We\’re back from our little trip to Maine, having traveled circuitous back roads to get out of, and then back into, Vermont without running afoul of road-repair crews. What with the car\’s GPS; the Google Maps printout of directions; the stack of folding- and book-maps; and the road closings–both announced and impromptu–that we encountered, getting to Maine and back was as labor-intensive, confusing and uncertain as life itself.
The Maine coast, I\’m happy to report, looks like all the (competent) oil paintings of the Maine coast: rocks, pine trees, lobster trap buoys, more rocks. On our second gray and drizzly day there I saw Wyeth\’s gray and drizzly watercolors at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. And when I came outside and looked around, Maine looked more like Maine than ever. I love places, and people too, that look like themselves.
On that same gray day we went out on a lobsterman\’s boat to check his traps for \”bugs\” (Maine\’s entomologically accurate argot for \”lobsters\”). As we chugged over the steel-gray sea, it occurred to me that what I perceived as an essentially homogeneous and monotonous body of water, to the lobsterman was a busy neighborhood teeming with lobster routes, lobster suburbs and lobster hangouts, on the accurate mapping of which he depended for his livelihood. The sea was his office, his workshop, his studio. We humans may all belong to one species, but we each inhabit a different universe.
Back at our house, the dogs are in their usual post-B and B stupor, having had way more fun than they are accustomed to in their monastic existence with me. This coincides perfectly with my own post-holiday stupor, and we are all recovering together.