Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Still a Peach: The New Look - New Dispatches from Maine

August 2015
March 1956
Strange what people will do when they are left alone and to their own devices.  My wife left me here in Maine while she went gallivanting around Scotland and I had to come up with ideas for entertaining myself.   One idea was to head into town for a much needed haircut.

Given the sparse arable acreage on the top of my head, my wife has long encouraged me to get my hair cut very short . . . and that is exactly what I did.  But after considering the gray fringes left afterwards, I looked at the barber with serious intent.
“Hell, Just cut it all off,” I said with a wave of my hands at my reflection in the mirror.
“Right down to the skin?” he replied.
“Nah,” I said.  “Right down to the bone.”
“And while you are at it,” I added.  “Take the sideburns off, too.” 
It just wouldn’t look right to leave them.  A goatee would suffice nicely.
I closed my eyes and listened as his clippers moved effortlessly across my head.  Front to back.  Side to side.  Up and down the sides of my face.  And as he maneuvered about my head and face they gradually grew more sensitive to the air flowing over and around them.  I was curious what I would find once I opened my eyes again.

I was first concerned about the shape of my head.  Would it look good shorn of its once  hirsute glory?  Would there be bumps and creases better left covered?  Would there be nicks and liver spots I would prefer left hidden?  As it turns out, my head looks pretty damn good for a guy my age.  In fact, shorn of the gray, thinning hair, I thought perchance I might even look a bit younger.  The verdict is still out on that one.

My hair has not been this short since 1956 . . . well, I actually had some hair back then.  So I guess it has not been this short since the day I was born.  But come to think of it, even then had a few downy wisps up there.  I had hair down over my shoulders in my 20s, and it has been medium long off and on since then.  Yet with advancing age I have watched it grow thinner and grayer and I seem to always be in a quandary as how to manage it so that it looks good.  Problem solved.

How long will this new look last?  There are already bets that it won’t be that long; I’ll grow tired of having to shave my entire head every day.  I don’t think so.  Five minutes with a razor in the shower and I am good to go for another day . . . less time than it takes to wash and rinse it.  Frankly, I like the new look and I think I will keep it.  I just hope others will look beyond the chromed dome and consider the inner man.  To quote Dolly Parton: “Just ‘cause you lost your fuzz doesn’t mean you ain’t a peach.”

Check out the "Looking Toward Portugal" Facebook page for more information and photos.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Autumn is Closer Than We Think - New Disparches from Maine

"Approaching Autumn" (2015) Steven B. Rogers
The bright greens of the all too short Maine summer are taking on a duller, yellowish tint.  The swamp maples, the first to show their autumn hues, turned a couple weeks ago, and now other trees are hinting of yellow and red, and the sugar maples are beginning to turn their familiar orange along the edges.  Strange when the current Maine weather is serving up daily temperatures into the 90s with matching humidity.  It is hard to believe that autumn is really not that far off.  How can this be true?  “Why, the ice just went off the lake!”  Summers up here are indeed short.  We are being reminded of this all too quickly.  Add to this the fact that the local breweries have just released their autumn seasonal beers.  Put a six-pack on the check-out counter and the clerks will  shake their heads and say it is too early.  “Summer just started.”  I am not complaining as these brews usually don’t come out until mid-September.  This way I get to enjoy them a wee bit longer.  There is a silver lining in every cloud.

Check out the "Looking Toward Portugal" Facebook page for more information and photos.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Approaching Watercolors - New Dispatches from Maine

"Goldfinch Maelstrom" (2015) Steven B. Rogers
"Sabbathday Synapses" (2015) Steven B. Rogers
These past few weeks I have not been able to put many words down on paper, but I have been playing around with images "on canvas."  My wife is the true artist in the family, but while she has been away in Scotland, I have been wanting to see if I might get some visual images down on paper using watercolor as my preferred medium.   I have found the entire experience rewarding and I just may stick with this for awhile and see what comes from it. The image on the right is a new watercolor entitled "Goldfinch Maelstrom."  The image on the left is "Sabbathday Synapses."   What's next?