Day Fifteen: clapboarded churches stood so white against the blue sky

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A storm. The lights flicker. If there’s a power outage perhaps the Central Maine Power drones will locate the source quickly.

Oscar calls and says we should forgo the DIAA gallery because of the roads. He posts on Facebook a picture of ice on his roof.

Ice on Oscar’s roof

Dan is skeptical, I say I’m going in anyway. Then Dan looks at our eaves and sees ice. We hear few if any pickup trucks roaring by. If even the crazy pickup drivers are staying home, I am too.

Oscar’s Greenhead painting

Oscar has been working on a painting of two white buildings on Greenhead, a peninsula that sticks out in Stonington Harbor. At the end is the Greenhead Lobster Company. Greenhead is Stonington’s answer to the red fishing shack in Rockport, Mass., which artists once called Motif No. 1 – and now everyone else does.

I’m also working on a painting of white buildings, Mark Island Light. I put them both up on the wall.

Oscar is reading a book of poems by Stu Kestenbaum, I wish I could remember which one. Stu is our neighbor in Deer Isle, former director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, current interim director of the Maine College of Art, member of the Church of the Morning After, occasional pickleball player, very nice guy and Maine’s poet laureate.

Oscar held out a page with the poem Only Now, the first 15 or so lines heavily underlined.

We throw away so many things, pack them into translucent garbage bags where you can see through to the once beloved objects. The humbling moment is to realize it’s all heading to the dumpster, not just my journal and last month’s bills, but all of history, and all that will be left is an ember rotating in space. Don’t worry, it will all start over again. This isn’t the only world, this is just one try at it. This is the world that had ice and snow, this is the world where the apple blossoms fell to earth, this is the world where the clapboarded churches stood so white against the blue sky, like a remarkable original idea that gets our attention.

He pointed to the line about the clapboard churches. “That’s what we’re doing,” he said.

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