I grew up in the woods. Its quiet there, very quiet. I also grew up in a fairly quiet household. My parents are reserved people who used to watch little TV and read books for most of their entertainment.* I became accustomed to quiet and solitude. For fun during much of my childhood I spent hours wandering in the woods, cutting down trees and building forts. It wasn't until I was 11 that Debbie moved next door. We became fast friends and she had many of the same interests as I- walking in the woods, shooting BB Guns, cutting down the neighbor’s trees and spying on her brother. Debbie and I spent hours on end and days together, much of it silent. We did talk, goofy child talk, crazy plans to build bugs for her brothers room (many of which were realized) but sometimes we'd get to work and be silent.
When I went to college life was GO all the time. There was always something going on in the dorm, someone doing something crazy, often times me. Young hyperactive kids without parental supervision and with unfettered access to drugs and alcohol** does not make for a good combination.
GO GO GO
The pace of life was different. Getting a moments peace sometimes required me to walk late at night, alone across campus to the café, buy a coffee and walk to the dock. Depending on the season I'd sit on the dock in the orange pink glow of the street lights, sip the latte with my feet in the water. I'd revel in the relative silence of the dock. The slow water of the Stillwater River chilled my ankles to a delightful shade of purple and the quiet lapping of it against the dock. Silence and quiet solitude. It soothed my frayed nerves from a GO lifestyle to which I was not accustomed.
As that year wore on, I learned better how to close my door and buckle down and study but I was still easily distracted and made frequent trips home to gather myself together.
In my 3rd year of school I spent a good deal of time sketching and drawing the view from the dock. Such a simple view that meant the world to me when what I needed was solitude and silence, such things some up in my work often. I latch onto places that mean more to me than others and I draw and paint them to exhaustion. West Quoddy Head, Roque Bluffs, Yoho Head, O’Bear Park, Independence Park, Dane Street Beach, Bad Little Falls. These are all places I’ve gone for solitude, quiet places to think, quiet places to sketch and draw, quiet places to gather myself and regroup for another week/month at GO.***
*they have since graduated to a big screen TV and Dishnet work with 200+ channels.
**Quick note here, I'm not a fan of drugs, even as a young hyperactive kid the hardest thing I ever did was drink. A little square I know but the idea of things that alter my mood and mind doen't and has never set well for me. Many of my friends were into assorted halucinagenics, weed and other less common and more common drugs. I will admit that my first year of school I drank quite heavily.
***There was a Spiderman comic, I think drawn by Todd Mcfarlane, that came out in the early 90s, or late late 80s, I think it was the Venom series. Where Spiderman/Venom hears doom doom doom over and over again. It’s kind of how I feel about GO. GO GO GO. Deafening and overpowering