Saturday, July 9, 2011

Totems, Flowers, Fish, Smith and Mapplethorpe.

Bernie and Tina come up to dig and spade and plant and voila!  A flower garden!

Aaron, Frank and I take a boat ride (with electric motor) in the morning stillness.

I have heard that the idea for totem poles comes from reflections such as these.  
Turn them on their head, and you get some strange creatures.

The beavers have built a massive lodge.  They keep their house at 60 degrees F. throughout the entire year, I hear.  We imagine a solarium, split level rec rooms, kitchens and nurseries.

There is a herd of small fish that wait for us at the beach every day.  They are used to being fed by the long shadows that loom over the water and toss down bits of white bread products, those nutrition-less pseudo-foods that make up 90 percent of the American diet.  
I balk at feeding wildlife, but these guys are hardly wild anymore.  
Aaron throws them crackers that have gotten soggy.  The fish crowd around, 
snapping and foaming the water until the crackers are gone, unaware that it will be their last supper because when Aaron leaves tomorrow, so goes the shadowy god throwing down golden yellow discs.  
Three flour-less days later, oddly, they have become individuals, each hanging in his or her own lonely little space, not clustering together as they had done.

When we are not cruelly staring at the sullen fish, Frank and I take on a major project, that of cleaning up the "girls' room" with its corner of tools and various other items.  I omitted taking a "before" picture, so to give an idea of the chaos in that corner, I have conjured up a photo-collage of what it felt like before we started.



Frank installs shelves in the otherwise unused closet - voila!  A new toolshed.

(Note the lone fish on the wall.)

This trip brings me bizarre technological issues.  I laboriously set up my old laptop with a new battery, making a special trip to TekServ because it's my only computer with a port for dial-up.  Yes, dial up. Yes, I know there are other options, but I decided to do this.
But I find I've forgotten one of the cables for my hard drive which I could have used to enter a film competition that I find out about five minutes after arriving and setting up the dial up, which works.
But the missing cable turns out not to matter because a short time later, my computer stops working altogether.  
My 17 inch Powerbook G4 up and dies!  I can't believe it!  It's only five years old!
Of course in computer years, that's so last century.
For several days I use Aaron's iphone for email, but I am a fish out of water.  
The computer gods have deserted me.
Frank and I go to the public library one day and use their bank of computers, but the next 
day when I have IMPORTANT things to do, the library is closed!  

We roam the streets of Pascoag,

looking at the pretty stream with its gorgeous leafy plants that happen to be another nasty invasive species called purple loosestrife, which spreads voraciously, stifling every other plant in sight, making it impossible for wildlife to survive.  How can something so pretty be so ugly?

I read even more than usual, finishing three books during the vacation.  The last one is the story of Patti Smith and her tender life-long love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe.  A beautiful, if at times harrowing story of New York City in a creative hey-day where people could get massive spaces in Manhattan, clean them out and work like devils at their art.  And just happen to run into folks like William Burroughs and Allen Ginsburg.  This story points out how hard artists work, how dedicated they are to their diverse crafts, and how difficult the life is.  Also how art evolves slowly and often suprisingly, diverging into unexpected pathways because of some small random thing that is found or happens.  Also how good artists are for city infrastructures, going into abandoned buildings and neighborhoods and fixing them up so the real estate people can move in and kick them out.
While I'm not particularly into either Smith's angular edgy music or Mapplethorpe's silky imagery, whether his too-perfect flowers or odorless S&M rituals, the book is a touching story of trust and friendship.  
I end up liking both of them very much.

Alas, it's time to go.  The morning we leave is raining and soggy, unlike most of our trips where we suffer through gray days until the last morning which dawns sunny and beautiful. 
This time, oddly, it's been just the opposite and we've been blessed with perfect summer weather.

The rain comes down so hard we can hardly see the road, no thanks to the massive trucks kicking up blasts of spray.

Home again, 

home again.

At last, back in Brooklyn where I am able to stare deeply into my computer screen!  


1 comment:

  1. LOVE the sideways photos--you should make more sideways ones! Makes me want to do my own series of totem pole sideways pics. Also the fake before pic is hilarious!