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Aaron Tarfman returns home after thoughtful sojourn

Posted by on November 13th, 2009 at 11:43 am

We’re glad you’re home Aaron.

Aaron Tarfman, who had been missing since Tuesday has returned to his home in Southeast Portland. He’s safe and sound and was not aware of the extreme amount of concern that his absence caused among many in the community.

Aaron had written a “Farewell letter” on his personal website and judging by its tone and content, many of his close friends feared the worst.

He was spotted by PGE work crews on Faraday Road, a carfree road on the Clackamas River that Aaron has frequented several times on bike trips. The PGE crews called him after realizing who it was. Two separate search parties made up of Aaron’s friend set off this morning en route to Faraday to find him, but at around 11:00 am this morning Aaron walked into his house in the Brooklyn neighborhood to find friends buzzing about.

Elly Blue said she was just taking off her rain jacket when he walked up. “Everybody’s still a little bit in shock, but Aaron is cheerful, even laughing. He has no idea all this has been going on and was surprised people were worried about him.”

Aaron apparently just wanted to go camping up on Mt. Hood which is where he’s been for the past three days. According to Elly, he slept in restrooms to stay warm and slept at a friend’s house in Portland last night. “He just wanted to so some thinking.”

We all have done a lot of thinking these past few days. Thinking about friendship and community and being there for the ones we love. One of Aaron’s (many) friends Matt Picio shared this on the Shift list a few minutes ago:

“We all care about Aaron, and Aaron is a good friend and a valuable member of the community. He needs our continued friendship, support, and understanding. I’m very glad he is safe and back at the house.”

Pizza has been ordered and everyone is beginning to enter the next phase of confused feelings this situation has spurred.

Aaron has been in touch with family and police have been notified about his return.


If you’d like to help Aaron get back on his feet. His friends have set up the PayPal button below to accept donations (funds go through BikePortland and 100% – minus PayPal cut – to support Aaron).





NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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rafa
Guest
rafa

Phew!

Matt P
Guest
Matt P

Aaron, reading that you are home and safe gave me goosebumps and I’m 2000 miles away! I hope they brought beer with the pizza!

Welcome back

Amy Stork
Guest
Amy Stork

Wow, thank god. It made me so sad to think of losing this kind, generous soul.

froot dawg
Guest
froot dawg

welcome back Aaron! see you at the next bike event!

Paul
Guest
Paul

So happy to read this! Welcome back Aaron!

Jasper Lieber
Guest
Jasper Lieber

thanks for update, jonathan

Tara
Guest
Tara

I do not know him, but some of my friends are his friends. We are all so happy to know he is ok. Beer and Pizza for the soul for me!

::hugs world::

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Fantastic! Let’s focus first on the fact he is safe.

Second, on ensuring Aaron is not too traumatized by the chaos he probably did not intend to cause, given this is probably partially a misunderstanding, and partially a change in plans or attitude on Aaron’s part.

Third, let’s try to be more aware, when possible, of how our friends and community members are truly feeling, and helping when possible. Easier said than done, of course.

Ethan
Guest

Welcome home Aaron . . . which you may find a slightly different place that you left.

Shetha
Guest
Shetha

*whew* I’m so glad this is a happy ending!!! I just want to send virtual hugs to his mother… as a mom of two young sons I’ve been thinking about you!

jj
Guest

if he was gone for three days, what about the red backpack with the note as well as the other items (that shall go unnamed due to deference for the family.)?

IIRC, “there was evidence that he had been home around 6pm” was what the post said.

Can we get that post restored now, Jonathan?

elaine
Guest
elaine

Welcome home, Aaron. We’ve never met, but we’re both part of this growing community of cyclists. I did read your web page, which was linked from this site.

Keep your dreams alive of living in a world of cycling utopia, continue to “be” who you are, and enjoy the life that you have. You will find that special someone who shares your passions in life, especially when you’re not even looking for them.

Esther
Guest
Esther

@#9 let’s please leave Aaron, his close friends and his family alone to deal with all this. the last thing any of them need is media hounding from 3rd party blog commenters.

thefuture
Guest
thefuture

Glad you’re safe Aaron.

Bill Stites
Guest

This is a big relief, since there was lots of telling evidence.

Welcome home Aaron.

jj
Guest

#13:

I am going to back off…but for the record: I am not media.

I am very glad that Aaron is safe and sound, and I am very glad my hunch last night was correct.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Hey, well that’s a relief, even though I don;t know him. A nice way to close out the week.

Opus the Poet
Guest
Opus the Poet

I’m glad to hear he’s safe. I hope he realizes the positive impact he has made on people and the world.

Yoshiyahu
Guest

WOO HOO!! I only know of Aaron through this site and his site, and I am glad to know he is safe and sound. The world is a better place with him around.

Paul Tay
Guest
Paul Tay

Welcome back, Aaron! I missed ya too, buddy.

Debe
Guest
Debe

Hey! I hear people go missing each and every day. Some people even go hungry in this first world nation of ours. But glad you have your priorities straight and this fellow got the much needed attention he so desired.

We missed you lost, sensitive poet soul man. I shudder to think what the world would have become had you chosen to leave us.

Paul Tay
Guest
Paul Tay

Oops. Almost forgot…Santa says, “Merry Christmas!”

Izarra Varela
Guest
Izarra Varela

Best news I’ve heard all week. Welcome back, Aaron!

Curt Dewees
Guest
Curt Dewees

Welcome home, Aaron! I’m happy you came back! 🙂

Fennel
Guest
Fennel

Yay Aaron! You rock brother!

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Thanks for coming home Aaron!

KYouell
Guest

I don’t know Aaron, but I did read his whole post on his website and came to feel like I’d really want to meet him. We are a car-free family of 4 (2 toddlers) out in the ‘burbs in Hillsboro and I hope that someday I get to chat with Aaron. Maybe he can help me figure out an affordable place to live that’s in Portland proper? Seems like a smart guy to me. So glad to hear the good news. I think I’ll remember him every Fri 13th!

Ed Dalton
Guest

Aaron,
You have a lot of friends in Portland…that missed you. Maybe more than you will even know (:
welcome back

Shantastic
Guest
Shantastic

yes! thank goodness!

I’m inspired by Aaron’s commitment to justice! We need MORE folks like him! Aaron – i’m fighting like hell, too, brotha! solidarity!

This community is hell-bent on looking out for our ilk and it’s inspiring to see compassion reign!

Ethan
Guest

Press Conference (w/beer)!

Rex Marx
Guest
Rex Marx

This is a relief. Glad to see you home safe.

matt picio
Guest

Glad you’re home, Aaron – looking forward to talking to you soon!

kitty
Guest
kitty

awesome! i do not even know aaron but knowing he is safe makes me happy.

Rollie
Guest
Rollie

In his “farewell letter” he almost seems to call himself an idiot or something, but he’s a f**kin hero for writing it. One of the best things I’ve read in a long time.

SkidMark
Guest

I’m glad he is alright and that his friends just overreacted. It’s good be surround by people who look out for you.

I read the letter and a bit on his blog, and I think he’s hate me solely based on my street address.

madelyn aarons monm
Guest
madelyn aarons monm

Hey Shetha thanks for the nice thoughts and take care of your kids AND to everyone and to all the bike/guys & gals out there who worried and prayed for Aaron thanks to you all I am so grateful to have him back and might see some of you this week after I arrive in Portland to welcome my son back home

Peter W
Guest

Hurray! Aaron I hope you had a wonderful time camping and I’m glad you’re home safe!

Mark Rettman
Guest
Mark Rettman

Aaron get a hold of me lets expose the truth!!! pdxhousejack@gmail.com

Eliang
Guest
Eliang

B’shalom Aharon! Ani v’ atah nshaneh et ha-olam

Cruizer
Guest
Cruizer

Aaron,
The world’s a better place with you in it.

Jan Verrinder
Guest
Jan Verrinder

Aaron,
I doubt you have any idea how many lives you’ve touched in our biking community before and after today.

Your good works are widely known and most of us just read about you on Jonathan’s site and silently applaud what you do. Then we go out, encouraged, and try to do some good things of our own — because of you and others like you.

Yes, we have a lot of work to do to deal with our world’s problems, but it would be a whole lot harder without you.

I don’t know what soul-searching you were doing exactly, but as you have helped so many of us, maybe someone is here to help you if you need it.

I’m very glad you’re back.

Jan

Mike
Guest
Mike

Sounds like he was thinking pretty hard about ending it.

I’m glad he didn’t! Good choice Aaron!

kenny
Guest
kenny

Hey Aaron,

Hope you are well and can feel the love from your friends.

Last I spent a decent amount of time (besides some hellos) with you was the excellent bike route you showed me to my home in Woodstock after the Worst Day of The Year Ride 2 years ago.

I have used it regularly ever since. I appreciate your community spirit and good kind heart.

Cheers,

Kenny

Jason Simms
Guest

I don’t know Aaron at all, but reading his “farewell” letter made me bike on some trips I might have driven lately.

Andy & Mariana
Guest
Andy & Mariana

We are not from Portland, but from York, England, another cycling City. We have lost 3 friends to suicide in the last 3 years, and we too vowed to galvanise ourselves, and think about all the stuff you have all mentioned. We managed to save one of our own, recently. He knew he just had to send a text, and he would get responses. He did. he’s still here, being loved and supported.
We cyclists are still a brother-and-sisterhood, wherever we are. We are also something of a self-selecting sample, of a generally higher intelligence and more sensitive thoughtful nature than the average. Thus we have a higher attrition-rate too. We need to keep the community strong.
One day, maybe soon, we would like to come over to Portland, to visit, and maybe even to stay. Its nice to know there is such a spirit of unity and love among the cycling community there, even more than here.
Hoping to see you all soon.
Andy & Mariana
flickr.com/photos/bikerescue
flickr.com/photos/tuppy&honoria
facebook, ‘Andy Scaife’, and ‘Mariana Chacon Romero’

Andy & Mariana
Guest
Andy & Mariana

sorry guys and gals, we just changed our flickr address to http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_and_mariana

adam
Guest
adam

dude, when you go to the woods alone, you are supposed to let people know where you are going and when you plan to be back – that is basic safety stuff. but welcome back anyhow

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Thank you again and again for your kind words and support. I appreciate you all very much. Now that internet is working I can share some thoughts. The door here is always open and you’re all welcome to stop by anytime (at least after 7am :-).
Just a couple of fyi’s. If you want to bring something to munch on, you’re welcome to. But many people already have been so generous with food that there’s quite a bit here already.
You’re welcome tonight (Tuesday) for game night to celebrate my father’s birthday. Just be aware that there’s construction, so just wheel into the garage.
Also please be aware that while I do feel a great deal better, I’m still struggling with some issues and may keep my distance from some ladies but I do very much care very you.
My warmest wishes to you,
Aaron

Joe Doebele
Guest

Aaron,
Thanks for stopping in to say Hi. I’m always glad to see you, but never more so than today. Have fun tonight!
Joe

BikeR
Guest

ditto Adam’s comment. Thinking good. Communication good.