Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Opening

At last the long awaited opening at the University took place last Friday. It was a very rainy afternoon and evening, with torrential showers off and on. Still, many, many people from Eastport braved the weather and drove the hour it takes to get to Machias. There were also a lot of people I didn't know, so the thing was well-attended. The show looked beautiful, and a good time was had by all. I couldn't have asked for a better culmination to all the work and preparation that went into it. Now it will be there for another month, probably without many viewers, and then it will all end. It didn't feel like an anti-climax, as it could have. It just seemed like everything went as it should.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Beautiful Spring

Every day when I drive in the driveway, this is what I see. What a treat. I can't get over the beauty of the world around me.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

New Version of Spring

Different flowers are blooming now--the rhododendron, Japanese Iris, Forget-me-nots, and Snow in Summer. I have seen probably fifteen Springs here, and I really think this is the prettiest. June has always struck me as wonderful in Eastport, but never quite as wonderful as this. Every day some new bloom shows up, or the forget-me-nots have unbelievably spread even farther than before. There are places in my yard and elsewhere that look like an ocean of blue, speckled with sunlight, as it breaks through the foliage of the trees. Even the profusion of dandelions and now buttercups that invade the field next to the yard add to the color that is everywhere and enhance it.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gallery Opening

After several days of hard preparation, the gallery finally opened for the season. I have been working steadily for several days to get ready for the gala event. Of course I am not the only one, and the efforts of all the members came together in a pretty much flawless occasion attended by many of the townspeople. Our usual patrons were there, as well as a lot of new faces. The painting I posted of my old neighborhood sold, making it posssible for me to pay my dues. I was tired and somewhat irritable, but managed to enjoy myself just the same. Others picked up the mess while I chatted with a woman I dislike, and the thing was over by 8:30, as are all respectable events in Eastport.

The next hurdle is the opening of the show in Machias, which is next Friday. After that, it is hard to imagine how life will continue. When so much of life is focused on a few long-anticipated events, it seems that the world will end once they take place. All anticipation stops at that one point. The future is empty. I can be born again.
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Work

I painted this small painting yesterday from a photo Jesse took when I lived on Middle St. (My house is on the left.) I had an idea that I might paint Eastport streets for my next series, though I must say I'm not crazy about this one. I think I will still make the effort, though. It seems like a good idea as far as sales are concerned, and I do love the town. I need to walk around and take pictures.

I drove to Bangor again today, basically to have a test at the Medical Mall to see if I have carpal tunnel syndrome. This was precipitated by the fact that my hands get numb when I play the recorder. The doctor told me that I do have it, as well as pinched nerves in both elbows. "Don't lean on them," she said. Since I wasn't aware that I leaned on my elbows, I may have trouble following those directions. Anyway, as with most procedures like this that I have had, the result is that the condition does, in fact, exist, but there isn't much to be done about it. I enjoyed the company of the doctor, a pretty woman from India, if not the repeated needles and electric shocks.

Afterwards I went to see Alice, now at the rehabilitation center. She was better, or perhaps it was just that I knew what to expect when I saw her. I stayed about an hour, during which time she talked about the injustice done to her by the clinic where she worked. With the indignation and paranoia of the truly powerless, she is obsessed with revenge. I believe she needs a tangible focus for her rage about what has happened to her. There are concrete reasons for her to be angry, though, and she means to expose her employers for the unfeeling, uncaring, manipulative people they seem to have been. My part in this is to be sympathetic and do what I can to help. I put her in touch with the lawyer who helped me when I was sued by my mother. It will make her feel that something is being done, and it is up to the lawyer to tell her whether she really has a case or not.

I am glad to be able to support her now, though I can never repay what she has done for me.
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

New Painting

Now that I'm free to paint subjects other than Demeter and Persephone, I returned to my photos of the blueberry barrens. Instead of using pastels, though, I decided to try acrylics. I really like the way this came out. I feel as if I am so well acquainted with the subject that the landscape has become part of me. It makes me sentimental, though, because Alice introduced me to that particular beauty. She said that she thought Washington County was the most beautiful place on earth, and I learned to see it through her eyes.

A blanket of sadness drapes over me. I feel strangely distant, off to the side. I carry a secret burden every moment of each day. In my mind I constantly review my own loss and Alice's misery. They are like a TV on in the other room, buzzing and babbling in barely audible murmers. If I stopped to listen, it would fill me up and drown me. Ignoring the sound takes a lot of energy and I fall asleep early every night, dreaming unpleasant dreams I can't remember. I wake up smelling lilacs, happy dogs licking my face, sun streaming through the windows. I am immediately aware of everything in my life, without one second of amnesia, not one groggy moment when there exists only the present......this is me getting out of bed, smelling lilacs, feeling the sun. Those moments are lost to me for the time being. I am hypersensitive, vigilant. Nothing can catch me unawares.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007


It was a beautiful day today and I took this picture from the back door before I left for Ellsworth and Bangor. I had an appointment with WHCA to orient me to the job I am about to start next week as a volunteer driver. My financial situation necessitates my doing something that will bring in income, even if it is very small. Afterwards I drove to Bangor to visit Alice in the hospital. On the way I bought her a Teddy Bear. She once gave me a small stuffed tiger to remind me of her when she wasn't there, so I felt it appropriate. She seemed to really like was adorable and very soft...good to hug. She looked very sick and weak, hooked up to oxygen. I was so happy to see her, though, and took a walk with her around the floor. She needed a walker, but managed to move along quite well. We talked for over an hour, roles seemingly reversed from the ones we were accustomed to. Nevertheless, we both slid into our new places without hesitation. I patted her back while she was sick, and covered her up with blankets when she got into bed. She talked to me about the terrible turn of events in her life, tears in her eyes. She held the Teddy Bear in her thin arms and stroked it.

This was overwhelming to me. I filled up with some intense emotion that was both love and anguish. It made me strong and desperate.
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Invitation

I picked up the postcards for the Machias show today. I am very happy with the way they look. It makes me feel like a real artist.


Lytton is doing well after his surgery. I packed him in his sweater, as befitting an invalid, and he managed to keep it on for a short while. He began to play the second day he was home, and has pretty much returned to normal. He looked so cute with his haircut that I got out my old clippers and tried to do the same thing for Benny and Patrick. There's no doubt that a professional cut would have been better, but they don't look bad.

I realized while Lytton was at the vet's that no matter how I love Patrick (and Benny in a different way way), I don't have the same feeling for them that I have for Lytton. When he was gone, I missed him in some very profound way. It's difficult to explain, but he is much more my companion than the other two. Patrick is a baby, an adorable little creature to take care of and love as a mother loves a child. I feel affection for Benny and am dedicated to giving him a good life with the happiness deserves. Lytton is something else. There is a "we"-ness to our relationship that puts us on some sort of strange equal level. He's a dog, I'm a human, but there is a sense of communication between us that has me never doubting the possibility of inter-species love and understanding.
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Saturday, June 02, 2007


For the five years that I have been with Alice, I have dreaded the day when I would no longer be seeing her. It is common, in fact expected, that a client will bond with her therapist, and I fell easily into the role. However, I always pushed the thought of ending our sessions out of my mind, denying vaguely that it would happen. Now, unexpectedly, her health has stolen her away. The surgery she had in April was fraught with complications and she is still too sick to leave the hospital. She has had to leave her job and give up the house she had just moved into before the operation. She has had to give her beloved dog, Roze, to a neice. When she is well enough to leave the hospital, she will have no where to go and have no income. Her daughters plan to take her to Connecticut to live with them. In a few short months her life has been irrevocably changed.

I try to cope with her unbearable situation and, consequently, my own. I dare not imagine that she will not recover. I think only of the present struggle and hope for success in the doctors' efforts to find out what is wrong with her and treat it. As for me, the loss of her in my life is immeasurable. Because she has succeeded so well with my therapy, I am able to hold myself together and cope. Years ago I couldn't have done it. But it is an agony difficult to describe when one loses a mother, sister, friend and intimate confidante all in one devastating moment. She has been all of these to me, and more.

Alice, how can I go on without you? Because you have taught me how, I will do it.

Lytton's Transformation and the Invisible Contact Lens

For the last few days I have been preoccupied by difficult situations. One of them was taking Lytton to Bangor for surgery. His bladder stones returned and he was in a lot of pain. So was I when I got the $1400. bill. Of course I would have paid anything to have my baby restored to health, but this was a big blow to my already over-extended pocketbook. Luckily the vet has a time payment plan.

After the surgery and while Lytton was still unconscious he was given a "shave down." Certainly his coat was a mess, so he looks a lot better, if a little unfamiliar. He is recovering well, playing and running around like his old self. I had to drive to Bangor two days in a row, which would not have been so difficult had I not lost my contact lens a few days before. I was wearing a temporary soft lens given to me by the new eye doctor. Each morning since I got the thing I have had to spend at least a half hour trying to get it into my eye. Soft lenses are invisible with my eyesight, and I had a terrible time even seeing it on my finger, let alone getting it to stick on my eye. It is similar to a minuscule dot of plastic wrap that easily adheres to fingers, eyelids, cheeks, clothing and itself, but finds the eye repellent. With it, my vision was excellent to about twenty feet away, but after that everything became increasingly blurry. As I sped down the road I could see only hulking shapes that I had to assume were other cars.

And speaking of contact lenses, I lost the soft lens yesterday as I tried to put it into my eye. I have lost my glasses as well (possibly leaving them at the doctor's office). At that point I remembered an old hard one I had saved from years ago. I went upstairs and found it in the medicine cabinet, brought it downstairs, and promptly dropped it on the floor. I was frustrated to the point of tears. Somewhere on the kitchen floor the two lenses blended into the background, undetected by my pathetic blind eyes. I was on the phone searching for someone to take me to Calais to get a new one when I spotted the hard lens in Lytton's dog dish, which was at my feet. I retrieved it, inserted it, and my vision was restored.
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