Say what you will about 2017: The Big One never hit Portland.

It just felt that way.

Few years in recent memory had so many moments that brought this city to a halt. Events unfolded on a scale that felt epic: Tens of thousands marched through the streets in protest, gangs of political extremists brawled in parks, and a pair of rush-hour killings left citizens weeping in horror.

The biggest stories of the year also felt apocalyptic: a blizzard and ice, then fire and ash.

The world didn't actually end.

But some of Portland's illusions did.

As our staff looked back on the year's turning points, we found two themes repeating, at odds with one another.

First, 2017 was a year when Portland confronted ugly truths about its character. This city entered the year defiant, pledging to resist the presidency of Donald Trump. Yet events occurred that kept shaking Portland's notion of itself: a failed safety net for its most vulnerable people, racists living next door, and everyday disagreements escalating into violence.

Another theme was more hopeful. Portland became a more diverse and welcoming place. People of color took a more prominent place on the civic stage, and the city made tentative steps toward greater justice. That process was often painful, but it holds the promise that this city can be more than a bubble of privilege for people who all look the same.

Portland went through upheaval in 2017. It is not the city we thought it was. But it can become something better.

Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you: This week's print edition of WW has three different covers. The covers depict three of the most momentous events of 2017: the Women's March on Portland, the slayings on a MAX train, and the Columbia River Gorge fire.

Here are the 12 events that shook us up.