My two old friends, Sean and Adrienne, both of whom have been my Maine tour guides for a majority of the time that I have spent in that wonderful place over the past several years, spent the night in my Brooklyn apartment last night. They've painted my face in Portland while I pounded on an electric organ, blasted Ali Farka Touré on a hot summer day while driving down the coast in Harpswell, and introduced me to the world's best smell, Sweet Annie, at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity. Sean stomped into my apartment around 6:00 pm yesterday, carrying a bass guitar he picked up for me on Long Island and wearing his Quoddys, excited as hell to tell me all about the summer that he and Adrienne will be spending in Portland. Since my folks moved up to the Portsmouth, NH, I've spent a good deal of time around the southern parts of the state, but my version of Maine is all them. For better of worse. The way life should be.From The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau:
You commonly make your camp just at sundown, and are collecting wood, getting your supper, or pitching your tent while the shades of night are gathering around and adding to the already dense gloom of the forest. You have no time to explore or look around you before it is dark. You may penetrate half a dozen rods farther into that twilight wilderness, after some dry bark to kindle your fire with, and wonder what mysteries lie hidden still deeper in it, say at the end of a long day's walk; or you may run down to the shore for a dipper of water, and get a clearer view for a short distance up or down the stream, and while you stand there, see a fish leap, or a duck alight in the river, or hear a wood-thrush or robin sing in the woods. That is as if you had been to town or civilized parts. But there is no sauntering off to see the country, and ten or fifteen rods seems a great way from your companions, and you come back with the air of a much traveled man, as from a long journey, with adventures to relate, though you may have heard the crackling of the fire all the while, - and at a hundred rods you might be lost past recovery, and have to camp out. It is all mossy and moosey. In some of those dense fir and spruce woods there is hardly room for the smoke to go up. The trees are a standing night, and every fir and spruce which you fell is a plume plucked from the night's raven wing. Then at night the general stillness is more impressive than any sound, but occasionally you hear the note of an owl farther or nearer in the woods, and if near a lake, the semi-human cry of the loons at their unearthly levels.