A Master Maine Guide

In 2017, I was in a theater watching movies from the Maine Short Film Festival when I heard a line I loved so much, I wrote it down in the dark.

It was from Master Maine Guide and teacher, Ray Reitze, in the documentary film, Guided, by Seedlight Pictures

In the scene, he is referring to what happens at that point in time when an apprentice is ready to lead. 

He says, “All you do is switch seats.”

It comes in the film after you’ve been with Ray and his apprentice Jen and start to understand what it takes: the years of commitment, work and care; seasons of experiences and learning; the sacrifices and the trust. 

“I become a piece of them and they become a piece of me.”

Ray’s understated elegance lets the explanation of what that means live in the knowing and sharing between mentor and mentee. It lets the magnificence of what that means live in the time spent together.

To me, Ray’s representation of readiness, “All you do is switch seats,” is character. It’s proof. 

When I think about what Maine character is, it’s that. It’s knowing what you mean because you are what you mean. 

Guided is a beautiful short film that takes place in the Maine wilderness. You can watch it by following the link to Seedlight Pictures. The line I wrote down in the dark comes with no fanfare towards the end. 

Jen Ries, Ray’s former apprentice, is a Recreational Maine Guide and operates Tumblehome Guide Service. At the Tumblehome website, you can also find information about her ongoing guiding collaboration with Ray.

From Guided, a documentary film by Seedlight Pictures. Click on photo to watch the short film.