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.

May 15, 2018

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW!

... chad, john and i have our work on display at the framemakers in waterville ... you're invited to take a few moments to enjoy the images we've captured ...
   

... my work is presented in a keynote show ... the images will be available bound in a quality book ... there will only be 12 copies of the book printed, each will be signed and numbered ... no other copies will ever be printed ... !!! ... if you are interested please contact me about pricing details (hint: in this case the word "quality" negates any mention of the word "cheap") ...
   

May 3, 2018

JOIN ME ON A SAN FRANCISCO WANDERABOUT

  
... presented in no particular order, walk along with me and share some of my impressions of the city and people of san francisco ...

... not sport, in san francisco skateboards are one of the many forms of energy efficient transportation ...
   
  
... he stared and stared, at what i could not determine ...
   
  
... while this isn't one of them, in san francisco there are all sorts of bikes and scooters parked along the streets for the public to use ...
   
  
... the trolly car was stopped because of some sort of mechanical failure in the signal system ... i asked him why he was dancing, "we get paid whether we're movin' or standin' still" ...
    
  
... the view from where we enjoyed an excellent lunch ... (i think—no, i know absolutely that they made it ... day after day, during exercise time looking over the wall and seeing this restaurant, i know i would've) ...
   
  
... jon needed a quick portrait ... i shot this in the room against the curtains, then did a bit of work in photoshop ...
   
  
... we enjoyed a stroll along the edge of the bay ...
   
  
... over 10,000 feet long and 200 feet above the surface of the bay, the western spans of the oakland bay bridge are awe inspiring during the day and most spectacular at night when they flash an "until infinity never repeating" display of l.e.d. lights (they did the math wrong, but i'll allow that it's close enough) ...
   
  
... thinking, perhaps ...
   
  
... everywhere are ad displays that make me want to find a hole to crawl into ...
   
  
... i've come to think of those who live on the streets as "open air residents," if for no other reason that doing so allows me to not feel guilty for all the blessings in my life ... this resident was most intensely studying the bible, a few minutes after i snapped the picture i listened as he and a passerby had a most intelligently involved discussion concerning "what jesus really meant" in matthew 5:11-12 ...
   
  
... the palace of fine arts is one of the few structures surviving from the 1915 panama-pacific exposition ... it has been restored both to its original architectural glory as well as to modern earthquake-resistant standards ... 
   
  
... as i was snapping pictures he came over and rather abruptly commented, "you should ask before you take someone's picture" ... i responded that he was going to be in the images from every camera being carried by the many tourists and visitors strolling the waterfront, to which he—well, he wasn't very nice ... i asked, "did you ask permission from the fish you're catching" ... yea, i haven't lost my touch, he called me a rather nasty name ... i relaxed since i knew matt and i could take him in an unfair fight, calmed myself, and made sure to take another set of frames to insure i'd get a really, really good photograph ...
   
  
... earlier in the day we visited the other side of the bridge ... warning:  if you zoom in on some of these images you might see some men wearing—well, wearing nothing whatsoever ... i watched them as they strolled into the sea ... they may not have been shy about showing their stuff, but all of 'em were pretty much surf wusses ... me, if my shoulder were fully healed, i'd have been out in the deep water ... (and, please, let not any of you bay area residents talk to me of the "cold water" ... middle of the summer i don't think the waters of old orchard beach ever rise to these temperatures—did i tell you, by the way, that i think frank and his buddies survived and made it to shore) ...
   
  
... i was conversing with matt about making photographs about humanity ... this picture i like, his was sublime but he might not be able to post it publicly  ...
   
  
... i stopped into a little photo/electronic equipment store and struck up a wonderful conversation with the owner ... he's a very good photographer, but i've a feeling he wants to be more than that ... we talked about pictures, then i navigated the web to a site displaying the work of henri-cartier bresson ... "me," i said, "i hope that before i finally put down my camera i capture at least one image of which he would approve" ...
   
  
... i'd like to think this might be that image ...
   
  
... i've a feeling that beneath every single one of the world's great bridges there's someone doing exactly as is he ...
   
  
... while matt walked in the mucky water looking for a picture, i turned and snapped this delightful composition ...
   
  
... it mattered absolutely nothing to matt and i that the beautiful evening lacked any of the characteristically dramatic golden gate lighting ... we, and a very small handful of others, enjoyed a peaceful moment that served to remind us of the great experiences we have and and all wonderful people with whom we share our lives ...
   

"San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave."
RUDYARD KIPLING

April 30, 2018

SAN FRANISCO - IMPRESSIONS

... the flight from bangor to san francisco was uneventful, other, that is, than discovering that despite all the comforts provided on boeing's new 777 there's still only one way to cram hundreds of people into a giant carbon fiber tube—the precise engineering term is "no leg room" ... sunday morning we were taken across the golden gate bridge for an exploration of the redwood forest ...
   

... they've found out that these primeval plants produce two growth rings a year, so they are not as old as has been thought ... still, hundreds of feet tall and with close to thousand-year life-spans, Sequoia sempervirens are most impressive ...
   
   

... there were over 2,000,000 acres of redwood along the california coast before the logging industry began cutting them in the mid-1800s ... muir wood's 600 acres is a part of the 70,000 acres that remain ...
   

... after making it back up the park road's rather frightening mountain curves, we lunched next to the bay in sausalito ... a most charming little town as long as one doesn't take into account that the average rent for a 600-700 sq. ft. one-bedroom apartment in the area is $2,600/month (don't gasp, it turns out that it's not near as expensive as some of the surrounding towns) ...
   

... not the norm for this time of year, we enjoyed perfect weather on our ferry boat ride across the bay back to the city ...
   

... we passed close by alcatraz ... (me, i think they made it) ...
   

... that evening, while jon attended a function, i strolled along mission street ... in one of san francisco's many beautiful public spaces i watched as the day people concluded their time in the city and the residents of the night began to emerge ...
   

... accustomed (what a sad thing to say) to the homeless in boston, new york, and, yes, even waterville, maine, i was surprised to notice that in san francisco this—not quite sure of the term i should use, so i'll go with "social strata," is a different character than elsewhere ...
   

... across the street a water sculpture reflects some of the high-rises where people spend more for a month's rent than i ever ever earned in a year of teaching ...
   

... the structures are strikingly beautiful, yet the contrast between them and the people who live in their shadows unsettles me ...
   

... i continued walking, reminding myself that my consciousness and, indeed, indignation, is at least some small tiny percentage of the foundation for yet imperceivable solutions ...
   

... i like watching the layers of life ...
   

... and am comforted observing that appreciation of the sunshine has nothing to do with who you are, what you earn, or where you sleep ...
   

... i teared up, remembering that whenever i'd complain too much ma would stand me in front of her little wall plaque, "read, i'll tell you when to stop" ... i would do so, until my lips were dry, "i complained because i had no shoes, then i met a man who had no feet" ...
   

... at the end of my stroll i made sure to remember that, as every week the announcer used to tell us, "there are six-million stories in the naked city" ... (we weren't quite sure what he meant, but always we giggled at the word "naked") ...
   
   
... jon takes good care of me ... i am having a most wonderful time ...


April 11, 2018

MEGAN & GRANT & ME

... em had an appointment in bangor and danny was going with her, emily, walker, and tom had school, so it was my good fortune to get to spend the day with megan and no-longer-baby grant ...
   

... don't ask, i've no idea what interested him ...
   

... whereas this, absolutely, interested him ... ...
   
  
... megan took a break from her schoolwork to play with grant ... truth be told, she did all work watching him while i just sat in the background and spent most of the morning enjoying watching them enjoy one another ...
   
  
... i hope that he grows to understand how blessed he is ...
   
  
... such a simple toy, so much fun ...
   
  
... as much as playing within it, grant also seem to enjoy the colors  ...
   
  
... one of my favorite images of the day ...
   
  
... title this "happy" ...
   
  
... grant's a speed demon on his little kid laptop ...
   
  
... megan dressed him up and we went outside to enjoy the spring weather ... i think i'll title this one "joy" ...
   
    
... megan and bella share a special relationship ...
   
 
... for all his life, how lucky he will be to have such a big sister ...
   
  
... "discovery" ...
   
  
... megan took us down by the little creek where we played with the cattails ...
   
  
... she showed grant how to explore the cool water ...
   
  
... and then, from a distance keeping a careful eye on him, left him to his own discoveries ...
   
  
... a picture i couldn't decide which interpretation i most liked ...
   
    
... this is the one many seem to like most, i'm still thinking it ...
   
   
... grant investigated the cattail stalks ...
   

... megan seems to like this place, i think she finds it a special spot within which she can comfortably think  ...
   

... forever, brother and sister ...
   

... what a wonderful day ...

When we were young I followed you,
We played, we fought, and had fun a time or two.

When we grew taller,
and thought we knew it all
and one of us would fall,
the other gave a helping hand
and said, watch the lay of the land,
see over there, you'll sink in quick sand.

Then I went one way and you another,
and still, when we could,
we helped each other.
Now we are older,

and once again we stand side by side
and shoulder to shoulder.
I've learned one thing,
you've learned another,
and we've both learned
there is no replacement
for one or the other.

CHARLOTTE K. HARDY