I'm working on a long post for tomorrow, so for today just this:
"The effort to know and care for and speak from your home ground is a choice about living as well as about writing. In that effort you are collaborating with everyone else who keeps track, everyone who works for the good of the community and the land. None of us is likely to fulfill the grand ambition of Joyce's young artist, Stephen Dedalus, to forge in the smithy of our souls the conscience of our race; but we might help to forge the conscience of a place, and that seems to me to be ambition enough for a lifetime's labor. Trees tap into the soil, drawing nourishment and returning fertility. Capturing sunlight, breaking down stone, dropping a mulch of leaves, replenishing the air, trees improve the conditions for other species and for the saplings that will replace them. So might writers, through works of imagination, give back to the places that feed them a more abundant life. "
- Scott Russell Sanders ("Writing from the Center")
The pictures today: Tilly under rowan and oak on an early morning walk on Nattadon Hill, brushing past rosehips and under the oak boughs. Bracken turns orange and gold all around us. Blown like a seed from New York to Boston to the Arizona desert and rooted at last on a green hill in Devon, this is the place that I strive to give back to, in stories and paintings alike.
Words: The passage above is from "Writing from the Center," an essay in Scott Russell Sander's collection of the same name (Indiana University Press, 1995). The poem in the picture captions is by Denise Levertov (1923-1997) from This Great Unknowing: Last Poems (New Directions, 1999). All rights reserved by Scott Sanders and the Levertov estate.