious. And presumably perilous. I feared it, though I didn’t want to admit it. It wasn’t the fear of the river itself, per say, but my fear of surrendering to the mercy of its power.

When I felt particularly courageous, I would dip into the river. But every time I touched it, I would quickly jump back, afraid that the current would carry me away.

The river was an intriguing enigma. I began to analyze it, attempting to understand all of its workings intellectually. These calculations were solely focused on the risks of the river and the threats it posed to me. Risk rumination without trust equates to crushing doubt. I felt paralyzed.

I wanted to explore. Driven by rugged stubbornness, I set out. After dragging myself through forests, up mountains and over vast fields, I realized that I was landlocked, surrounded by rivers on all sides.

On the bank of one river (they could’ve all been the same river for all I know); I decided to turn my focus inward. I asked myself questions like “What is my purpose here? Where am I trying to go? What do I want?”

I honestly didn’t know.

Then, delving deeper, I asked the question, “Who am I?”

This baffled me even more. I had never seriously entertained such a fundamental inquiry. Being next to a calm part of the river, I decided to take a look at my reflection in the water. What I saw astonished me. “I’m a dolphin?!”

I gasped.

Here I was, a dolphin, dragging myself across the land, literally killing myself for fear of letting go and allowing the river to carry me. “Absolute madness,” I thought.

It was insane, too insane to even take seriously. I laughed at the utter ridiculousness of my self-imposed suffering. With that epiphany, that simple shift of awareness, an enormous weight was lifted from me. Then, trading my hesitation for trust, I dove into the river.

It was nothing like the monster I made it out to be. Sure, the current was strong in some parts, but I’m a dolphin!

I could’ve swum upstream if I wanted. However, I decided to get out of my own way for the very first time in my life. I trusted. I flowed. Soon enough, the path of the river led to the ocean.

My world opened up, limitless. Other dolphins greeted me with love, ushering me into this new yet intensely familiar place.

“Home,” I thought to myself. “This feels like home.”

“Now the journey really begins…”
 

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Nothing is Impossible (A Very Short Story)

diving board short story

As a tribute to my father’s birthday today, I’d like to share a (very) short story from my book Momentous about a magical moment we shared. Happy Birthday Dad!


Nothing is Impossible

I looked up at the diving board. It was a proud blue piece of art that stood eight feet above the water.

The sun was shining brightly overhead as I observed a young man bounce off of the beautiful blue plank and execute a graceful swan dive, landing in the deep pool with a small splash.

Looking up at my dad, I curiously asked, “Is it possible to do a double backflip off of the diving board?”

Without hesitation, he looked at me with a reassuring smile and confidently replied, “Nothing is impossible.”

A sense of empowerment rippled through my consciousness. It was a feeling so profound that it transcends time and space. And I feel it as I type this.

I didn’t do a double-back flip that day, or any day for that matter (except on a trampoline once). Yet that moment created a life-altering, paradigm shift within me.

The real takeaway is not the act, but the message it conveys… The only limitations you have are those you place upon yourself.


You can get your hands on Momentous by clicking the image below:

 

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The Shirters (A Short Story)

 

Assorted colos

 

Once upon a manifestation of infinite possibility, people always wore shirts.

Because people always wore shirts, everyone defined themselves by the color of the shirt they wore.

There were people dressed in every color shirt imaginable, spanning the spectrum of the sense of sight.

Eventually, those who wore white shirts (the “white shirters”) began to claim that their color shirt was more “pure” than the rest. They despised anyone who wore a different color shirt. This hatred bubbled up until the white shirters started attacking non-white shirters. The white shirters held the fearful belief that any other color shirt was a threat to the pureness of their white shirts.

In their first offensive, the white shirters formed a large group and marched towards the home of some blue shirters. In a frenzy of senseless malice, the white shirters started killing blue shirters left and right. The blue shirters, feeling terrorized, organized into their own group and retaliated. But they lost the battle.

Hearing the news, every color of shirters divided into their own tight-knit group. Each group armed themselves, ready for any outside attack.

The red shirters, however, decided on a more proactive strategy. Trying to beat the white shirters at their own game, they launched an attack on the white shirters. They also began to attack everyone else who wasn’t a red shirter. In doing this, they became the very force that they were fighting against and caused even more chaos.

Though damaged by the red shirters’ attack, the white shirters continued their campaign. Next, they attacked the green shirters.

Storming into the village of the green shirters, they came across an elder green shirter.

In a condescending tone, the white shirters collectively chanted, “We, the pure white shirters, have come to eliminate you pathetic green shirters.”

The elder, scanning the group of white shirters with a curiously tilted head, said, “I’m not a green shirter. It’s just the color of the shirt I’m wearing, not who I am.”

The white shirters were perplexed by this assertion. They couldn’t fathom the concept that a person’s identity does not lie within the color of their shirt.

“I see a green shirt! So you’re a green shirter!” Exclaimed one of the more rowdy white shirters, and the whole group erupted in angry agreement. In a fit of blind fury, they killed the elder green shirter.

The next village to pillage on the white shirters’ treacherous campaign was that of the black shirters.

One black shirter, knowing that the white shirters’ rampaging approach was imminent, had a sudden revelation…

As the white shirters arrived, the black shirter removed the black shirt. The shirtless individual then walked up to the herd of white shirters, who were frozen in stupefied surprise by the sight. Suspenseful silence permeated the air.

In fearful confusion, the head white shirter barked “What color shirter are you?”

With arms wide open, the individual cheerfully replied, “I’m not wearing a shirt.”

The white shirters couldn’t comprehend this. Both themselves and everyone they ever saw had worn a shirt their entire lives, and dutifully classified themselves by its color.

In a wave of realization, one brave white shirter removed their white shirt. The others gasped in horror as the individual walked up to the other. They greeted one another with a hesitant handshake that transformed into a wholehearted hug.

Seeing the two together, both shirtless, the group couldn’t help but realize that everyone shares the same essence underneath their shirts.

Gradually, more and more white shirters joined in and removed their shirts. Some resisted at first, but eventually the whole group was shirtless.

One individual, who had been a staunch white shirter his whole life, looked at the awe-inspiring scene and pondered to himself…

“How silly a concept, to believe that I am nothing but the color of my shirt. And how ridiculously stupid it is to kill others that I view as different based on such a silly belief.”

Seeing how they had caused so much harm and hardship by separating themselves, all of the various shirters eventually removed their shirts; their layer of false identity.

They realized how pointless it was to divide themselves into opposing groups. Now united as one, all vowed to cooperate with one another and co-create a more harmonious reality together.

The beginning…