An island in Maine. A woman’s peregrination with grief, Gaia, totem animals, shaman lovers, rocks and roots, a remarkable elder named Ruth.   My two teenagers complete the portrait. A work in progress.

Myself, bedraggled, bemused middle-aged mother trying to get to the other side of her life. The ending of my 27-year marriage, and I am a tree broken open. Two teenagers a blur, my new best friend the kitchen floor, bits of sticky rice next to my cheekbone. The whisper arrives: “Get up. Go outside.” A clearer voice: “Enter the woods, Elisa. Prowl, climb, crawl, dig.” And so I did, for almost two years.

Ruth, artist, 95, with a need to speak, to clarify, to connect genuinely with another woman before she transitions into Spirit. Tucked like a bird in a nest, tucked in a blue gray chair in a nursing home, Ruth, an elder who speaks delicate truths in a living poem. A Mainer, a life-long islander, who tells me stories day after day.

A synthesis of sorrow and loneliness, humor and awe, our tales entwine. What she cannot do, I vicariously do for her: climb the cliffs at Great Head, float with lilies in Somes Pond, dig and find in the dirt, bow to the sea, listen to Spirit and angels, seen and unseen. From my wanderings, I place in the palm of her hand rock, root, feather and bone. Our peregrination begins.



Behind the Slides: Finding life after divorce. Pecha Kucha Presenter Elisa Wike Hurley prowls the woods in search of new choices, Pen Bay Pilot article September, 2013 (click here)

Video – Pecha Kucha Night Midcoast Maine was recorded on September 13, 2013 at the Bayview Cinema in Camden Maine.