I am visiting my mom in Portland, Maine this weekend. We had a beautiful dinner at Fore Street and then we went to the Portland Museum of Art, where I saw the beautiful old paintings I grew up with on my visits there–the Winslow Homers, the NC and Andrew Wyeth paintings, the Sargents. It was consoling, strangely. I have a recurring dream I haven’t had in a while, in which I am in my mother’s house, but it is some vast place, with libraries that go down several floors, and people living in the stacks. The museum’s exhibits had the feeling of being like a forgotten wing of the house from that dream.
I fell in love with a new painting, or, new to me. Edward Steichen’s Moonlight Dance, Voulangis, 1909. And then we hid from the terrible modern things in the Winslow Homer wing, before finally leaving, though I stopped off to get two postcards, and four moustache-shaped erasers (Winslow Homer’s moustache, of course).
I got a little lost driving back but we didn’t mind because the moon was so beautiful. We wound up by Mercy Hospital. Did you hear about the seal, my mom said.
No, I said.
He came up out of the ocean there, pointing past the far lane on the left, to the water. And then he walked up in the snow to the hospital.
I turned the car around in the hospital driveway.
Did he know someone there, I asked, and she laughed, and we drove home.
When I post again, we’ll be back to the topic of Iris Murdoch.