From time to time one finds a place that requires constant revisitation, not because it is necessarily exceptional, but because when it is encountered it says something very quietly, and that place becomes a palace. In Notes on the Cinematographer, Bresson notes that we don’t see each other's eyes but each other's looks and expressions, which is why we never remember eye colors. He also believes that someone who can work with the minimum can work with the most (and not vice versa). Perhaps I could learn to see the world through a small and special stretch of road.
CT-146 connects two coastal towns with names meaning “Dweller at the white field” and “Fords where the marigolds grew.” The road is 13 miles long and takes 35 minutes to drive, east to west, end to end, roughly the length of most sermons and lectures by Alistair Begg, Sister Vassa, Tim Keller. It is a “designated scenic route,” that I found by searching “Connecticut scenic roads.” I drive it multiple times a week, occasionally stemming off its side streets. There are 13 total weeks in summer. Each week I’ll designate one mile to thoroughly explore its corners. I suspect and worry that the speciality of 146 will wear down suddenly, and without warning.
So far what I’ve noticed: Saltmarshes, stilted legged birds, an old puppet theater. Islands seen from the road that hold one house each. They are powered by underwater cables. Osprey platforms. Fog, sea beans and pickleweed, tablemakers studio, a stations of the cross in a parking lot, a barn where old men in the Drum Corps practice and smoke cigars, a boat from which you can buy oysters, tidal pools with crabs that have one large yellow claw, wrought iron sculptures in a small vineyard, one woman applying lipstick to another woman on a log by the water.
The more time I give it, the more it reveals, the more I have to show to others. Much like everything else.
Nicolette Polek, June 2022