Ted, Peaks Island, Maine
I’ve worked full time as an artist my entire life, struggling to keep my finances above water. When I was losing my studio to a condominium project in Newburyport, Massachusetts, I decided to make a change and move to Maine. When I first approached Peaks Island’s bay by ferry, the magic was instantaneous for me. The island is a treasure of spectacular views and light and enchanting cottages from times past. I was outed before I even arrived. My cousin, a gay hairdresser in Portland, decided to share my story with a client. This client happened to be the grand dame of the social circle that mingled around the yacht club, right across the street from my soon-to-be house. On an island word travels faster than the speed of light, and everybody knows everybody else’s business. But as people met me, I melded into the community, which I have become a strong part of. My house is named Joy. It faces west to the water with spectacular sunsets over the Diamond Islands. Above the lookout tower is a meditation room with a skylight pyramid fabricated by my friend Moss, a Radical Faerie from Vermont. He built it with a crystal he brought back from a Brazilian temple site. There are twelve small stained-glass windows at the base of the space representing the twelve major religions of the world. The space has evolved into a learning center called the the Center for Sensational Living. Its purpose is to teach the oneness of us all. Because of the size of the house and my nature, Joy has become home to many wayward travelers and friends. Literally hundreds of people have stayed with me, all ages, all genders, all types, recognizing a special purpose, and experience of living that is maintained in my home.