Saturday, July 26, 2014
He didn't walk until fourteen months old, but when he did it the first time, he walked all around the house. When he started school I thought he would be referred for speech therapy........but, no. He suddenly decided that an expanded use of language was needed. He was chosen to be the kindergarten spokesperson for his class over the loud speaker in the mornings and appeared on television describing the class Thanksgiving party. He was an adorable little boy. He grew up wearing shorts to school year round, deliveed newspapers from an early age, worked in a convenience store (where he bought one lottery ticket and won a thousand dollars). Typically he confined his social relationships to a very small circle, basically one girl and one boy (essentially using the same philosophy as he had for using minimal language). As far as I know, he had one girlfriend, with whom he still lives. He met her on line.
Jesse was a big supporter of my art, and often gave me very sophisticated critiques while I was going to school. He helped me hang art shows and worked with me when I coordinated the art competition at the Bangor Fair. He like classical music, especially Beethoven. He read voraciously. He routinely won awards for intellectual endeavors. But mainly he was obsessed with computers. He flunked out of the university, and them got his degrees on line. I don't know what he does for work, though he has told me several times. I know he works with computers at home and travels for some company somewhere. He and his partner talk to each other across the table on their laptops.
So that in a nutshell is my boy, a unique and wonderful guy. I love this picture of him, which I found on facebook, partly because he appears as I think of him...........marching to the beat of a different drummer.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Our meeting was not only congenial, but quite pleasant. It was a surprise to me that I so enjoyed talking to the one person with whom I shared so significant a part of my life. I didn't realize that I had lost track of all the good years of work and family life. The casual mention of a name, or a place, brought those years assembling themselves into my consciousness again. I can see that memories are not lost, only hidden, waiting to be prodded and resurrected in minute detail. Granted I saw them parading through my mind with rose-colored glasses, colored by their unexpected arrival. I am glad I got those years back.
I didn't realize that what I considered to be my life began in 1987.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Monday, July 07, 2014
It's so hard to imagine life without electricity. I had an oil lamp, a flashlight, and a book light, creating a circle of light around me. But the quiet is ominous, that subtle ambient noise of appliances and electronics that we don't notice when it's there becomes very conspicuous in its absence. I have nothing battery operated to give me any news. The dogs were restless and stuck by me, nervous without knowing why.
In 1987 the town was without electricity for a week. I had just moved here and knew no one. Again I had no battery radio or anything to tell me what was going on. The newspaper was not delivered. It was a cold January, so I had no neighbors (all the "snowbirds" had gone home). The heat was off, the town looked eerie with woodsmoke the only evidence of life anywhere. I kept a journal then and I like re-reading what I wrote in it at that time. As usual, I was philosophical and enjoyed the strangeness of it all. Later I found out that the poles in Cherryfield that carry electricity to us , well over an hour away in the middle of the blueberry barrens, had fallen like dominoes across the miles of open land. The wind knocked them over like match sticks. That time was an adventure, but this hurricane was only an irritation.
Another hurricane experience was in Florida when Sherillee and I were staying with her parents in New Port Richey. It landed in the middle of the night with a huge bang that knocked out the electricity and woke us all up. I was sleeping on the pull-out couch and Sherillee was in another room. Her parents' room had a huge sliding glass door and we all (stupidly) gathered together and watched the lightning, the heavy rain, and the blowing trees. When it was over, Sherillee and I went out in the car to survey the damage. We found cars and boats washed up on roads and lawns. Florida has amazing storms.
Thinking about hurricanes always takes me back to the very first hurricane I can remember. I was around nine or ten, and we were sent home from school (on foot in those days). I went to my best friend Sally's house where we sat at the formica kitchen table drawing pictures of the storm. The report that the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston had blown down gave me a sudden dose of reality and I felt afraid. In a couple of seconds, though, we went back to our drawing, happy that we were unexpectedly home from school. The pleasant association I have with that day has left me with a permanent kind of good feeling about storms that can't be explained any other way.
Friday, July 04, 2014
I guess I have to blame Christianity for the attitude that has become so much a part of our western civilization. The Bible certainly implies that human beings are very different from other species, and that God gave man dominion over other animals. I doubt that His intention was that we use that power to abuse and torture them without any sense of empathy. It's a little contradictory to call them "God's creatures," and then treat them as objects of no particular intrinsic import beyond serving our own biological and psychological desires. But I guess the Bible endorses everything if you look for it hard enough. It's a book that has caused so much suffering, not only for animals, but humans, too.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
The second is my annual picture of the Lupine that are covering the island. Unlike the parade, it is a spectacle I look forward to and enjoy very much. I can never quite believe the extent of it. I took several pictures today, as if every field or woods would show something different. It only seems like each display is more extensive and beautiful than the one before. Besides, pictures don't portray the magnitude of the lupine show.
It's hard to get behind the big fourth of July hoopla, since my patriotism leaves a lot to be desired. As a child I remember tearing up when I heard the Star Spangled Banner, feeling that knee-jerk patriotism we all acquire in public school. Perhaps (though I doubt it) at some point this country deserved our pride and loyalty, but at this point, if I could, I would jump across the boarder to Canada and never come back. I can see Canada from my windows, and my ancestors came from there. My embarrassment at being American is most likely an over-reaction, but this country is such a big bully it's impossible to be proud.