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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We took the ferry to Vinalhaven yesterday. The party of the second part has been suggesting this for a long time and it seemed prudent and politic after 25 years to add to our ferry repertoire of Swan's and Monhegan and Islesboro. The day was of course sunny and cool (more than two weeks now and counting!). After a lovely day of walking around town and through Lane's Island preserve and Armbrust Hill park, and having a picnic of bread and cheese and chocolate by the harbor, we sat up top on the way back (the morning's trip out seemed a little too cold for such pleasure, we had to consider the poor dog's comfort, you know), and marvelled at the panorama of sea and ledge, forest and sky, and pretended not to shiver in the late afternoon wind (the dog shivered openly).

More about some other Vinalhaven sights in the next post, but for now I need to remark on our fellow passengers enjoying the wind and the sun on the ferry's upper deck: the young woman and her 2-year-old, in summer tees and shorts, talking, swinging arms, then breast-feeding without care of the cold (must be Mainers); the two middle-aged women sitting next to us who talked the entire hour and a half, or I should say one talked and the other mostly listened, about friends and relatives and life in Florida, about everything, it seemed, except the incredible scenery all around, which had struck us dumb; and finally the older couple, clearly married for a long time, the man of which occasionally put forth facts about the landscape we were seeing, and the woman of which read a sewing magazine the entire trip.

I woke up this morning wondering at the infinite variety of interests, hobbies, obsessions, and pastimes pursued in the world. Just once I'd like to be inside the mind of the hobbyist or the fanatic, say the sewing woman on yesterday's ferry, to be completely another person for a moment, to objectify her perspective and therefore yours, and to understand how she could resist the saving graces of the sun on the ocean in favor of antimacassars and macrame.

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