Tuesday 207: Walking Water

painting by Jessica Ives


A human being is a container invented by water so it can walk around.

– from Job’s Body

Popham Colony was a short-lived English settlement founded the same year as the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. Over the course of its first and only year of existence in 1607 and 1608, settlers built the Virginia of Sagadahoc, the first English-built oceangoing vessel in the New World.

When Jonathan and I were at Popham Beach last summer we played in the waters at the mouth of the Kennebec River. This was the river by which Popham’s settlers explored the land that would become Maine, seeking communication and trade with the Abenaki who lived along its banks. Later colonists to the area, building on the experience of the original Popham Colony, settled further up this river at the site of present-day Bath where winter storms and tides were not as severe. Bath, of course, became a renowned shipbuilding capitol; in the mid-19th century it was the fifth largest port in America and sent clipper ships criss-crossing across the waters of the world.

In the fall, after our late August swim at Popham Beach, Jonathan and I fished the headwaters of the Kennebec, the “long quiet waters” of the Abenaki. We waded in and walked the waters, just as we had at the beach.

Water is how we move in the world. It shapes our stories, our experiences, our histories. Rivers and oceans move us. Our ships, our paintings, and our bodies are all vessels.


207 Paintings post everyish Tuesday around 5:30am EST on both The Maine and jessicaleeives.com. Save thirty percent on any 4×4 inch oil on panel painting by making your purchase within the first week of its posting. Instead of $300 pay just $207, a number which just happens to be the Maine state area code.

Tuesday 207 Paintings are exclusive to The Maine. They depict the land, the light and the people that make this state a state of wonder. Jessica is editor of The Maine and writes occasionally as The Outsider.