“When things fall apart, consider the possibility that life knocked it down on purpose. Not to bully you, or to punish you, but to prompt you to build something that better suits your personality and your purpose. Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
Mid-tide at Clifton Dock, Northeast Harbor
There is a quiet in the air here, a solace of a sort. A feeling in the wind, especially at night, that soothes the soul after another day. The air is close but comforting, cold as it wraps around your face and body as you walk home. The stars, glimmering above, ever slightly changing with each passing day, twinkle down on a bewildered face each night as I stroll.
Seven Moons Passing – Susan Seddon-Boulet
When I first moved here, all three weeks ago, the quiet was an intimidating force. There was a huge part of me who, having spent my whole adult life in cities, was used to the white noise hum of cars passing by, of planes flying over, of doors closing and opening, of people talking and yelling to each other. I was used to the comforting noises of a city: the noises that let you know that the city is humming along to itself, the subway running beneath your feet as buses stop at bus stops, people getting off and on.
The first night I was here I noticed the quiet, and I noticed it even more as each day passed. During the first two weeks that I lived here, I suffered the feelings of loneliness and isolation quite intensely. Not knowing what to do, I took walks and made phone calls, sat in my house and knit shawls and gloves. I sat here, and wrote my thoughts down on digital paper. I looked out the windows at the quiet street, at the glowing windows of neighbors’ houses, and wondered….
Could I do this? Or shall I turn back?
A week ago at night, I left the studio when it had just become dark and walked to my favorite perch: Clifton Dock. I sat on the gang plank and watched tiny snowflakes fall around my face, the first of the year. The tiniest flakes, so soft in air so warm that they melted before they hit the ground, but yet, were there, swirling around my face tilted up toward the sky.
Walking through these quiet streets, especially at night, when I am alone and left to my own devices, has become a source of incredible, almost indescribable joy to me. When I walk up South Shore Road from Clifton Dock and pass all the beautiful, old summer houses that remind me of the houses in “The Great Gatsby” or “Sabrina”, and I look at their darkened windows and wonder where their owners are and what they are doing, I can dance, skip and spin down their road and no one can see me but the birds, the houses, and the trees.
I have never felt this sense of peace before in my life: my sense of self has always been full of many stressful emotions, at least as long as I can remember, anyway. I feel things very deeply, hence the large tattoo of an anatomical heart on my left arm declares to the world that I am one delicate, sensitive soul.
But once the loneliness faded, which it did, sometime last week, the sense of peace swooped in and took over. I spoke with a friend last night who is, hopefully, embarking on the next phase of her life in another, very different part of our country from where we grew from girls into the women we are now, and she made me laugh because she realized that her new town only has one coffee shop. I laughed because my town has no coffee shop, even though sometimes I wish that we did. Sometimes I wish we had a diner here, just a place to have food if you felt like going, a place like The Brick in Northern Exposure. But I digress….
One of my favorite teachers, who taught me my first skills in jewelry making, all those years ago, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, when I was fresh out of university and freshly married, twenty three years old and knew nothing, told me once that “perfection is a glorious accident”, so this morning, when I read the quote above, I realized, of course, that he was right.
Is this place perfect? No, of course not, but it is so close. Granted, I have no car right now, so that is a challenge. Granted, the winter has not really started and I have no idea what is heading toward me. Granted, I have been here for only three weeks, and your feelings on a place ebb and flow just like the tides that come in and out down at the dock. But…..
Lately, I have been surrounding myself with nature and with art. Without my daily walks, my days feel strangely off, as if something is missing. During these daily walks, I look at things and take photographs. Yesterday, I took this one…
Inspiration comes from the strangest places…..
Last night, I was working on earrings that were inspired by my walk down Sargent Drive the other day: one is inspired by lichen on rocks and the other by grasses growing along granite boulders. Today I will go in and start making some bracelets inspired by the shapes of the pilings in the photograph above. I have my first show in two weeks and am aiming to be ready….it is difficult to look forward and realize that this is what I want to do with my time, all the time, that there is nothing that has made me happier than the process of finding a voice in metals that has come over the last few weeks, in the dark, in the solitary time.
Northeast Harbor Fleet in Autumn