Monday, January 20, 2014

Oregon

   Oregon ended up being pretty much exactly what I expected. A place that I would fall in love with right away.  A magical land of huge mountains, powerful waterfalls, immense hangovers, and lovely, hospitable locals. Even the (very) small town of Arlington we are staying and working in has its beauty. 
   
   Yet like any place, a dark side exists too. As we walked into the deli across the street from our hotel (one of three restaurants in the town) I saw a notice offering a 10,000 dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of a local arsonist. Since March of 2013, more than 13 counts of arson and vandalism have been reported in the small town, including several burnings of multiple churches. Some punk kid(s) are obviously bored to death. Another self perpetuating problem facing the modern day world. It's hard for me to even imagine what would drive someone to burn down a church or someone's home. Is it a case of a couple of bad seeds roaming free? I think the problems are much more deep seeded than that. I don't think anyone is born with hate in their heart. It's something we learn. We are all a product of our environment. We can all help fix this kind of thing. We all have something positive to share. And obviously there are those that desperately need it.

   I hate to write such a negative place about somewhere that I grew to enjoy so quickly. Don't get me wrong, this is already one of my favorite places in the country. Very exciting things are happening here in a very creative way. The culinary and microbrew worlds are top notch and cutting edge. The outdoors are expansive and stunning. But it's important to take in both the bad and the good. It's not always a pretty world. But sometimes you have to see the ugly to enjoy the beauty. You have to see it in order to help. In order to realize how good you might have it.