Here it is, 7:15 a.m. in Maine at the end of September, and I am decked out in full July gear--sleeveless shirt, summer skirt, flip-flops. Sweat is already beading up along the bridge of my nose. Portland is so hot and humid. It's very strange.
This morning I will walk down past the docks again, past the giant cruise ships disgorging their passengers, past the sellers of lobster-decorated geegaws, past the homeless man sitting in the middle of the sidewalk declaiming, "Welcome to Portland!" amid a stampede of oblivious visitors. . . . The tourist explosion is unsettling. I've never lived in such a place before.
Fortunately my end goal will be worth it. Yesterday I spent all day doing teacher-training stuff at the Telling Room, and I have to say: it is sweet to be surrounded by eager, dedicated people--many younger than me, a few older--who love the word, and love young people, and love collaboration; whose discomfort with the system guides their eagerness to swoop into schools and do this guerrilla work. It's a pretty wonderful scenario, and I am more and more certain that I'm going to fit in just fine here.