The gift of time was restored in my life abruptly but peacefully five days ago. After five weeks on Motor Yacht Orly I walked out of the six foot by five foot cubby hole crew quarters for the last time. In hindsight it was a short tour, but during the day to day of the trip the days ticked off like grains of sand forced to fall one granule at a time counting down to eternity. But this is not a space or a time to tell stories of my five weeks of entrapment and subsequent waning confidence. The friends, family, and strangers who come across these words need to know how happy, grateful, well-taken care, and stronger I am today in this present moment.
One week ago with cash in pocket and duffel bag in hand I finished my contract and walked away from Orly. Jumped in a cab to Penn Station, New York City. Then after a coffee and friendly conversation and a little mutual venting with the bus dispatcher I climbed on the Megabus to Boston, Ma. With sleep and crucial miles to separate me from the boat I started the reconstruction of myself. The Bus dropped me off in Boston where I walked a few blocks to the Public Library to wait for Ben. With a whirl wind pick up off the street corner we were together again in a different time and city. This instant feeling of freedom and happiness sprayed over me. The muscles in my back relaxed and my brain began to smile. A quick overnight with Ben’s friend in Boston and we were on the road again headed North to Camden Maine.
The trip to Maine takes 4 hours on paper, but Ben and I stretched it into a whole day with poignantly placed pit stops. We followed a two-lane highway in search of Jamaican jerk chicken. Ben discovered the roadside drum pan chicken stand during a previous season. With a little luck we found it easily. It is only appropriate that the first thing I ate as an island transplant in coastal Maine was a curry chicken Jamaican patty. No lobster rolls craved or needed that day. The food was excellent and the atmosphere as authentic as possible in a climate that can’t support palm trees. A fence made out of pine logs made the hill into a terrace where an inviting hammock was slung between two pines. Bob Marley piped in through speakers attached to the small cook house. Seating was entirely out doors and as it should be, ever surface sported red, green and yellow. The proprietor was a healthy and smiling Jamaican women and an older thinning but strong Jamican manned the drum pan. After eating our fill of jerk chicken and meat pies we took a few more chicken patties (food of the gods) to go and hit the road. Other stops along the way included a surf shop to outfit Ben with a new space age like wetsuit. Full and newly geared up we made the final leg North towards Camden.
As we came close to Camden hills started to rise out of the two lane road. We arrived with enough strength and sunlight to rally some crew for a sunset sail into the bay and beer and pizza at Paullina’s Way. After a haisty escape from Charleston, 35 days north bound on Orly, a bus, and a three hundred mile car ride I entered a word of green, cherished sunshine, excellent company, and most importantly peace.
Camden is a place I am only beginning to discover through nature and encounters with its residence. A place that makes you fell alive and gave me an incredible respite after hitting some major lows during the last weeks on Orly. I walked into a beautiful community and home that has captured Ben. He makes a good guide and after five days of relaxing I think I’ll make a better student and exhibitioner. As I discover the landscape in prime season each day feels like a gift- mountains, lakes, rivers, rocks, oceans, and incredible boating grounds. It is another chapter of my wondering and as I settle into it I remind myself to write and absorb each day in gratitude for its gifts and knowledge.
Ben and the moon, Camden Harbor