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.

June 1, 2013

OHIO TO MAINE ON TWO WHEELS - DAY 4

... philip, my brother-in-exlaw ... a retired air force loadmaster, who spent almost 10,000 hours at high altitude putting himself in harms way in service of our country ... once, upon one of these great beast machines, phil was involved in an accident so severe that for several short periods of time he had to wait for the doctors and nurses to bring him back to life ... the part of the story i like best, of course, is that he got back on a motorcycle ... today we shared a wonderful ride through the blueberry barrens and pine forests of new jersey ...

... maci, when she's in the mood, will vertically chase her little mouse toys in complete disregard of the law of gravity ...

OHIO TO MAINE ON TWO WHEELS - DAY 3

... "idyllic," that's the word to describe this scene ... a spot for a man to sit, his girl tucked beneath his arm as he reads poetry ... a place for a picnic, mom and dad relaxing as the kids run in the field trying to catch crickets ... perhaps, even, where a very old man can stand in the shade, reflecting upon how the tree was just a sapling when as a boy he passed it on his way to skip stones across the little stream that runs through the cool darkness of the woods a the bottom of the hill ... there is peace to be found here, in the serenity of the shade, and in one way or another, i believe, all of us wish we could, if only momentarily, be enveloped in its timeless grace ...

... on the 17th of september in 1862 almost 30,000 men fought in this little field ... back and forth, back and forth, the field changed hands perhaps sixteen or seventeen times ... after several hours, when the battle had moved on to other parts of the landscape,  left behind were over a thousand dead soldiers ... over 9,000 had been wounded, many to the point that for the rest of their lives they would suffer ... decades after the war had concluded, in an entirely new century, there would be tired old men haunted by a lifetime of nightmares who looked forward to the darkness that would return them to the comrades they'd lost in this cornfield ...

... antietam ... a national battlefield monument ... a park ... a beautiful place ... an obscenity ...

... it's so neat, so tidy, so perfectly presented ... i wish that those who maintain the place could once a week go to a slaughter house and obtain a few barrels of cow blood ... then, after the tour busses and bicyclists, motorcyclists like me, even the hikers who roam the battlefield afoot, after all of them had been lined up along the fence the separates the road from the field, then the blood would be spread across the furrows and beneath the tree ... and a park ranger would come out in front of all, smokey the bear hat in hand, and say to the assembled crowd, "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, that's the best we can do ... it's up to you to imagine the bodies, and the body parts ... it's up to you to hear the screams, the moaning ... you must listen for the prayers that suffering come to end, and the pleas a soldier makes to his comrades, that they bring merciful end to drawn out agony ... this battlefield, for those few horrific hours over a century ago, it was not a place of ideology or philosophy,  or even political partisanship ... it was death's abode" ...

... i drove comfortably onto the antietam battlefield as a tourist ... i left in great haste, and, for several hours, looked and thought of absolutely nothing but the road in front of me ...