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.

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

April 8, 2018

MAINE - PROOF OF SPRING

... john invited me to join him taking pictures of his son and friends in the river run that was taking place over near belfast ... when we arrived the sun was warm but there was a brisk wind coming off the snowfields—mud season in maine has arrived ...
  

... for about an hour we watched the preparations, then found a good spot for viewing the start of the race ...
  

... this man had built a reed canoe (he didn't make it to the end) ...
  

... rather than a paddle, john's friend prefers a pole ...
  

... me, i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have made it over the starting line, but she makes it look both natural and easy ...
  

Those who would find solitude must not be afraid to stand alone.
W. DERESIEWICZ


... john's son, ben, and his friend churned the water at the start ...
  

... this couple seemed to be having a grand time of it ...
  

... ben and friend came flyin' around the bend in the river ...
  

... and, partly my own ineptness and partly the fact that a modern mirrorless camera with "classic" manual focus/aperture lenses isn't well suited for this sort of photography, i missed a good shot of the pair as they set up for the rapids ...oddly enough, if i had been using this same lens attached to an "old-fashioned" nikon f3 film camera with a high-eyepoint prism and k focusing screen this situtation would've been a breeze ...
  

... this guy bounced off the rocks quite nicely ...
  

... i could hear them calling instructions to one another, which, i believe, is most important ...
  

... wonderful family fun ...
  

... i was amazed at the amount of muscling that was taking place as the tiny vessels were guided through the white water ...
  

... on the way back to the car i paused for a memory ...
  

There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats.
JEFF RENNICKE