Sunday, July 15, 2018

A little pastel painting, new eyes and ears


I meant to start a landscape painting to put in the gallery, but my eyes fell on this photo in an old art magazine that had fallen on the floor of my studio. I couldn't help but get out my pastels and go for it.  I'm glad I did because I needed a boost after all the failed watercolors I have been doing in the last few weeks.  Just as I anticipated when I agreed to show in Jim's gallery, I have lost most of the joy of painting as I try to imagine what will sell.  I hoped to be able to manage this familiar and inhibiting psychological quirk, and I still hope I will.

In other news, I have new new glasses and new hearing aids that make me feel like a new woman.  I ordered both on line and never expected the quality to be so good considering the price. It's amazing what a difference there is between cheap and  real cheap.  I had a little more money than usual thanks to my new case worker, Amanda, who applied for all kinds of benefits I never knew I would be eligible for.    I splurged on improving my eyes and ears with remarkable results.  I'm a happy woman.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

The Whale watch and Old Sow

The whale watching trip was wonderful............not so much for the whales, though we did see quite a few curling themselves up out of the water.........but for the experience of being out on the water again.  I've loved it since I was a little girl, beginning with those days at Papa's camp on Cold Stream Pond.  There were a lot of boats there, small motor boats and Galen's racing boats.  We children, Mike and I, were always part of the hilarity brought on by the liquor consumed by all the adults.  The same went for my father's side of the family, Verona Island with the Fellows family on summer week-ends. In those days it was the norm for the adults to stay drunk from the time we arrived until we went home several days later.  For us kids it was just plain fun, whether we were thrown out of moving boats or holding up beer cans for the adults to shoot out of out hands.  We never saw it as dangerous.........it never occurred to us that we were in any danger.  It was all play.  But I digress..........

The most significant thing for me on the whale watch was seeing Old Sow, the second largest whirlpool in the world (I don't know where the largest one is).  I've always known it was there, but despite its reputation that brings tourists flocking to see it, I have never actually seen it myself.  It's just off Dog Island, down the street from my house, but a whirlpool is flat, a hole, seen basically from above.  The whale watching boat cruised all around it to the delight of us all.  I took many pictures, but the one I posted here is really the only one that really shows the center of the thing.  The water all around the center is churning and twirling, and it is really huge.  Our little boat whirled around with it and then took off, its motor impervious to the wayward currents.

We were on the water for over three hours, cool and happy, while people in town sweltered in the 90 degree heat. We saw Eastport from the a different perspective , saw the backs of our own houses perched high over the water.. We cruised around Campobello, oohing and ahhing over the huge cliffs with their incredible rock formations carved out by the pounding ocean.  High up on top of the cliffs were areas carved out by other forces of nature...human beings.  Giant houses, mansions, lawns, and formal gardens crouched on top of the rocks, most sporting some sort of comfortable deck or other elaborate platform from which to look out to sea.  Most of the land is still forest, though, with trees clinging to the cliff by gnarled roots.  On the way back we cruised by the small basically uninhabited islands that are directly across from my house.  I look at them a hundred times a day, but have never seen them up close.  Up until now they existed only as one dimensional beauty marks on a basically blue background.  Now I think about them in an altogether different way.......something solid and bulky with sand and rocks and trees, most of which are invisible to my eyes.  Same with Old Sow..........I know her now.

I think of myself as basically a loner........yet how I enjoyed being included in other people's celebrations. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

4th of July


This is the Navy ship that docked in Eastport for the 4th of July.  This is a tradition that has been going on since the 1800's, but I've forgotten how it got started.  After the Breakwater collapsed a couple of years ago, no ship was able to come in, but I believe it was last year when the tradition resumed.  The new breakwater wasn't completed, but hasty temporary accommodations were made.  Now everything has been rebuilt better than ever.  The town was, and still is today, full of white-uniformed young men and women being wined and dined, cheered and applauded.  They are a good matured bunch, no doubt enjoying the respite from their normal duties.

I went to the parade for the first time in a few years, and lover of ceremony that I am, I enjoyed that camaraderie with strangers that comes with ritual celebration.  No matter that what we celebrate has little to do with reality.  The bagpipers and bands from Canada still played the part of friendship, as did the audience, despite the fact that politically our relationship with Canada is at an all time low.  We all pretended for an hour or so that we were still friends.  After the parade I wandered around looking at the items for sale under the tents, resisting any impulse to buy anything.  As usual I was tempted by the jewelry, which I don't wear anymore, and the wonderful dresses, sweaters, ponchos, etc. in wonderful colors and designs.  The food I ignored, the home-made dog collars tempted me the most.  Still, I finally dragged myself back up the street without purchases, headed for the hamburger I knew was waiting for me at Jim's.  The walk downtown always seemed long to me, but yesterday I was hot and exhausted by the time I dragged myself through \my front door and into the shower.  I stayed home during the fireworks, though I would have liked to see them.  I simply couldn't face the walk again.  Besides, Willy needed me here to comfort him through the noise.

This morning Eastport looked like another town.  The roads crammed with cars and people yesterday were deserted.  Terry, the carpenter who has almost rebuilt the house at the bottom of the street by himself, was back at work.  The residents of the group home were slouched beside their dumpster, smoking.  Diana and her 4th of July guests had already left.  In a few minutes I am going on a whale watch with Jim and his relatives who are visiting.  Surely I will have pictures by the end of the day.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

My Wonderful Town


Image may contain: Jim Riccio and Cheri Walton, people smiling, stripes and closeup

How lucky to have been driving home last night from working on a project and catching this gorgeous sunset.  Jim (my new neighbor down the street who has become a great friend) and I were driving through downtown  just in time to catch it.  We went out to the end of the breakwater, parked, and spent a good hour taking pictures.  The scene changed constantly and it was impossible to catch all of the different mutations of color, clouds, and fog.  Actually Jim took all the pictures since my camera was home on its charger, while I simply absorbed the spectacle.  There had been a thunderstorm about an hour earlier, which I'm sure was the beginning of the weather system that caused the chaos.  The last picture was taken just before we left, as things settled down for the night.  At some point in the near future I intend to bring this blog up to date, though I have to say nothing significant has happened since I last wrote regularly.  I am getting older, of course, but basically not much has changed in my world.    I am 73 years old now, which is impossible to believe.  Yet I know that I first became aware of politics when Eisenhower became president.  I remember seeing graffiti on the board fence across the street from our apartment in Portsmouth that warned "Don't go back to the breadline.  Vote for Adlai E. Stevenson."  I remember the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. I remember the race riots, the National Guard hosing down blacks on Florida beaches, the Viet Nam War. I remember clearly the assassination of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King.  I remember the first satellite to orbit the earth, the first walk on the moon, the Challenger blowing up.  After that, the events seem less traumatic.  With time, one realizes that one's own life goes on no matter what......and then it ends no matter what.  I used to feel comforted by the fact that young people, with their energy and new ideas, would always come along and try to fix things that are wrong.  I wonder now if the world is  too big and complicated, that they have been forced to retreat into themselves.  I also know there is nothing I can do about anything.

So I scale down what impacts my little life in order to find great pleasure in what is around me.  Last night's sunset is an example of that.