Celebrate Portland – Aaron Smith

I connected with Aaron earlier this year through Twitter and have been fortunate to actually hang out with him.  Aaron is a deep thinker and I have been blown away by our conversations.  During our conversations I have always left challenged and thinking harder than when I stated.  Aaron is a someone I incredibly thankful to know and be able to hang out with.  I look forward to many more deep conversations and some great laughs.  Aaron is someone you will want to check out and follow if you haven’t done so already.  You can find Aaron on Twitter @culturalsavage and please check out his blog – CultualSavage//harder-better-faster – http://culturalsavage.com/

Aaron describes himself as a Christian, a photographer & designer, a thinker, a poet and musician, a striving artist, a writer, a coffee lover, a beer drinker, and a wine imbiber at large. He is married to an amazing woman and the father of a beautiful boy. Aaron and his family abide in the Portland, OR area and are a part of the Evergreen Community.

It was the idea of Portland that first attracted me to this place.

Yes, I admit it. I had a case of Portland-itis. But can you really blame me. I mean, Portland is awesome. Everyone here either works at some ma & pa shop or is starting their own business. People here drink coffee that was roasted locally. Beer flows from every street as home brewers, brew pubs, and hops are everywhere. Portland really is the place where young people come to retire.

You kind of fall in love with the myth of the place.

While Portland is a very unique city, it’s also very ordinary. There are McDonald’s in the suburbs and down town. Car dealerships still have giant lots. Vintage clothing stores still charge too much for used cloth. It’s not all farmer’s markets and co-ops.

I say this not because I think that the rumors of Portland are exaggerated. I’m just coming to learn that the reality of life in Portland is somewhere in-between the myth and the ordinary. And that is why I love Portland. There is room for most everyone in this town. You don’t have to eat vegan cheese and drink organic coffee to belong. Portland is a weird place, but you can still own a car and buy clothes from target.

Over the 4(ish) years I have lived in the Portland area, some of the myth of Portland has faded away. I don’t assume that it’s all hipsters and hippies any more. People are more ordinary to me now, more like me. Or maybe I’m becoming more like them. Either way, Portland is starting to feel more natural, more ordinary, more like home to me then ever before.

I don’t ever see my self and my family moving away. We dig Portland. We like the emphasis on natural living that lots of people have round here. We like the local places, and want to explore more. There are things to do in Portland, things to check out, things to enjoy. Local restaurants, brew pubs, art shows, parks, trails, and more. We like it here. We like calling Portland home.

Somewhere between the idea and the ordinary, the reality of Portland exists. The reality of Portland is something I am still exploring, but it’s that reality I am falling more in love with. It’s that reality that Jesus digs and wants to redeem. It’s that reality that I want to see made well.  It’s that reality that makes me want to understand better what God is already doing in this city and how I and we can be a part of it.

The idea of Portland is amazing; the reality of the place is even better.


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

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