Saturday, July 15, 2006

high tide, still water
Originally uploaded by somirasao.

I know a place where no cars go, and it makes for a lovely vacation spot. It's just a short boat ride from Portland, Maine. Due to a some malfunction of the mind or spirit, we neglected to photograph the place much (note my use of someone else's photo of Portland). All the better then to preserve the trip with these words, which hopefully will last longer and serve as a more concrete monument than the temporal printing of ink on light sensitive paper or illuminated screens ever could.

I would like to tell you when and how long we were there, but time has a way of becoming misplaced and forgotten in the binder vines on the Island. I would like to describe the house we stayed in, but you wouldn't believe me anyway. I could describe the weather, but "weather" happens everywhere, and if you haven't seen the sun, moon or clouds at this point in your life, then perhaps it is too late for you. Besides, writers should avoid describing the weather. Shame. I like describing the weather. I think instead, what I should do, dear Reader, is just lend insight into the Island State of Mind (that's ISM for those not paying attention).

Threats of swimming, eating, or games are ever present and share equal billing as time wasting activities. Of course, on the Island, time wasted, is time well spent. On hot days, when you might stop believing that humans are different from other animals, your thoughts wash ashore with driftwood, broken bits of buoys and water borne viruses. Thoughts of things done badly or that may be done badly at some future date, places to go or to be, or where you once were or where you've always been.

In-the-air intrusions of over head flights from Portland and telephone rings are the only brief reminders that this is a real place in a real time in a real bay off a real shoreline. Morning conversations between fog horns aren't so different from pool bound children calling "Marco", responding, "Polo".

Everything E.B. White said about Maine is true, even the stuff that was complete crap. What struck me were the remembered flashes of another island in Bonavista Bay, where as a ten-year-old I climbed sun-whitened docks and slippery, grassy trails. These two places are so similar in temperament, yet so different in tailoring. There is much to remember. I'll have to type faster to safe guard the memory of half played croquet matches and mallets sunning themselves in the grass, the bone vibrating cold of shoreline swims, the warmth of the outdoor shower, the full kitchen, the crowded table, the lazy insects captured by a six-year-old's fingers, the deer-coloured hound bounding past pathways, the flutter and shimmer of the birch leaves under a seven-eighths full moon, endless dishwashing, the Romanesque flood of food, the small talk, big talk, lost talk, that sunny, brine-breeze, crisp clapboard, open verandahs, slapped screen doors, bug spray perfumes, wet shoes, sandy socks, misplaced books, unfinished magazines, wet ferns, darkened concrete caves, itchy ankles, cold beer and corked wine.



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