Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome to Maine. . .

Some of you may know that I have spent the better part of the last two months preparing for an art exhibit at the Monkitree Gallery in Gardiner, Maine. This will be the grand opening of the gallery which is co-owned by a very close friend of mine, Clare Marron and her partner Peter Maylon. 

I arrived this early in the afternoon after driving up from Delaware and am happy to say that I have found both the gallery and Gardiner to be lovely. 

Initially, the thought of driving to Maine from Delaware was a bit intimidating as I've never been particularity found of spending long stretches of time spent behind the wheel of a car navigating through lands unknown. But, I bit the bullet so to speak and set off on my journey yesterday morning beginning with a ferry trip across the Delaware Bay, a drive down the entire length of the Garden State Parkway, and then a variety of interstates which led me to choose a landing place of Bethel, Connecticut to spend the night before finishing the last leg of the journey this morning. By the way, if you ever find yourself at the Best Western Berkshire Inn  (a lovely and affordable hotel by the way) do yourself and favor and choose not to dine at the restaurant across the street as suggested by the front desk clerk. I can't remember the name of the place at the moment, which may be for the best as what I do remember is wildly overpriced mediocre food and a bartender with as much charisma as a constipated mortician.

When I awoke this morning, I glanced out the window to the surprise of steady rain, fog, and based upon the clouds of mist hovering about the exhaust pipes of passing vehicles, unseasonably cold temperatures. This created a bit of anxiety as I despise driving in such conditions - but I had 5 more hours ahead. After checking out, I picked up a huge cup of coffee at the nearest 7-11 and a sugar-free Red Bull, gassed up the tank and headed out.

The drive went better than I expected initially until I hit AM rush hour traffic around Hartford where there was also major road work occurring. After about an hour and half of white knuckle driving through terrible weather and road construction while battling well road versed locals maniacally flying through the lanes on their way to 9 to 5's, I managed to eventually get my groove on with the road and eventually found myself crossing into the state of Massachusetts. 

Now - this is where something interesting occurred. . . I was actually born in Massachusetts though I was raised in Kentucky after my family moved there in the late 1960s. There was something grounding about crossing the border into the state where I was born. Even though it really wasn't a major part of my life after the age of 5 ( though I still had - and do to this day -  family there and we did visit on a few occasions after the move), I guess part of me still felt connected to it. And here is where it gets a it uncanny - as I was pondering these thoughts, I noticed that there were suddenly very few other cars on the road, save a truck that I could see approaching in my rear view mirror. Also, at the same time, the rain had stopped and the sun had began appearing in the sky. The two events seemed to coincide. As the truck came upon and then passed - guess which state it was licensed in? - Yep. Kentucky. . .

I took that as a personal sign from someone, or somewhere, that I was indeed on the right path.

Tomorrow, I'll post a few photos of the progress of the hanging of the show at the gallery, discuss meeting some very cool locals here in Gardiner, and much more. Right now - it's been a long day and hitting the hay.

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