To recap, yesterday I told you that after a good bit of staring off into space and taking long walks in the cold wind, I found a pattern to three years of writing topics. I sorted them into first twenty, then 9 and finally 8 different “realms”, the first four described in yesterday’s post. Here are the last four.
It’s a bit artificial, as a piece about gardening could as easily be about aging and family life and personal values. Environmental pieces are both very local and global in application.
So the way I’m setting up the book, having organized my “ingredients” into eight different bowls is to have ten reading meals (Parts. I won’t call them chapters as that might create unmet expectations) and each “PART” will have a predictable mix of each of the food groups represented. There will be somewhat of a pattern within each Part, starting with the personal, ranging to community and the larger spheres, and returning to local, personal and home. More about that later.
What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader may be in MY hands by the first of May, which would be super. I could take copies to the Mt. Rogers Naturalist Rally (May 8-9)–about which more soon!
V. Local Color: These selections have to with being at home, celebrating and probing the idea that we belong in some sense to the places where we live our lives, young and old. As is the case for so much of the rest of this collection, these pieces take different vantages points–looking down, looking up, looking out–for a better view of what we hold in our hands.
VI. Body and Soul Together: This collection has to do mostly with two components of the “food, clothing and shelter” triangle of necessities of life: staying fed and staying warm. Gardening and gathering the winter wood from the forest on our place are time-and-energy intensive chores with the ultimate purpose of maintaining enough body heat to keep body and soul together. And in the process, we get sometimes more exercise and excitement than we bargained for, and learn some difficult but memorable life lessons. What takes place within these walls and within the perimeter of our “owned” boundaries here in rural Virginia would be a private matter, were it not for my fairly newly-acquired infliction of turning the personal into the public by writing out the sublime or silly stories of everyday life.
VII. Within These Walls: What takes place within these walls and within the perimeter of our “owned” boundaries here in rural Virginia would be a private matter, were it not for my fairly newly-acquired infliction of turning the personal into the public by writing out the sublime or silly stories of everyday life. As the name suggests, these come more from our Department of the Interior.
VIII. For the Time, Being: The pieces in this assortment have to do with special people along the trail–including poems from and about our kids, a gift of memories to and from my mother, the peregrinations of our first family dog and a shared family adventure. There is a veiled memoir of sorts woven through the book, and this section tends in more that direction that some of the others, with the recurrent theme of the years surging through us as we hold our place in time.