AMOR FATI: LOVE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS, so let it snow…

It’s snowing and thank god we needed it. Jazz is playing and the pines on the hillside are covered in a soft white flufiey fluff that makes the world softer. I’m full swing into this semester, and so far I’m truly enjoying my classes. I have wonderful students, and the conversations and ideas that are being expressed are inspirational. I really do believe in the virtue of humanity.

On April 2017, Time Ferris produced a TED Talk called Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals . The talk discusses the philosophy of stoicism. His presentation quickly lead me to reading more about the principals of stoicism in the article, ” What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started” from the website, Daily Stoic. In a way, this cabin in the depths of a winter wonderland is an excellent encapsulation of the subject matter couching stoicism. It is tucked into the crevice of a mountain valley clothed in snow, which could be a trying time depending on resources; however, in this picture, the cabin relinquishes, in my stoic eyes, a peaceful setting. A cozy space for solitude and reflection. A space to meet the weather with an acceptance of fate.

In our busy world, sometimes the idea of getting snowed-in feels like a saving grace. A chance to not be their; a chance to give up on some aspects of accountability, due to the cruelties of fate.

As I sit with the snow falling and my love pulling out my skis to take on the winter mountain slopes, I am practicing the AMOR FATI: LOVE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS .

According to the Daily Stoic article mentioned above, “Emperor Marcus Aurelius would say: ‘A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.’ Another Stoic, Epictetus, who as a crippled slave has faced adversity after adversity, echoed the same: ‘Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.’ “

These two quotes to me speak of Buddhism in the act of letting go of expectation or “not seeking for things to happen.” They speak of Hinduism in the sense of allowing oneself to blend into the environment surrounding a person, and “to wish that what happens happen the way it happens.” In Hindiusim being in align with the moment and not resting the natural flow of the universe is a type of bliss, known as samadhi. This principal also rings true in Taoism or Doaism.

These quotes also echo out toward the transcendentalism ideologies of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Both men wrote critically-acclaimed works about the divinity of nature and humanity, which the two men believed pervades everything in the world. A type of intrinsic intelligence was found inherent in nature; as such, the two men held observation of the natural world from a “witnessing” perspective in high regard for personal development.

As such, I find this stoic principal to love everything that happens to be a key feature crafted with slightly different signatures throughout the world of thought and religion. To find these intersections in the way the world works is ponderous and pleasing, at least to myself.

So now that we dragged our feet and have decided to move skiing to tomorrow, I still feel this concept of making the most out of life’s outcomes. It’s the concept of if life gives you lemons make lemonade, but with a twist. It’s not just a way to look at the beauty in the sorrow but also a way to seek out opportunitites in the muck of uninvited outcomes.

Daily Stoic end by mentioning that Amor Fati is, “treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it. So that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential.”

With that, I am off to pursue other scholarly matters, like paper grading. I leave this platform grateful for the moment that fate provided myself to write this post, loving everything that happens: the intersects, the questions, and the grammar errors—-if there are any.

A Travel Review of Portland, Oregon

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Four days and three nights in Portland, Oregon was a whirlwind of great brews, excellent food, unplanned grandeur, and Oregon’s tale-tale signature, waterfalls. My forever and I met up with two of my best friends whom I have not seen in far too long. They are excellent planners, and we saw parts of this growing city that I never knew existed.

Our Air BnB was excellent, and looked straight out of a magazine. It rather far away from downtown, but I had my car. The first day, we got there in the afternoon. I met up with my friends at one of the downtown markets. It was a craft extravaganza with tons of amazing aromas drifting off of different food trucks.

After the long drive to the area with already somewhat frizzled nerves, it was a bit overwhelming in the sense that every item was almost too cool to choose.

We had amazing pizza, and ice cream for dessert that evening. My ice cream was mango marionberry habanero. I never would have tried it most likely, but my friends were getting it to, and sometimes crowd mentality is not a negative trait.

They drizzled it in caramel and handed it to me in a handmade waffle cone. That was a great ending to our first day. The next day we visited the Pittcock Mansion. Apparently, a man who was the owner and editor of the Oregonian, and he had lots of money and built this mansion. It cost $11 to get in, but it was worth every penny.

The craftsmanship and architecture of this space is on par with some of the buildings I saw in Italy. Each room is ornate beyond belief, or it incorporates technologies that would have been considered state-of-the-art at the time of their use, which includes a in-set lighting and a laundry shoot that works by motor instead of being hand pulled.

Plus, the gardens around the mansion are exquisite, and the view of Portland and the mountains in the distance, is, well- a multi million dollar mansion kind of view. In other words, go there, if you can.

After this lush adventure, we went to the Portland Forest Park to find the Witch’s Castle. It was a goregous short hike in the woods. I had no idea that Portlandians had these types of trails to exercise in everyday.

Turns out this structure was actually a bathroom stop for people traveling along the trail. I found this rather hilarious, but the structure is perfectly situated with its moss patches to sit in the backdrop of that charming forest next to the creek. A lovely free excursion.

The Portland Rose Garden was not too far away. It is close to the Portland zoo, and it is free except for the price of parking. I’ve been to the rose garden in Berkley, CA, which was awesome, but this rose garden was bigger and dare I say better? It was different; let’s just call it that. The International Rose Garden has 10,000 bushes and 650 different varieties. I saw purple and tie-dye roses. Some of the rose bushes had been in the ground there since 1919. It was awesome and another charming must-see in Portland.

That evening we went to a Speakeasy. It was cool because the house looked like any normal house. Later that evening we went to an Irish Pub that boasted some great food, which include a squash risotto.

Our adventure the next day was in search of waterfalls. Not waterfalls, but the waterfall that is often advertised when one thinks of Oregon, Multnomah Falls. These falls are located in the Columbia River Gorge. The waterfall includes a 611 foot drop, which is amazing. Normally, one can hike to the top of the falls, but because of fires that affected the area, we could only walk to the iconic white bridge that gives one an astonishing view of water falling into a calm pool that looks good enough to swim in.

The amount of people who were also there to visit these falls was substantial. I loved the many different languages that we heard while hiking to the different photo opportunities.

Our friends felt like they saw all that they wanted to see in Portland, so one of them suggested that we could go to Vancouver, Washington. This way they could say that they went to Washington too during their stay. I’d been there once, and had great coffee. My intuition told me that there had to be a cultural center of young awesomeness somewhere in Vancouver, especially because it was so close to Portland.

We went to the first brewery that we saw once me made it into Vancouver’s downtown. The first brewery reused their spent grains to make quesadillas and other items on their menu. Plus, it was happy hour so the prices were great. My forever really liked the quesadilla; I thought it was alright, but I thought the fact they were finding new ways to reuse their grains was excellent.

We found out that we could go on a brewery tour, so we took up the challenge. There are over 20 breweries in Vancouver, and we went to different one’s trying a beer and visiting a delicious food truck there.

I got to try so many different types of beer, which I love. I’m completely fascinated by fermentation. Heathen Brewery had an amazing selection of sour beers. I find them akin to kombucha, but with a stronger, more sour punch. I also had an apple pie cider at at Doomsday Brewery, which was my personal favorite brewery of the 6 that we went to. We didn’t make it through the whole tour, which was probably better for our bodies and bank accounts, but we had a great time in the process.

The next morning we ate breakfast at this amazing place that made eggs Benedict with house-made vegetarian sausage on a waffle, yes, a waffle. It was soooo good, and the perfect send-off to our adventure, which was great.

As the title states, this little vacation reminded me of how much I love traveling, and how much I love to explore. As such, when my Dad suggested that we fly out to Denver to spend time in a cabin in the mountains with my family next week, I just could not say no. Plus, we are flying out of a new airport, which means we get to drive to a new neck of the woods, Lake Tahoe.

I drove through the area five years ago, and my forever has never been. This means we get to add two new adventures into one trip. This is an amazing way to spend my birthday month, and a grateful escape from the smoke that we’ve been surrounded by this month due to the fires. I’m sure I will share another post about my adventures in the future.

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