Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Maine, At Last

I spent my first night in Maine, after the long day's drive across Vermont and New Hampshire, including my stop at Nelson, at a wonderful hotel in Kennebunk. It's called The Lodge at Kennebunk, and I recommend it highly. I arrived after dark, and the night clerk was very welcoming and helpful. The hotel room was exceptional, one of the best I've ever had, on my many travels. How often do you get polished wood floors, beautiful dark furniture against the plain white walls, with an entire alcove set aside for a writing desk, fridge and microwave? The bathroom was light and sunny. There were windows on both sides of the room, the one in back overlooking a large lawn with picnic benches and playground equipment for traveling kids, all under huge trees. I left my windows open for the breeze and the night air scented by flowering trees and shrubs. In the morning, they had a terrific breakfast room available. There was classical music playing, and the concierge offered to turn on the TV for my pleasure, but I assured her that the music was by far preferable. Television before noon is an assault on the senses.

After the long day's drive, it was a solace to take a long hot shower, then lay out my journal and some of the books I'd already acquired during the trip, books of art and poetry, and read and write into the night. I was too tired to last long, but it felt like a writer's retreat, for that brief time. A very good end to a long day.

I also downloaded the day's catch of photographs, and made some preliminary choices among them.

I drove up the interstate for awhile before turning towards the Maine shoreline. I was anxious to reach the Atlantic Ocean, but I also wanted to make time in the morning. The weather became cloudy and rainy, as the day went on, but when I finally reached the shore, I was in too much of a mood to work on photographs for it to matter. The weather is the weather, and you capture whatever you can.

By day's end, I had spent most of the afternoon in Acadia National Park, and had captured some good seaside and rain-in-trees footage. I feel I made several good B&W photographs. Although I did shoot in color, too, the weather was primarily monochrome, and the land and sea followed suit. I did have to stop and wipe off the camera lenses a few times.

I was in an introspective, rainy-day mood. I often get those moods after a day of high psychological or spiritual drama, or process work, or whatever you want to call it. I need a day to integrate, to rest. I spent some time singing along with John Dowland songs while driving.

One of the previous day's lessons had been a hard reminder to not overplan a day, to take my time when traveling, to let go of expectations, to go more into the flow. I hit an emotional wall again, after leaving Nelson, when it seemed like I was driving in circles, making no progress across the face of the land, under a featureless gray sky where one completely looses one's sense of direction and duration. So what if on this trip I'm running a few days later from my original expectations? It will even out at the end, and even if it doesn't, I'll still get home in time for what I need to do.

Maine enchants. It's as beautiful as advertised, even under gloomy weather. I found the people everywhere I stopped to be very friendly, quite willing to converse with a strange visitor. There's a neighborliness I like. They'll leave you alone if you don't want to chat, but they'll also talk if you want to, and quite openly.

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