Although I am not entirely at home in Maine, I am at home with myself while I am here. There are no pressing business matters or meetings. All I really want to do is savor the seashore and meander around the working harbors and isolated villages.
There are still communities here that remember how to listen to the ocean, forest, and field. Sometimes I, too, hear the cyclical rhythms of nature that modern life and the internet have largely obliterated in a babble of mind-numbing communication overload.
My Maine summers are quiet and frugal. They are largely spent at my rustic CreativeShare Studio on a tiny fishing island approximately seven nautical miles off of Portland. It is a place without electricity, indoor plumbing, or even a wood stove.
It is my idea of a summer creative heaven — an earthy celestial vision not shared by either my wife or daughter, who prefer the urbane delights of Portland’s Old Port and Freeport’s L.L. Bean.
Nonetheless, it is an ideal place for me to explore my two lifelong creative passions of Zen aesthetics and creative responses to the Holocaust and human conflict. The topography reminds me of pictures of coastal Japan, and this seemingly insignificant island was where the entire U.S. Navy North Atlantic fleet was fueled for the liberation of Europe during World War II. For more about the island’s role in World War II, read Joel Eastman’s essay “Lifeline for Liberty.”
Although my real home as I near my 60th year is St. Pete by the Tampa Bay, Maine and New England will always have a special place in my mind’s eye.
The following videos were conceived in joy and gratitude after a lifesaving operation in January of 2001. I hope that you will enjoy these short digital media pieces…and also have the good sense to get a full colonoscopy when you turn 50.
I Long For My Island
This video was produced in 2005 to celebrate the completion of the construction of the studio structures. My wife Amy (who toils in corporate communications) came up with authentic sounding seafaring/country music melody. Who would have guessed?
Peeks At Peaks Island
This is probably my favorite spot on planet earth. Just before going under anesthesia for the removal of half my colon, I pictured the happy times my little family had there. The video was finished by my studio assistant, Celeste Starita, immediately after my operation.
Casco Bay Swing
Maine has an inordinate number of gifted modern dancers (due to Bates College’s amazing dance program and summer dance festival). The music was provided by the Clown School Dropouts (who actually were clown school dropouts).
This was my first video inspired by New England. The artwork was created in a tiny cottage owned by the Nantucket Island School of Design. For those creative types who would enjoy staring at both graceful sailboats and super-rich celebs, you might want to visit this island off Cape Cod.
Green Mountain Ramble
The artwork was created at the Vermont Studio Center. It has been a place that has always been lucky for me in terms of contacts and might be lucky for you. I really like Vermont a lot — but Maine is more beautiful to my eye and much wilder!