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.

November 21, 2013

THE RESCUE - PART 2

... robert said, i think i've lost my cell phone ... we tried ringing it up in the store with no luck ... i said, "m'be it's out where we were pushing the motorcycle, how about if i go look for it" ... with that i headed out to do my laundry and buy groceries, but first i drove up to the quarry road for another strenuous twenty-mile hike into the wilderness ...

... it was a beautiful afternoon ... even with the puddles and edges of the streams frozen over, still i wished my motorcycle wasn't put away for the season ...


... when i was a kid and i'd find a rock all alone like this i would very carefully move it to where it had the company of others of its kind ... and, yes, i also made sure my shoes were properly side-to-side facing in the same direction ... i know, the psychologists have a rather nasty name for this, but i like to think it just means i'm a really considerate guy ...


... new englanders used to describe their property lines using phrases such as, "more or less in a northerly direction to the big oak tree," or, "from the back edge of farmer smith's property to the large rock south of the stream" ... then they discovered metal rods ... oh, how new englanders love to drive these iron bars into the ground ... done according tradition, this one probably goes down at least six to eight feet, "just to make sure nobody moves it" ...

... 15,000 years ago the glacier ripped the entire side off this ridge of bedrock ... then, when that mile-thick pile of ice melted, the run-off further scoured the landscape along the messalonskee stream ... odd, how while most're put at ease thinking these iron stakes are going to keep their property permanently marked, i'm somehow reassured that in several thousand years, when the earth's precession and eccentric cycles harmonize, the glaciers're going to once again scrape the landscape clean so that everything can start anew again ...


 ... {yes, i actually think these things while i'm walking} ...

... i remember when dr. abel and his crew found preserved in volcanic ash the 3.6 million year-old footprints of some of our ancestral hominids ... the path of two of them, walking side-by-side, was intersected by the prints of another ... dr. abel said, "they might have been months, even years apart ... we know they didn't see one another, for if that had happened surely the prints would reflect it ... but, it just could be that they missed one another by only a few hours" ...

... if, perchance, sometime before it rains again a great volcano should erupt and cover maine with settled ash, would it then be that millions of years from now a new species, or, perhaps, aliens from another world, will gaze upon these tracks and wonder, "who were they ... two of them, obviously, shared the path ... but, what of the other ... did he turn to find them, or ... or, did he change direction leaving them behind" ...


 ... {yes, i actually think lots of strange things while i'm walking} ...

... this is milkweed, i think ... even when i was little, i wondered, "milkweed, dandelions, crab grass, black-eyed susan, pigweed ... they're all so cool, why're they hated so" ... how odd, the ones so good at taking care of themselves, they get this label ...


 ... {yes, even when i was little, i would think strange things as i walked} ...

... these are altocumulus clouds (i think) ... my friend, chuck, who, as far as i'm concerned, is perhaps the greatest science teacher in the world, knows all the names of all the clouds ... none of his names match mine ... to me, these are washerboard clouds ...



... i like my names for clouds ...

 ... {sigh ... looking up, looking down, thinking, yes, you're right, i often bump into things, but that just gives me more to think about} ...

... i saw this couple walking ... they were wearing their special orange hats so that they won't get shot by a hunter ... foolishness, that's my opinion ... "good" hunters would never shoot them, even if they weren't wearing the hats ... "bad" hunters will shoot them even with the hats, because, after all, when it comes to not getting shot by a hunter, they are doing two things wrong:  a) they're in the woods, and, b) they're moving ... me, personally, if i'm going to wear orange it'll be a florescent flak vest ...




 ... {i've been shot at, so during hunting season i think these things while i'm walking} ...

... some ancient philosopher, i can't recall his name, he said, "you can't ever get to where you're going" ... his theory, "at some point you'll be halfway to your goal ... then you'll be half of that ... and, in time, half of that ... and so-on and so-on such that you'll never actually arrive" ... i've always liked that ... autumn in new england, quite obviously the winter can never get here ...



 ... {next spring, when i'm out walking in the late snow, i'll still be saying this} ...

... just as i was getting back to the trailhead (i never found the phone, because, it turns out, it was at robert's house) i noticed there were cars going down the road ... seems what i hadn't noticed when i arrived was that the gate was open ... there's a special word the backwoods people use for this, "duh" ...


... {i won't tell you what i was thinking, other'n the sky was very pretty} ...

... at the trailhead i found workers reinstalling the gate posts ... seems they'd been put in three feet, the "proper" depth, which everyone who knows anything about frost will tell you is a foot too shallow ... i said, "why is it we have ipads, cell phones, space stations, and instant oatmeal, but you worker people are still digging  post holes the same way they did in the way-long-ago ancient roman times" ... response was, "they sent a three-foot auger, this is quicker'n waiting for a longer one" ... this guy wants to go to alaska someday, but right now he's raising two kids ... i said, "soon as you can, do it" ...


 ... i had a nice little walk ... i didn't find the phone, but i thought a lot of neat thoughts ...

THE RESCUE - PART 1

... with wonder hillary managing the bookstore, saving the world from malignant mounds of toxic waste, and waging the good fight against the oppressively paternalistic fascism of federal usurpation ...


... robert and i were down in augusta, exploring central maine's lunch offerings, when roger called, "can you do me a big favor" ...

Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend
You've got a friend
Ain't it good to know, ain't it good to know, ain't it good to know
You've got a friend.
CAROL KING

... okay, so that wasn't actually playing on the radio ... no matter, children of the sixties, both robert and i know that there're times you have to hear that tune, so we scurried back to waterville, stopping for subway sandwiches before we headed out to the quarry road to rescue roger ...

... after what i figure was at least a twenty-mile hike into the maine wilderness, roger brought us to the spot on the road where clearly the maine department of transportation had not done its job ...


... robert took one look, then, being as he's both a man of faith and a notary public, he offered some sort of last rites for the poor machine ...


... what roger was saying translated out to be, "you're each going to stand behind me pushing on the luggage rails so that when i give 'er full throttle the motorcycle'll go up the hill and the two of you will fall on your faces in the mud like this was an abbot and costello movie" ...


... "yea, as if," we chorused, but, per carol's advice, we didn't have much choice ... grunting and groaning and saying to ourselves, "why can't he just get an x-box and stay home," we extricated the honda from the bog ...


... roger offered each of us a ride back to the trailhead, but we both figured the walk would do us good, and, in any case, the back perch on his motorcycle didn't look all that comfortable ...


 ... at the trailhead we found that the new quarry road recreational area, even unfinished as it is right now, is a most fascinating place ...


Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for.
BACHARACH & SAGER

... the thing that's really cool, at least, as far as i'm concerned, is that while it is so incredibly wonderful that i have friends i know would come to pull me out of the mud, even more important is that i've those who think to call me ...