How is one conveyed from hell—or from earth—to the celestial city—in literature? How are characters transported to heaven from, say, a dim, empty-seeming, labyrinthine town? And (since this is a Maine-dedicated weblog), how would a mill-worker get to heaven from the wooded mountains of Maine? Spun off an open invitation to blog about C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, this post seeks a route on which Maine might join up with CSL’s great bus ride.
Stone walls honey-combing the woodlands, foundations, and cellar holes, are found throughout the Maine woods. Here I’ve transcribed from my journal some of a tour of his land, given by our friend, Paul
“Do you still want to go hunting with me?”
At 7:30 we walked up Deer Hill Road together, me in hunters orange vest trying to match my quicker to Seth’s long languorous paces. He was maybe 6 ft. 3 in., dressed in denim and flannel, soon to vest himself in hunter’s blaze orange; cradling Pop’s new walnut stock Winchester 30-30 in the crook of his left arm. He was two months into his twenties.
When we reached the powerline he donned the vest and loaded six brass shells into the chamber, each clicking into place. We started off over the frost-stiffened ground, every brown leaf and fern blade finely etched in delicate whiteness. Then I noticed my sneakers. Seth did too. He gave me a sorry glance and smiled. My feet would be soaked when frost came out of the ground, drawn by the sun that was even now rising, line of sight, between the mountains.