Old Knees, New Tricks
We’ve lived here ten years, and yesterday for the first time, we walked one of our property lines. Why? Because for the first time, the line was clearly marked in a new survey by the landowner who recently bought the adjacent 120 acres–a piece we have for a decade referred to as “Lee and Minnies” and now have no replacement name since we have only briefly met the new owners. With the survey came the requisite clearing of brush for sighting the surveyors tools over the mountain goat topography that runs from the north property line on the high ridge behind the house straight down across the contours to the road. We saw views of our sliver of pasture that we’d never seen before. and we both thought of our little excursion as a great adventure–a quarter mile from the house!
Near is the New Far
Speaking of close to home, I was gratified yesterday to learn that it’s not necessary to travel to exotic places to capture images that have some degree of universal appeal. The Society of Environmental Journalists solicited submissions from its member journalists and photographers for a photograph that would be used for several organizational mailings in the coming year. We’re talking about a group of folks here who travel the world, and I understand that their submissions included volcanoes and exotic landscapes, crop circles and exotic plants. So I was shocked and pleasantly surprised that my photograph of our barn in a morning fog was chosen from all those submissions because of its connotations of peaceful connection to the land. This is a small thing, but it was a big boost for me here at the low point of a long winter.
Old Words, New Tricks
I am brainstorming a new project: creating a CD of excerpts read from Slow Road Home, What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader (see the sidebar for more info) and various other written bits. I would solicit musical interludes from local Floyd County musicians. I would look for a Floyd County recording studio to help me produce and package the product. I’d make it available locally, on the web, and seek outlets in the region of the Crooked Road and other Appalachians-focused travel destinations and locations. People seem to enjoy the short essays and stories, and I write in a speaking-voice rhythm more often than not. Heck, who knows: I might hope to break even on something like this! Anybody with ideas, chime in.