Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

October 20, 2018

A LITTLE AROUND TOWN WANDERABOUT

  ... a sign of the season, light from the setting sun making its way through the living room and all the way to the bathroom door ...
  

... i grabbed my camera and quickly descended the stairs ... when i reached the street i realized that affixed to my sony was a nikkor 50mm f/2.8 macro lens, my least favorite piece of glass, but, knowing how fast the light would fade, i headed out anyhow ...

... two doors down from my place a neighbor was concluding his work day with a nap  ...
  
  
... now that they've renovated the building with the boarded up hairdressers, this is one of the last of waterville's maine street window girls ... i've walked by a dozens of times, dozens of times a rather obnoxious "business hours" sign has tested my photographic talents so that dozens of times i've failed miserably in my attempt to capture her aloof charm ... perhaps the shop owner, after so often having to witness my frustrated contortions seeking an angle that would negate the distracting placard, decided to show me a little mercy—or, equally likely, the sign just fell off the window ... either way, this time i think i managed to capture a sense of her seductive allure ... (okay, it's quite late and obviously i should be composing in my novel rather'n here ... i know that, but i'll figure you can cut me some slack since i did, after all, get the picture) ...
  

... each and every leaf is autumn in full ...
  
  
... a tiny tree, i wonder if this is its first fall ...
  
  
... the sun reflecting off the kennebec river highlights the season ...
  
  
... the lot where the fancy hotel is to be built ... i became fascinated with the sunlight dancing with the wall the bank once shared with the now-demolished levines department store ...
  
  
... silver street tavern ...
  

... i made a nice pause in the center of the memorial bridge ...
  
  
... ticonic falls, where benedict arnold and his troops were forced to make the first portage on the ill-fated quebec expedition ...
  

... wanderabouting, the perfect way to end a beautiful autumn day ...

October 16, 2018

RECORDING THE MUSIC WITH LIGHT

... last week the framemakers held a reception for artists ... free snacks, good company, and, of course, it's right at the bottom of my stairs—i couldn't resist ...

... most of all, i was quite impressed with the trio providing the backup music, especially the singer ... accompanied by the skilled guitarist's clear notes and measured rhythm of the percussionist's bongo, she seemed as if from another era, one of smoke-filled night clubs, martinis, and women wearing white gloves ... no, not a "better" time, for sure i can spend all afternoon listening to adele and norah jones, just—well, just different, something that brought to me memories of ma ...
  

... her artistic intensity captivated me ...
     

... back upstairs i decided to approach the images "interpretation" first ...
  

... i wanted to share the "feeling" of the music ...
  

... which is another way of saying that i may not know much about music, but have learned a thing or two when it comes to "developing & printing" (right—but, since i don't much care for that obnoxious three-letter word, you can instead use "classic" since that actually pleases me) ...
  

... sixteen frames, taken as i pre-visualized this final image ...
  

... i put little effort into photography, thus i didn't take the time to wait for the percussionist to express with his face as well as his hands, but with the singer and guitarist it was easy to capture dancing across their faces joyful celebration of the music ...
  
 
... i snapped a couple of dozen pictures, then put aside my camera and inspected the various hors d'oeuvres as i enjoyed the music ...
  
  
... over an hour working it, but i'm quite please with the result ...
  

... the music brought me to a smile ... that it did so, and that i can, is an elemental reason to be happy ...

... i am ...

October 8, 2018

WANDERABOUTING WITH AN OLD SALT

... i picked up my friend, john—not the john who currently is hiking along hadrian's wall, the other one who is of the world's greatest workers in wood—and we began our little wanderabout ... "which way do you want to head," i asked ...

... an hour or so later we arrived at the penobscot marine museum ... john's quite familiar with it, but, rather odd, even after living in maine for near forty-five years it's a place i'd never visited ...
   

... the ships models were fascinating, of course, by even more enjoyable was watching this master woodworker's face light up as he examined the construction details of the many boats on exhibit ...
   
  
... the grounds were splashed beautifully with the vibrant colors of various late fall blossoms ...
   
  
... i walked by, perhaps thinking to myself, "jee'zum, if i was making a kitchen table i'd have found a knot-free plank to work with" ... on the way back through the room john explained to me how the three knots were not imperfections, but rather were deliberately chosen by the carpenter as a sort of "signature" ... without bending down to look john said, "go ahead, take a peek at the underside of the other table leaf" ... sure enough three different knots were visible  ... simply, way cool ...
   
  
... the docent enlivened us with a great story of how each ship captain wanted a "selfie" of his ship in every port visited, and that consequently a business arose in which right alongside the docks of the ports were studios which pre-painted numerous copies of the harbor, making sure to emphasize the unique features by which those knowledgeable of the shipping industry could easily identify the location ... when a captain came ashore and requested, "i'd like a painting of my ship entering the harbor," all they had to do was say, "come back in a few hours and it'll be ready," then insert the image of the particular ship into the preprepared canvas ... right, "photoshopping a selfie" in the 1800's ...
   
  
... this detail brought to mind memories of my grammy ...
   
  
... she was from the west indies, where to this day sunday-after-church tea is a most pleasurable ritual ...
   
  
... hmmmm, near as i can figure in the olden days they kept little basins by their beds so they could wash their feet before going to sleep ... such charming customs like this, yup, those really were the times when america was great ...
   
  
... the life of many a fisher has been saved by one of these suits ...
   
  
... well, look on their faces i'm not sure they thought america was great ... maybe they were scowling at their ship captain patriarch, "all the other families've got 'em, when are you going to bring us some of those way cool foot-washing basins" ...
   
  
... many beautiful paintings of ships—and, of course, now i know why so many of them seem almost identical ...
   
  
... of late i knew john had been—well, i suppose "depressed" is as good a word as any—by the national news ... [by the way, is a point of pride to me that to one degree of another pretty much all of my friends're feeling so] ... another thing about wanderabouts, they're perfect medicine for aliments of the heart and soul ...

Cheer up, Jack, bright smiles await you
From the fairest of the fair.
There are loving hearts to greet you
With kind welcomes everywhere.
And we'll sing in joyful chorus
In the watches of the night,
And we'll sight our land before us
When the grey dawn brings the light.
TRADITIONAL SEA SHANTY
   
    
... from our little journey, a final portrait of which i am most unusually proud of both seeing, revealing, and portraying ...
   

... what a wonderful day, thank you, john ...

September 23, 2018

WANDERABOUTING THE COMMON GROUND


... laura and john took me to the common ground fair in unity ... for those of you not in the know, it's an organic farming/back-to-nature/sustainable resource/traditional crafts/natural living skills & philosophies event that's been held in central maine since 1977 ... this year well over 60,000 people attended the fair ...

... it was a bright-sun day, something not always appreciated by photographers, and i wasn't really in a picture-taking mood, so for the most part i just enjoyed wandering around with john and inspecting the exhibits and presentions ...

... much "organically grown" produce was for sale ...
  

... my pa would've greatly appreciated this woman's "moose dropping" crafts ...
  

... i found this display of dried flowers most attractive ...
  

... if these turkeys could've read my mind—well, let's all be happy that they don't know how to read the calendar ...
  

... i was fascinated with the recumbent bike i tried ...
  
COURTESY JOHN MEADER

... while john and i were sitting down taking a little lemonade break i noticed that another fairgoer had discovered an unofficial entrance to a crowded presentation ... no, it wasn't a girlie show ... in fact, it was an organic lifestyle speaker and the feet belonged to a pleasant young lady ...
  

... john's friends were doing henna tattoos ...
  

... i've always wanted to get a tattoo, and i really liked their work, so maybe—nah, i think they, too, use needles for the permanent kind of body art ...
  

... these two were having a great time watching all the people walk by ...
  
  

... laura and john ...
  

... yea, john meader, a cosmic clown ...
  

... we watched one dog herd geese, while another dog had to go to time-out for biting the sheep ... we saw a pig the size of a small car ... there was a rabbit that looked like a giant lint-ball, a nifty home-made wooden backpack that fits snug into the bow of a canoe, and a man showing the beautiful knives he had made ... we laughed along with the little children as on pieces of cardboard they slid down a straw blanketed hill ... the brick oven pizza was yummy, as was the rest of the food we enjoyed with our noses ... 

... what a wonderful day ...


September 9, 2018

NARRAGANSETT BAY CRUISEABOUT

  
... one of the definers of a family is how it reacts to crisis or tragedy ... in this saddest of times, still my brother says to me, "friday, your birthday  present is a sunset lighthouse viewing cruise of narragansett bay" ... had he cancelled, which would have been completely understandable, for me the thought alone would've been the best of gifts, so to board the boat and head out onto the water was more than a wonderful marking of the anniversary of my birth, it turned out to be a joyful celebration of life itself ...

... on the runway at the old quonset naval station we noticed a plainly painted boeing 747 ... without going into specific details, should the zombie appocylpse take place it is from this aircraft (or one of its siblings) that the human resurgence will be directed ... 
   
  
... the plum island light, now a rather pricey b&b (not for sleepwalkers, for sure) ...
   
  
... the new "jamestown-verazzano bridge" ... yes, it's clearly an improvement over the old structure, but it's not near as thrilling to cross ...
   
  
... sameen enjoyed listening to an ol' salt tell exciting tales of the sea ...
   
  
... you can see the towers of the pell bridge behind the dutch island lighthouse ...
   
   
... over 150 years old, the beavertail light and the point upon which it is perched is one of my favorite places in the world ... many an hour i spent here not attending college classes ...
   
   
... i'm submitting this one to the crest toothpaste company ... ...
   
  
... a long, long time ago, say forty-seven years or so, at low tide, some of my friends and i jumped into the water in front of the lighthouse and raced out to the buoy and back again ... no, i didn't win, but it was great fun ...
   
   
... fifty-five (thanks for the catch, liz) sixty-five years ago a young socialite with a degree in french literature danced away her wedding reception on hammersmith farm's great lawn ... her war-hero politician husband would eventually be elected the 35th president of the united states and she would become one of the most beloved and admired women in the world ...
   
   
... along our route were many graceful sailing vessels ...
   
   
... while moored alongside some of the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" yachts were these boats which quite obviously worked for a living ... quaint, for sure, but i'm betting that many of those staying at the hideously expensive hotel on the shore very quickly lose any appreciation of the odor that wafts from the docks up to their rooms ...
   
   
... my brother, clearly, was in his element ... during his coast guard service narragansett bay was his office, and all around him were impressed with his knowledge of its history and geography ...
   
  
... the rose island lighthouse, which is rather surprisingly a relatively affordable place to take a little getaway for a few days ...
   

... in a darkening sky ours was a calm voyage beneath the bridge and back to port ...

... it was a time for us to enjoy sharing the bay and one another ...

... it was a time for us to make pause, and, in the midst of terrible pain and great sorrow, reflect upon the many wonderful blessings in our lives ...

"And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. 
Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. 
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. 
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be better.
For they existed."
MAYA ANGELOU