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 seventh 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.

January 28, 2013

ABRACADABRA


OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... at re-books there are wonderful moments in which we are allowed to be part a most joyful magic ... 

January 22, 2013

TIME TO START GETTING READY

NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@75mm-F6.3-1/125th-ISO400
... middle of winter, best of times to post a motorcycle picture ... i've wanted to move up to a full-face helmet, not so much for the added safety the style provides as much as i've had the feeling that for cold weather or rainy day riding such a helmet would keep my chin and lower face warmer, but i've never chanced upon one i found to be very comfortable ... monday i joined roger for an outing to tri-sports in topsham ... while he was taking care of some details concerning his motorcycle, i talked with the desk clerk in the parts department ... after listening to me for awhile he remarked, "i think i can help you" ... he took an L-sized helmet, smaller than my partial-face XL, and replaced the lining pads with thinner alternatives ... end result was me purchasing a perfectly fitting full-faced hjc helmet, including at no cost an anti-fog faceplate liner ... yea, i know, temperatures in the single-digits and snow on the ground, but, for sure, it's never too early in the season to start getting ready to ride ... next on the agenda, cross fingers for me, the dealer will inform me that the machine i want to own so i can do some serious interstate driving, the honda cb 500f, is going to be in the showroom soon ...


JON IN NORTH NEW PORTLAND

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... jon had to go to pease air force base to complete his flight simulator training and he added to his trip by making a nice visit to new england, including a couple days visiting with me ... this afternoon we took a nice drive in the countryside ... first item on the agenda was lunch, as in, "uncle pat, they just don't know how to make real pizza in ohio" ... we stopped at the little convenience store in north anson, where we shared a most excellent spicy pepperoni fresh dough pie, good enough that i burned my mouth and had to take one of my colorful stomach pills ... after that was an outing to the wire bridge in north new portland ... those of you who follow this journal know that in the whole world this is one of my most favorite places ... it didn't take too long before the 10°F temperature began to get to him, i'm suspecting he might becoming a bit of a flatlander ... a few years ago, in a much colder winter, thrustings upwards to within a few inches of the deck boards a huge ice jam threatened to destroy the 170 year-old structure ... luckily, the jam broke before the army corp of engineers had to set off the boxes of dynamite they'd brought to deal with the situation ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... we stopped at the outskirts of town, where jon asked me to help him learn the settings of his very own brand-new olympus e-pl3 (a variation of my e-p1) ... years and years ago the old fire engine was left in a field along the road, where it patiently passes time as a race takes place between rust and the chance passing of an interested collector ... so far, the rust seems to be winning ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... i like to visit the old fire engine, if only admire its form and imagine it all bright shiny red, affectionately buffed so that it seemed to glow from within, as if attempting to live up to its title ... back in its day the chrome trim would have been buffed to a mirror-like finish, so that as it raced through town reflected in its passing would have been the startled expressions of those for whom it brought, if not actually welcomed, at least some secretly appreciated excitement to the unvaried routine of daily life in rural maine ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... there's no sense of sadness, despondency, nor, for that matter, even mournful dejection ... rather, the old fire engine emanates an aura of modest pride, as if quietly reflecting to all those who care to listen, "i know what i did, forever i will reserve space for the souls of those who tended me, used me as a tool in service to the community ... i helped extinguish small fires and raging conflagrations, i preserved property and saved lives, now for me is an easy resting" ...




January 20, 2013

LATE


OLYMPUS E=P1 PROJECT
... at times i find myself compelled to take take a photograph, if for no other reason than it is late in the night and easily within arm's reach my little camera is waiting for me ...


SIMON KISER

... a few months ago, while out for an evening stroll, alison and i chanced upon simon kiser playing his guitar on the street corner beneath the window of my apartment ... we stopped and talked, learning that while sitting at home he'd suddenly developed an overwhelming urge to "get out" ... to stand along the side of a busy public way and expose one's heart to the world, in addition to his talent we both admired his courage ...

... a week or so ago simon dropped a note, asking if i could help him with some publicity photos for his first paying gig ... of course, being a struggling young musician he couldn't afford my outrageously exorbitant fees, but that was no problem since i'm also one to barter a lunch and coffee for whatever skill i possess with a camera and lens ...


  
NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@100mm-F6.3-1/320th-ISO400 • NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@62mm-F6.3-1/60th-ISO400

NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@46mm-F6.3-1/80th-ISO400

NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@58mm-F6.3-1/90th-ISO400

  
NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@52mm-F6.3-1/180th-ISO400 • NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@48mm-F7.1-1/50th-3 Flash-ISO400

... was great fun taking these pictures, and, of course, i always enjoy lunch a little more when i don't have to pay for it ... simon will be playing at the "point afta" in winslow on january 26th, i recommend going to listen not just because he's really good, but so that someday you will be able to brag, "i was lucky to get to enjoy his very first gig" ...

January 19, 2013

THE SOLITARY MAN


OLYMPUS E=P1 PROJECT
... i was unable to sleep, perhaps the result of partaking of my daily coffee ration late in the evening, or, more likely, simply because my brain had regressed to its old habit of stubborn refusal to let go of consciousness despite my fervent desire that it rest ... a long time ago having learned that neither television, books, nor computer are solutions, i wrapped myself in one of ma's comfy blankets and curled up atop the radiator beneath my living room's bay window, a perch which offers a panoramic view of the western side of the downtown ...

... except for a few cars, those of friday night bar patrons who were either too influenced to drive themselves home, or, equally likely, had elected to spend the night at someone else's residence, the parking lot is empty ... lining the lot and forming barriers down its center are piled high ridges of snow, uncollected remains of the plowing after the last storm ... there've been two days of dry air and strong sunlight since then, so the asphalt itself is dry ... the arc lights on the tall polls warm the scene with a coppery-red illumination, belying the fact that the air temperature outside is in the single digits ... there is absolutely no wind, and i know if i opened the window the empty silence would be punctuated only by the occasional passing of a car and the purring of the two cabs which spend the night stationed on the other side of the parking lot awaiting the calls of their dispatchers ...

... after awhile i noticed a solitary figure wandering along the sidewalk of the strip mall across the lot ... as i watched, he crossed the tarmac and began walking along the snowbanks, stopping every now and then to stoop down ... i could see he was dressed for the cold, wearing some sort of heavy insulated pants, a hooded parka, and what appeared to be snowmobile boots ... soon, i was able to discern he was carrying a large plastic bag, and that when he bent down it was to collect a can or bottle he'd found in the snow ...

... it was fifteen or twenty minutes before he had worked his way through the lot below my window, then wandering behind the brick facade of the building next to my apartment he disappeared from sight ... in all that time i saw no other person below or in the distance, nor did any cars drive by ...

... and, for some strange reason, i thought of louis daguerre's photograph of the boulevard du temple in paris, france ... when daguerre took the photograph in 1839, it was of the very first permanent photographs ever made ... because of the ten-minute exposure required, things that were moving, such as people, carriages, horses, etc., were not recorded, thus what was surely a busy street bustling with commerce and trade seems devoid of all life ... 

LOUIS DAGUERRE - 1839

... all, that is, except for the solitary man having his his shoes shined ... because he was standing still, he became the very first human being to be photographed ... yet, despite this remarkable distinction, his identity is a mystery and it is most likely he will remain forever anonymous ...

... the individual in daguerre's photograph and the man wandering beneath my window, i'm sure they are somehow connected ... i hope that in time i will understand how ...

... you will not see the bottle-collecting man in my photograph ... he was in his place and i in mine, and, sensing that to open my window might disturb him, i waited until after his passing to snap a picture ...


January 15, 2013

MYSTERY GIRLS

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... coming home late, i walk by the little office that only opens when the evening is dark and closes during the silent middle of the night ... the blinds are always drawn, but i always manage to peek in at the girls who seem to spend all their time talking on telephones ... i wonder, who are they speaking with ... perhaps they are selling a product to customers living in far distant time zones where the sun is high overhead and everyone is wide awake ... or, could it be that questions are being asked, surveys taken, information collected ... i don't know, of course, which is a great delight since of the girls and what they are doing i am thus allowed to create my own little stories ...

... sometimes, i like to play with my little camera ...


IN A WINDOW, WAITING

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... abandoned on the other side of the huge plate glass window of the boarded up wig shop that fills the street level corner of the old waterville savings bank building, for more than ten years she has been patiently waiting for someone to purchase the hundred year-old structure and return some life to her little world ... soon, i think, all her colors will fade, and then no matter what happens to the building she will be unwanted, discarded to a forgotten past where i will not be able to visit her ... i wonder, when that happens, will she be sadder than i ...


MAIN STREET EXHIBITIONISTS

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... it used to be a bridal shop ... before that it was an "erotic clothing boutique," which replaced a subway sandwich's sliced meat and assorted condiments with sexy lingerie and edible underwear ... going back in time, i'm sure dozens and dozens of different businesses have occupied the little building at the corner of temple and main streets ... hopefully, for these two, there'll be time to get dressed before they have to leave ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... i like it that in the evening, when the sun is just beginning to disappear behind the trees and buildings along the west side of the concourse, waterville's downtown parking lot, it isn't only me who enjoys the soft warmth of day's end ...



ICE MAIDEN


OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... for a moment, oddly defenseless, i found myself falling in love with her, until i realized how cold she was, that her stare was neither seductive nor beguiling, simply sad and lonely ... it was then i desired only to wrap my coat around her bare shoulders, and tell her it was okay if she didn't want to be forever frozen in two dimensions ... but, i didn't do that, instead i left her alone to continue her waiting and went on with my day ...

PHOTOGRAPHY P.S. - THIS PICTURE IS AN EXAMPLE OF MY SOMETIMES POOR "FILING DISCIPLINE."  AFTER I HAD POSTED THE PICTURE I NOTICED A SERIOUS FLAW IN THE IMAGE (A LARGE SECTION HAD BEEN ACCIDENTALLY ERASED DURING THE PROCESSING PHASE).  I SEARCHED FOR THE ORIGINAL IMAGE, ALAS, EVEN THE "DEEP SCAN" FEATURE OF DISK DRILL COULDN'T RECOVER IT EITHER FROM MY HARD DRIVE NOR ON THE FLASH CARD.  TO PRODUCE THIS IMAGE I WAS FORCED TO "REPAIR" THE DAMAGED VERSION.  SO, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE PHOTOSHOPICALLY  INCLINED, CAN YOU FIND MY CORRECTIONS?


LIZ, AD & DAD

... as you've probably noticed, i've been off-line for awhile ... i've been busy, occupied, for sure, but this time of year it's most likely my withdrawal has been a symptom of seasonal affective disorder, something i no longer suffer (thank you, vitamin d supplements), but which still affects me ...

NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-125@110mm-F6.3-1/60th-3 Flash-ISO200
... here's the second shot from our christmas day ... liz says that i didn't get the color of the picture correct, and that the white in my hair isn't nearly so apparent in "real life" ... i'll take her word on it, just as she'll have to accept mine that, although it doesn't seem possible, in the same real life she and her sister are even cuter than they appear in the photograph ...