Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9: Island Ferry

My friend Elizabeth and I are spending the weekend on Vinalhaven, ostensibly for a writing retreat, though as she said when we saw the palatial room we're staying in, "I don't know whether to take a nap, curl up with a book, take a bath in that big tub, or open that bottle of wine and watch the fog." Here's our view to the left:

The skies are supposed to clear tonight, so maybe by tomorrow all the fishing boats will emerge from the thick fog.

The thing about visiting islands it that you have to take a boat to get there. The ferry ride from Rockland was about an hour and 15 minutes, during which time Elizabeth and I sat across from each other in the cramped passenger area, with just a wall of white out the window, and gabbed. When we landed, it was almost startling to be reminded that the rather dream-like ride was just the passage, the means to the end, and now we were where we had wanted to be and had to actually get up and do something about it. It was as if it was enough just knowing we were on our way to this island retreat--we could have happily remained in anticipatory limbo for hours more. I was reminded in a way of Elizabeth Bishop's brilliant poem "The Moose," which beautifully captures the lulling rhythm of travel. Our journey, however, was unpunctuated by anything exciting like a moose sighting. Just lots of fog, rain, water, and a handful of gulls washed clean.

Lulling wave rhythm--
our ferry takes hours in fog,
rocking in limbo.

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