is creativity to happen?

on meeting Pat and beginning maine metaphor, I happened to hang out with the birches

Continuing from last week’s post, here’s more on my nontraditional undergrad experience with the author of Waiting to Begin, who now holds the BFA chair at UMF.  Unbeknownst to either of us at that time, she was helping me begin the MAINE METAPHOR series.

I was not meeting with other creative writers. I was designing my own major around Maine studies, topics of which abounded among course offerings, but formalizing such a degree was not an option at that time. So I asked my mentor to work with me, saying I wanted to study and write mythic literature in an independent study. Neither O’Donnell nor the chair of the English department would sign onto the project. If I had waited perhaps a semester they might have been more receptive because by that time Joseph Campbell’s groundbreaking studies in the power of myth were popularized. Public television had begun doing this series with Bill Moyers and Campbell. (Recently Pat told me she would not have felt qualified to work on this type of writing.)

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nettie marries, records life in the hamlet

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 9.55.22 AM

we lived on this road and knew about Nettie, the girl who lived on a berry farm on the mountainside above. she was born and raised to be her parents’ keeper in their aging, as some parents did in the late 1800s. your last child was to be yours, not living for his or herself. she did the unexpected and got married. she became a photographer.

nettie's camera

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tomorrow

SONY DSC

the new outside

 

I’m sitting here in Bob’s Corner Store and Texaco… but… its 25 years down the hapless hapful road of Time from the Town’s Dodransbicentennial. Also Dosquicentennial, word signifying 175 years building on a Latin contraction meaning “a whole unit less than a quarter.” ???  And I’m sitting here… but it’s The Local Hub, same building outside but sans gas pumps… and with a few other outward more elegant touches. Inside the world is 9,125 days past the earlier celebration. Instead of magazines with questionable appeal 🙂 and factory processed er goodies, the Hub is filled with organic locally grown produce and other naturally made goodies. Completely remodeled inside, bright and colorful, no longer cramped and dim.

in hub

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Easter Sunday going home on the Gore Road

By the pond

By the pond

 

Now the road is sinking down toward a glacially carved valley, mute and somber collection of browns, overarched with blue. The long descent is daunting. I hesitate inwardly while keeping my legs in a forward motion downward. Descent, in this tired stiff body, on sore tendons, is little to complain of. It’s the return up steep hills I resist.

Then I remember the esker. Thinking now that I might write about this Easter trek, I decide that I want that esker in my experience.

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Walking Easter Sunday on the Gore Road

Poor Johnny's Bridge

Poor Johnny’s Bridge

 

Unlike the verbal record of these Holy Week walks the images in this series of posts are, with the exception of drawings, this week’s images …

Today I go past Johnny’s Bridge. Where kids once said a man named Johnny was buried in cement. I walked on from the bridge back  toward the Gore Road. It’s Easter, day of the new body. While Allen works in the paper mill, I plan a large walk to the end of the Gore and back. The Gore is a triangular piece of land. The road is named for the completion of this triangle. When viewed from above, the geometry isn’t so evident because there are no straight lines in these mountains.

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Walking past Earl’s on Maundy Thursday

Continuing on from yesterday’s post … I forgot about waitresses, rainbows and clouds. I thought of other things, saw other things.

One of those things was a particleboard ice-fishing shack sitting on someone’s yard. Ice was fixing to rot off the pond, the season was over. Saw Arthur’s high crooked house, heard him yell ineffectually at his barking dog. Past Earl’s black, patched-together house, hunkered to the ground. He would be out working at the town dump. Few people in this world have as fine a panorama as Earl’s from his tarpaper shack.

This is my romantic rendering of Earl's hut.

My romantic rendering of Earl’s hut.

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Walking Holy Days

The Local Hub has taken over Bob's Corner Store and Texaco since this walk was taken

The Local Hub has taken over Bob’s Corner Store and Texaco since this walk.

 

For Maundy Thursday, day of flesh and blood, of bread and wine. Left my dwelling under a low cloud, a cold calendar-spring day. The only vivid color cold blue, just beyond the western edge of cloud. Descending into the village slung along the highway, I looked out toward brown lands, and dark conifers, toward the somber town mountain across the river valley. Nearer: colorless houses, crammed together. Muddy water ran in torrents along the downhill roadside. For all the darkness of cloud above me, the air was surprisingly crisp. It was one of those cleansing Canadian systems, blowing through Western Maine on the day of broken body and blood.

The cloud began sprinkling me with cold droplets. It showered and I turned eastward, hurried up the highway toward the combination garage and corner store. The place was busy with cars, coming and going. The garage door was up, so I slipped inside to wait out the rain. The cloud, being edged with promising blue, could not last long enough to ruin my walk. Wasn’t I after the bread and wine?

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shoeing

snowshoe post2

before dawn above the house

18° outside this a.m., 57° in the bedroom. Fahrenheit. Prediction is for 10° below 0n Sunday morning. Our last post was a prayer for snow. New England neighbors well south of us got more than enough at that time, but here, where there is plentiful use for it, snow on the ground was patchy, old and stiff. No good for skiing or shoeing. It’s been like that all winter. Yesterday we got a very pretty fall of 4 in. which helped some. Usually by this time we’ve posted some snowshoeing entries. We went through level woods past the snowy stream and our neighbors’ on shoes, exhilarated, impressed of the great beauty all around us. And the sun shining through trees from above the slope opposite. This picture was taken this morning at temperature check.

In previous winters it went something like this:

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