Life In LC

Shawn Alchemi Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

in Firehose/Latest/Out and About/Rotator by


I took a short road trip to Portland Saturday with Powell Books and the Saturday Market as my destinations.  I have never been to either and thought perhaps it would be a great experience.

Powell Books  Photo  |  Sandy Harris
Powell Books Photo | Sandy Harris

I must say the book store overwhelmed me.  I love to read.  My life is surrounded by words but in all honesty, you have to have a plan when you go to this store.  It has 4 floors and is color coded for the different sectors of the store.  If you need it, they have it.  It is just a matter of decoding the color codes and figuring out which section and direction your desired location is in. I was up and down the different flights of stairs many times.  I am not sure I even laid eyes on the entire store.  It felt as if I was in a Harry Potter scene, you know the changing stairwell?

Powells Books is the worlds largest book store.  Now that is exciting.  It takes up an entire city block;  1.63 acres and something like 63,000 square feet of space quite literally covered with words.  If I had my way, I would recommend more seating.  There were benches tucked here and there and a foot stool so you could reach high, but just not enough sitting room. People pulled up a bare piece of floor, opened their books and lost themselves within the pages.

Portland, Oregon  Photo  |  Sandy Harris
Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

My other destination was the Saturday Market on the waterfront.  So once we made it out of the bookstore, we took a walk towards the waterfront.  Of course I took my camera with me (she goes everywhere I do) just in case I see something that strikes my eye.  After I had some lunch I was finally able to get my camera out and I began to shoot.

It is always like Christmas when I get home and download my photos, I just never know what I am going to get, wait… perhaps it’s chocolate I am thinking about?  Anyhow, as I was going through my photographs it hit me what the trip to Portland was really about, and that my friends is about life and beauty.

Portland, Oregon  Photo  |  Sandy Harris
Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

When I was young, I remember saying to my mother “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  I remember she giggled at that to my sister.  Perhaps they thought I was trying to sound grown up or something I don’t know but it is the absolute truth.

Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris
Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

As I sit here looking at my photographs I realized my day was about people and the beauty I see and trust me, I can find it in anything.  It seems as if a lot of my stories lately have been photo essays, but sometimes a photo is all that is needed to convey words and speak volumes.

Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris
Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

I used to be pretty shy and the thought of talking to a stranger terrified me.  I have changed my ways and have come out of my shell.  I have learned that people really aren’t so scary.  We all have our up’s and downs, our to do lists, our loves lost and our new found loves and our favorite things (okay, okay, I think I may be getting a little Mary Poppins right now).

So what I found in my photographs is the beauty I found in others.  The way I see beauty.  In an elder; I see a young girl once spry and a teenager falling in love for the first time in her life.  In the street vendor sitting on the sidewalk resting against the rail making amazing pictures with dots I see a man doing what he loves.

Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris
Shawn Alchemi Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

In the man with piercing blue eyes who is walking around with a bear rug on his head I see a comedian not afraid to be vulnerable to others.  

Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris
Portland, Oregon Photo | Sandy Harris

In the baby who is standing in the water fountain I see an entire life ahead of him, his mother standing nearby to ensure his safety or the man who is covered in tattoos, that is his beauty.

I hope you enjoy.

Latest from Firehose

Go to Top